Republicans weigh Santorum win, expectations

Rick Santorum’s big victory Tuesday night in Colorado is unlikely to carry him to the nomination and even less likely to translate into a general-election rebuff of President Obama, observers said Wednesday.

Santorum supporters, though, said they’re undeterred by the pragmatic evaluation of   his candidacy.

Supporters of Mitt Romney, meanwhile, said they remained confident the former Massachusetts governor ultimately will prevail, and Republicans will unite behind him in the general election.

“I always thought he would do well,” said Montrose County Commissioner Gary Ellis, who hosted Santorum at a rally Saturday. “I didn’t know he would take it entirely.”

Many analysts saw Romney taking the vote in the Colorado presidential preference poll. Colorado State University pol-itical science professor John Straayer said.

“It probably means there’s an element of the Republican Party that is trying to make fools out of political scientists, and reporters as well,” Straayer said.

Santorum’s visit to Montrose was key, said Garry Brewer, Mesa County chairman for the Romney campaign, noting that after Santorum spoke Saturday, he was on a lot of Republican minds, even as Romney spoke in Grand Junction on Monday.

“It’s like a pie in an oven,” Brewer said. “It’s got to bake a bit,” and Santorum’s was ready at the right time.

Though Ellis is on his leadership committee, there was no formal Santorum organization in western Colorado, Ellis said.

Harold Larsen, who spoke up for Santorum in a Mesa County caucus Tuesday, said he did so spontaneously.

“It was a spur-of-the-moment thing,” Larsen said.

Santorum easily carried Larsen’s caucus, 46 votes to Romney’s 27, with the other two candidates further back.

Tuesday’s win is unlikely to carry Santorum to the Oval Office, Straayer said.

“In a low-numbers game — and the turnout was smaller than it was in ‘08 — the most intense elements show up and dominate,” Straayer said.

In Santorum’s case, that reflects the interest of evangelicals and the tea party, Straayer said, noting the sharp differences with President Obama that Santorum is emphasizing won’t play as well when he’s trying to reach out to a larger pool of voters.

Romney’s political director, Rich Beeson, in a statement on the MittRomney.com website aimed at tamping down expectations for the Tuesday caucuses, pointedly looked ahead to the March 6 Super Tuesday primary, when more than 400 delegates from 10 states are at stake.

If Santorum loses momentum, “It’s not going to be from lack of trying,” Ellis said. “I think his supporters are very much energized.”

However the GOP race plays out, Brewer said he expects a united party in November.

“When it all shakes out, we’ll get together, and we’ll be singing kumbaya” in an effort to unseat Obama, Brewer said.


COMMENTS

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Santorum’s victory in the Mesa County caucuses reveals just how out-of-touch with reality local Republicans really are. Santorum’s positions on major social issues are stunning in their ignorance, arrogance and bigotry.

How clear is it that the Republican old guard’s message is our way or highway?  This whole article could have been reduced down to ‘GOP SAYS IT’S ROMNEY OR BUST’.  Well how’s that working out for them so far?  First there was their McCain go left strategy followed by the Mass moderate.  Obviously they’re stuck on stupid as a defensive strategy to protect the RINO faction that has taken over the Republican Party.  They would rather lose the election (ala McCain) than to adopt (read allow) Conservative values and principles a nose in the good ole boy tent.  And now we see pro Scott Tipton TV ads pronouncing him the savior of Obama’s renewable energy wind power program.  And where is the wind/power corridor?  Well that’s on the other side of the mountain.  Yup, that’s what happens when you vote RINO.  Your water and your jobs flow to where the money boys say they should go.  They can’t win elections but they can make water and jobs run uphill just like Obama and oh BTW, they can make money too.  Why not, they have the media and the money in the bag.  All that’s necessary is to eliminate all Conservative choices and then dangle Obama over the head of Conservatives like the sword of Damocles.  Now isn’t that the message you just read in this article?

Dennis - The simple, inescapable fact is that none of the current candidates for the Republican nomination has a ghost of a chance to win the presidency in November. Extreme conservative ideology doesn’t play very well at the national level. Most Americans are simply too smart to fall for their ridiculous positions.

Mr. Ervin,

Your proclamation sounds remarkably like liberal wishful thinking but it will take more than the failed Obama presidency to shape the world to your liking.  Our nation can no longer afford your regimes European style nanny state agenda.  That is an irrefutable fact just as it is a fact that you are making the same mistake that the Republican party has made. You underestimate the effectiveness of the TEA Party Conservative movement, and that will be your downfall.  Have you noticed the deer caught in the headlights surprised expression on the GOP old guard’s faces post caucus?  Get used to it.  That will be your mirror image after the general election.  You need a new strategy.  The “it’s over” declaration doesn’t work with true Conservatives.  Remember, we invented the work ethic.  We choose not to be dependent on the fruits of someone else’s labor so bring it and let’s get to it.  You’re not fighting RINO Republicans anymore and we just turned on the headlights.

Dennis - Your Tea Party is nothing more than warmed-over Libertarianism, which is nothing more than warmed-over “Objectivism” as postulated by cult novelist Ayn Rand. The end result of all of them is anarchy.

It’s easy to tell what a liberal is or what they are doing.  It is whatever they are accusing the Conservatives of. Example; the liberals organized the occupy movement which has shown itself to be nothing more than a violent, mob seeking the redistribution of wealth, and that movement is lead, nationwide (as it is locally) by self proclaimed anarchists. ( http://www.redpill.org ) while the Conservative TEA Parties are peaceful and their only agenda is a nation that lives within its means, something that all of us have to do in our personal lives.  Why that agenda?  Well you only have to look at Greece to understand that it is government deficit spending and huge unsustainable national debts that lead to violence and anarchy.  Your support of the occupy movement while opposing the TEA Party only points out the liberal hypocrisy and the fallacy of your conclusions.

Dennis - In the end, WE will win, and the Tea Party will be relegated to the dustbin of history. Count on it! We in the elite have rigged the game to the point where we are the only ones who CAN win. Sorry!

That’s bold talk.  Did you think that up by yourself? It sounds remarkably like a Scotty McInnis statement. You don’t suppose if the readers Googled your name and his name, they would find you had a lot in common do you?  That’s the problem with liberals and RINOs; they seldom if ever have an original thought.  The other problem with liberals and RINOs is they soon run out of other people’s thoughts and other people’s money.  And all that’s left is an attitude.

Although on opposite sides politically, Scott McInnis and I do have one thing in common - we’re both very successful people.

Well now there’s something else you and Scotty have in common.  You both claim to be self made men and that’s where the fantasy begins and reality ends. It’s sort of like owning a faux fur.  It’s reasonably functional but nothing alive was ever inside it and it won’t be missed.

Dennis - I never claimed to be a self-made man, only successful. Scott made it on his own, I was born into it.

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