Tue07162019

Last updateMon, 29 Apr 2019 1pm

Politics

Santorum Suspends Presidential Bid

default article imageRick Santorum officially dropped out of the presidential race last Tuesday in a speech in front of supporters in Pennsylvania. The Republican hopeful had spent the previous few days tending to his ailing daughter, Bella, who was hospitalized for a rare genetic disease. Bella was discharged from the hospital Monday night.

Trailing Romney in his home state of Pennsylvania, the Santorum campaign has seen little chance to be able to make up the delegate difference with Mitt Romney. Realclearpolitics. com has Santorum trailing Romney in delegates by 272-656. Santorum would need 872 delegates to win the nomination. National polls, however, show Santorum trailing by an average of 19.5 percentage points according to RealClearpolitics. com.

Santorum is most likely to still play a pivotal role in politics. According to thehill.com, Santorum has already talked to his staff about the possibility of running again in 2016. The day he dropped out of the race he spoke with James Dobson in a “Conversation on faith, family and American values.” His suspension of his campaign for 2012 may have just ended as the 2016 election run began. The Daileykos.com also believes Santorum has switched to 2016 mode “I think he has been planning his run based on 2016 all along. Santorum won two elections in a swing state.” If Santorum thought Mitt Romney would be the victor in the next presidential elections, he would not be thinking of 2016.

With Santorum officially out of the race, many presume that Romney will now easily obtain the necessary delegates to win nomination. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, the only other alternatives to Romney, have 140 and 67 delegates respectively. The Romney campaign has switched into general election mode this past week as the former governor of Massachusetts has ramped up attack on the Democratic candidate, President Obama. Dr. Michael Phillips-Anderson, assistant professor of rhetoric and political communication, believes that the transition from primary mode to general will be an easy one for Romney. “Before the succession of Republican candidates challenged Romney for the nomination, Romney spoke almost exclusively about President Obama, and so he’ll be returning to a playbook his team has already worked on.”

The Republican establishment may have a more difficult time rallying behind Romney. The drawn out nomination battle saw the Republican Party split between the candidates, mostly Santorum and Romney. Time will tell if the GOP officials who publically endorsed Santorum will now wholeheartedly switch to Romney. Phillips-Anderson added “We’re still a ways away from the Republican Party really rallying behind Romney, given the tepid endorsements of party leaders.” Many conservatives are still sensitive towards Romney for the health care law he passed in Massachusetts, which was the blueprint for President Obama’s Health insurance reform act, which is vehemently opposed by many Republican voters.

The argument also could be made that Santorum dropping out will strengthen the Republican cause for 2012. Sophomore Political Science major Kelly Craig believes that this will be beneficial for the GOP, “Santorum suspending his campaign will now allow for the party to concentrate on the general election instead of the primary battle.” This is something that many Republicans including Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus hope for. Priebus released a statement late Tuesday, “Today, Senator Santorum has made a commendable decision. He has decided to put his country, party and desire to defeat President Obama ahead of any personal ambition.” Priebus may take those words back if it does turn out Santorum will begin a 2016 campaign. Such a step will show the little confidence Santorum has in Romney beating Obama. If the social conservative backers of Santorum do not fully turn their support to Romney 2012 and stick with Santorum 2016, we can begin to see yet another split in the Republican Party, one that will most likely not have a positive impact on the GOP future.

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