How Rick Santorum Gets to be President

Nate Silver does a very thorough analysis of Obama’s chances according to which political groups are targeted the president’s campaign strategy and how that strategy could affect the electoral, as distinct from the popular, vote. The whole piece deserves attention, but this passage stands out.

… What if Rick Santorum were to steal the Republican nomination away from Romney? After his sweep of the contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri on Feb. 7, he looks like a more viable candidate — one who doesn’t seem as beholden to the 1 percent as Romney does. He has been successful at making Obama’s supposed elitism a theme of his campaign. And he is more conservative on social policy than on fiscal policy, which runs against the consensus view in the Virginia and New Jersey suburbs but puts him in line with the preferences of middle-income voters in the center of the country.

Still, Santorum, who rates as a 68 on the ideology scale (the same as a less-plausible nominee, Newt Gingrich), would probably be weaker than Romney in the popular vote. According to the model, Obama would be a 77 percent favorite to win the popular vote against Santorum given 2.5 percent G.D.P. growth.

Republicans wouldn’t care about that, however, if Santorum carried Ohio and Michigan — and perhaps even his home state, Pennsylvania — places where economic concerns tend to take precedence. Under these conditions, in fact, Republicans might be able to win the Electoral College while losing the popular vote.

I am not quite ready to suggest that Santorum would be a better nominee than Romney. But the electability gap between the two is closer than it might appear because of the way Santorum’s strengths could play in the Electoral College. …Nate Silver, NYT

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Conor Friedersdorf is very persuasive in his analysis of Rick Santorum’s urge to fine-tune your sexlife and mine. He’s been watching an interview with Santorum that he finds worrying.

What separates issues that are in the proper purview of politics from matters best left to individuals? I’d hate to draw that line for everyone, but watching Rick Santorum in the much-discussed interview above, I’m confident in declaring that he’s put himself on the wrong side of it. …The Atlantic

Here’s what offends Friedersdorf (and a whole lot of us, I guarantee it):

One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea… It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be within marriage, for purposes that are, yes, conjugal… but also procreative.

That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. We take any part of that out, we diminish the act. And if you can take one part out that’s not for purposes of procreation, that’s not one of the reasons, then you diminish this very special bond between men and women, so why can’t you take other parts of that out? And all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it’s simply pleasure. And that’s certainly a part of it–and it’s an important part of it, don’t get me wrong–but there’s a lot of things we do for pleasure, and this is special, and it needs to be seen as special. Again, I know most presidents don’t talk about those things, and maybe people don’t want us to talk about those things, but I think it’s important that you are who you are. I’m not running for preacher. …The Atlantic

Yes, you are, Santorum. And worse, you are running as pornographer-in-chief. Anyone who dares to interfere in (or make hay from, whether politically or financially) others’ sexuality is, at heart, a pornographer. I don’t want you in my bedroom and, now that you’ve gone this far into others’ privacy, I’d do what’s possible to stop you from sleeping in the White House. Keep your dirty-old-man hang-ups to yourself, please.

Cross posted from Prairie Weather.

The cartoon by Randall Enos, Cagle Cartoons, is licensed to run on TMV. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Author: PRAIRIE WEATHER

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