Santorum’s surge: an Iowa miracle?

He’s the latest GOP contender to have caught the fancy of caucus-goers — but his timing may be much better than the others.

Details:

Rick Santorum is the latest Republican candidate for president to gain momentum, as two other contenders, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, are either solidifying support or losing it rapidly.

ust five days before Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses, former Pennsylvania senator Santorum is surging in the polls behind the support of caucus participants who identify themselves as born-again Christians or evangelical, according to a new CNN/Time Magazine/ORC poll.

Former Massachusetts governor Romney — who has spent relatively little time in Iowa — now stands in first place there with 25%, according to the poll. He also holds a big lead in New Hampshire, where voters will hold its primary Jan. 10.

In Iowa, Romney is followed by Rep. Ron Paul at 22%, and Santorum at 16%, which is three times more support than last month. Former House speaker Gingrich, who was polling at 33% in Iowa last month, is fading fast and was down to 14%, according to the poll.

The CNN/Time Magazine/ORC poll only surveyed registered Republican voters. A poll published Tuesday by Public Policy Polling included independents and Democrats — many who are expected to re-register as Republicans for the Iowa caucuses — showed Paul holding a slight lead over Romney.

It is Santorum, who has spent the most time in Iowa of any candidate, who is the latest conservative candidate to move up in the Iowa polls.

Read more.

  • http://ad-orientem.blogspot.com Ad Orientem

    The only difference between Rick Santorum and Obama is which aspects of our lives he thinks the government should dictate. Given a choice between a big government statist and a big government statist, I think I will just pass.

    Ron Paul is the ONLY constitutional conservative running for president. He is not the perfect candidate. But he is by far the best.

  • http://ad-orientem.blogspot.com Ad Orientem

    I will add a caveat to my previous. Santorum is on the right side of the abortion issue, which is very important. But all of the GOP candidates are pro-life. So yea. He is a big government statist and a supporter of the Empire. Enough with all of that. No more endless wars. This country and its government needs to learn to mind its own bleeping business.

  • Rudy

    God bless America!

    The Republican primaries campaign has been Wheel of Fortune; All candidates have had their moment of popularity, they keep going up and down the wheel. I still think Ron Paul has no chance of winning either the primaries or if he is lucky, the general presidential election. But, who knows, it’s a Wheel of Fortune.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Santurum is a good man. But he will not be the Republican candidate. I hope he gets a position in the new administration.

  • http://ad-orientem.blogspot.com Ad Orientem

    US Ambassador to the Holy See.

  • Peregrinus

    Santorum will never be president of the United States.

    Many evangelical and deeply conservative voters are just looking for anyone who isn’t Romney.

    Ron Paul may win the Iowa caucus (but I don’t think he really has much of a chance) but he will never be the Republican candidate. He has had a small group of very dedicated followers who have consistently supported him, but consistently failed to expand their numbers to make him truly significant. The issue of his newsletters demonstrate that either 1.) He is telling the truth and allowed a newsletter to be published under his name with his approval but was too careless to actually be aware of what was in it, 2.) Has a number of fringe beliefs about the UN trying to take over the world and some interesting beliefs also about race, or 3.) While he does not actually believe anything from #2, he is willing to take political advantage of those who do by pretending to hold those beliefs. But basically the establishment hates him and he doesn’t have the broad appeal required.

    Romney will be the GOP candidate.

  • ron chandonia

    The idea that government should just “mind its own business” (i.e., the libertarian notion) is about as remote from Catholic social teaching as you can get. The Church has long (since Constantine’s day, frankly) seen government as a necessary agent of the common good. As the Compendium explains:

    The individual person, the family or intermediate groups are not able to achieve their full development by themselves for living a truly human life. Hence the necessity of political institutions, the purpose of which is to make available to persons the necessary material, cultural, moral and spiritual goods.

    To his credit, Rick Santorum has not joined other right-leaning Catholic politicians in ignoring this principle. In fact, he wrote a whole book offering his own conservative take on Catholic social teaching: It Takes a Family (2005). However inadequate that book may be, it indicates a serious willingness on his part to engage both Church teachings and the views of those (Catholics and others) who disagree with him. I doubt he’ll get the GOP nomination, but I certainly wish him well.

