Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Santorum May Win PA, But Lose Delegates

It looks like Rick Santorum is committed to a slow death crawl to the Pennsylvania primary, but even if he manages to maintain his modest lead in the polls and pull off a victory, it could be meaningless in terms of his delegate count. The Huffington Post reports the delegates aren’t required to support any candidate, and there are signs Mitt Romney may be further ahead in collecting potential delegate support in Rick Santorum’s home state:

Bob Asher, as one of the state’s national committee members, is one of three Pennsylvania super delegates. He’s also a Romney supporter. Asher told the Morning Call that, “Based upon what I have heard, I think Gov. Romney will likely win the majority of the delegates in Pennsylvania.”

The Romney campaign declined to release a list of delegates in Pennsylvania who they believe will support the former governor, but Reps. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) and Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) are both running to be national convention delegates, and both have come out in support of Romney. …

Campaign organization once again comes into play in these states with unbound delegates. Romney started collecting delegates in Pennsylvania back in 2011 when Santorum had a far smaller campaign, according to the Morning Call.

Santorum supporter State Sen. Jake Corman (R-34) said the Santorum campaign did court potential delegates to get them to commit to the former Pennsylvania senator.

“The problem is, when you’re running a low-budget campaign, you have to focus on the states in front of you, not 20 states in front of you,” Corman told Morning Call.

The Morning Call has more on Santorum’s alleged lack of organization in the state, where ground game is crucial becausedelegates are elected on the day of the primary. In a sense, candidates have to run a dual-campaign in the state, with one part focused on typical get out the vote activity and the other focused on winning support from potential delegates.

One Pennsylvania Republican operative who asked for anonymity said Romney and Ron Paul were the most organized in rallying delegates. “I’ll be perfectly honest with you,” the person said. “The Santorum campaign wasn’t involved in the delegate process whatsoever.”

G. Terry Madonna, a veteran political analyst at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, said Santorum and his campaign will attempt to spin it that, as in other states, he’s the grassroots guy the establishment is trying to stop. But in Pennsylvania, it’s a harder sell because for a long time Santorum was a leader in the state Republican Party.

“If in fact he does not win the lion’s share of delegates, it continues to show their lack of resources to organize, but you would think in Pennsylvania he wouldn’t need a lot of resources, that he would have support in county organizations,” Madonna said.

The number of delegates Santorum picks up is obviously much less critical for him at this point than simply winning a state, any state, in the hopes that it will give his fading campaign a shot of momentum. But it does go to show how unrealistic Santorum’s chances at the nomination are at this point. Struggling to win your home state, with the chance that it might not even add much to your delegate count, is a sign quitting time is getting close. The question is whether he does it before Pennsylvania, or after. And that’ll likely depend on whether he’s able to stay above water, or at least close to the surface, in the state polls during the next few weeks.


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.