1. Pete and Olson’s thought about the Santorum strategy being two decades too late with his economic/manufacturing focus is what I thought when he announced for the nomination. A rich guy asked me if he should give significant bucks to Rick’s campaign, and I said he won’t last past Iowa.

2. The reason he has, Ross Douthat is right to say, is that he’s the candidate the Republicans have who’s both most authentic and most substantial. It probably isn’t the right substance for victory this year. But still . . .

3. Of all the antiestablishment candidates who might have enduringly overachieved (beginning with Bachmann), he’s the one who actually did.

4. The religion/conscience issue that helps Santorum now in Republican primaries and especially caucuses would probably do him in in November. It’s the opinion of both establishment Republicans and Democrats that he wouldn’t have much of a chance to even come close to whipping the president. It is possible, of course, that they’re wrong. But for now Rick has fewer endorsements than even Newt. It’s worth noting that Romney is in no position to exploit Rick’s weakness of this front. One more thing: Remember that the MSM has decided, for now, to lay off Rick as the “religious bigot.” That delayed “vetting” could commence at any moment.

5. If Santorum wins in Michigan (and especially if he goes on to win in Ohio), John P. is perfectly right to say that only God knows what would happen next.

6. Some say it helps Romney that Gingrich and Santorum both stay in the race as long as possible. The opposite is true under the proportional representation regime. If both guys remain “viable,” then Romney will consistently come up well short of winning a majority of the delegates. That means, of course, that Newt and Rick should lay off each other and fire together at Romney from different positions. It’s above my pay grade to advise Mitt on how to fight that two front war.

7. If either Gingrich or Santorum drop out, studies show about half of the candidate’s support goes to Romney.

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Articles by Peter Lawler

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