  • Will

    “The idea that government should just “mind its own business” (i.e., the libertarian notion) is about as remote from Catholic social teaching as you can get. The Church has long (since Constantine’s day, frankly) seen government as a necessary agent of the common good. As the Compendium explains:

    The individual person, the family or intermediate groups are not able to achieve their full development by themselves for living a truly human life. Hence the necessity of political institutions, the purpose of which is to make available to persons the necessary material, cultural, moral and spiritual goods.”

    I agree with this. The USA must:

    (1) Support education, infrastructure, and research and development.

    (2) Figure out what programs do and do not work. Get rid of what does not work. This does not mean abandoning people who need help or destroying the environment – it means exactly the opposite by providing programs that work.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Oh I was thinking a more significant office than that. I’m hoping for Attorney General. A staunch pro-lifer as AG would drive the Liberals bonkers. :D

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    I think you blur the line between Conservatives and Libertarians.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    And Conservatives have supported those things. Just look at the Bush administration. You confuse Conservtives and Libertarians.

  • Deacon Greg Kandra

    I was thinking Chris Christie for AG, myself. Unless he’s VP.

    Dcn. G.

  • Will

    Excuse me if I did not make myself clear. Many conservatives do not support environmental protection, affordable healthcare, or continued Social Security and Medicare.

  • http://ad-orientem.blogspot.com Ad Orientem

    AG? No. There are lots of pro-life people out there who are qualified. Santorum is a social con / theocrat. Might as well appoint Dobson to the job. I don’t want him anywhere near an office like that. This country has enough (too many) people trying to legislate religious values.

  • http://ad-orientem.blogspot.com Ad Orientem

    First, I am not Catholic (anymore). I am Eastern Orthodox and I can state with some powerful evidence that it is dangerous when you start mixing politics and religion. Secondly this is not a Roman Catholic country. It is majority Protestant. If you want a theocracy fine. But just understand that it won’t be based on the Catechism of the Roman Church. It will be based on the Bible according to the Rev. James Dobson and company. In other words it will be a Protestant Evangelical theocracy, not a Catholic one. And third the only way to advance the social conservative (theo-con) agenda is to ignore the US Constitution. Not that this has ever caused any angst among theo-cons. They have been doing it for years with the same enthusiasm as liberals.

  • RomCath

    Maybe if the left were concerned with saving the lives of the unborn the right would get concerned about saving trees.

  • naturgesetz

    Saying that “The government should mind its own business,” is not necessarily contrary to Catholic political and social teaching. The government’s “own business” is to promote the common good. In a constitutional democratic republic, it must do so in ways that are consistent with the constitution. But none of this means that the statemay ignore the basic needs of the people. In the United States, of course, we are blessed to have state governments which may (under the 10th Amendment) legitimately provide for the basic needs of their people without needing permission from the federal government to do so.

  • Barbara P

    what is the “right’s” solution to the problem of unaffordable health care? what message does the “right” have for the pregnant woman without health care who may be reading this right now?

  • Will

    It is not just about saving trees – it is about quality of life. Our quality of life is affected if our environment is degraded. We all need clean air and clean water. The more diversity there is in nature, the better our lives. Nature is God’s gift to us. We do not own the planet; we are caretakers. This should not be a right or left issue.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    That’s not true. It depends on a cost benefit analysis. Democrats want everything and not everything is affordable. Certainly you can go too far in environmentalism. When is the air clean enough? As to medicare and social security, I haven’t heard the Republicans wanting to kill it. They want to modernize them like they have in Chile. Look it up.

  • Mark

    Will, I think you have bought into the kool aid when you say that conservatives do not support:

    environmental protection. The left believes that supporting the environment comes with massive government agencies and handouts to their political cronies. They believe in programs like cap and trade which along with the massive regulations and environmental whacko left wing protections will end even more jobs and raise prices on about everthing we purchase in the USA. Conservatives believe that there is a balance between the environment and the economy and that this balance is essential to the people of the USA. Democrats could care less if we have to pay 10$ a gallon for gas and all the high prices that go with high energy costs as long as they serve the far left wing greenies of their party. So it is a lie to say one does not care.

    Affordable Healthcare. Again, you are wrong. The Republicans during the healthcare debate offered a huge number of amendments and the democrats rejected all of them. By taking 10 or so of those amendments, the cost of healthcare would have gone down. The Democrat Obamacare is already incresing the price of healthcare and this will explode when it goes into full force. If you want to talk about affordable healthcare, it is the democratic program of medicare/medicaid and all the parts attached to it which are becoming the major problem in the entire budget and will explode when the boomers hit. Ryan offered a plan which many see as a first step solution and the democrats said he was shoving grandma in her wheel chair over the cliff.

    continued social security and medicare. Democrats know that these programs need massive changes if they will survive. They refuse to talk about the changes as part of any move to stop the explosion of debt. They formed commissions twice to deal with the debt and refuse to put either on the table. If they blow up, it is the democrats who will blow them up.

  • Mark

    Good response naturgesetz. So many on the left see everything as something the federal government should be doing and they do nothing well. As often stated in the Republican debates, we would be better off with the money in the states and have the states try different things to meet their unique needs and nature and share what works.

  • Will

    I find your kool aid comment offensive. Your comments illustrate what is wrong with the US political system today.

    In an article I read recently, the writer said to envision politicians on a football field. It used to be that most were gathered near the fifty-yard line. Now everybody is in one end zone or the other.

    Sorry, but I am not in agreement with your conclusions about who is at fault (both parties are) or how to solve the problems.

  • Mark

    No, Ad Orientem, we have too many people inventing words not in the constitution to allow the legal slaughter of innocent babies and other distortions. Those rulings have forced those with religious views that the constitution was supposed to protect from the government to become active. Lets separate government from having any role in forcing perversions on our country by lies about what is in the actual text of the Constitution as interpretted for most of our history. There is the amendment process in place if changes need to be made.

  • Mark

    Will, when you say both parties are at fault, that is not what your wrote “Many conservatives do not support environmental protection, affordable healthcare, or continued Social Security and Medicare.”

    When you say conservatives, you are in essence saying the Republican Party and from this you seem to be saying something as I laid out that is not true.

  • Oregon Catholic

    There are some things the federal gov. should mandate and not leave to individual states and one of those is healthcare. I believe basic healthcare is a right of every citizen, not just from a moral standpoint but also based on the fact that much of the medical and scientific research in this country is funded in large part by the govt. and citizens deserve a return on investment. If the founders of our country could have conceived of the medical system we have today I think it would have been listed as one of our basic human rights.

    Let me also illustrate a practical example of why healthcare shouldn’t be left to the states alone. About 15 years ago I worked on a state coalition to improve HMO diabetes care. This was about the time that quality healthcare indicators were first coming into use. There were a number of simple and relatively inexpensive strategies to improve diabetic health that were not being routinely implemented. The reason was that none of the HMOs wanted to be out in front in diabetic care even though it reduced expensive complications. Why? Because none of the HMOs wanted the expensive diabetics on their rolls and they knew that if they offered the best services the diabetics would flock to them. The way we got the HMOs to implement the quality standards was to get them all to agree to adopt them at the same time. That way no one HMO got inundated with diabetics. The same thing applies to states. No state will want to be out front in providing the best healthcare if the sickest people will want to flock there, so good care won’t happen at the state level. It has to be a national program that sees to it that basic healthcare is available to all.

    This is one of the reasons I am an Independent, because there is no one political party that fits me. I am beyond fed up with our 2 party system that puts political ideology ahead of good ideas and doing the right thing.

  • Will

    I stand by my statements. Both sides are too extreme at times. Many conservatives do not support environmental protection – most argue there is too much environmental protection already. Some want to significantly reduce, or even eliminate, the EPA. Some have proposed elimination of Medicare and replacing it with vouchers.

    This is based on what congressman, senators, and presidential candidates have said.

  • http://ad-orientem.blogspot.com Ad Orientem

    I believe basic healthcare is a right of every citizen, not just from a moral standpoint but also based on the fact that much of the medical and scientific research in this country is funded in large part by the govt. and citizens deserve a return on investment.

    Please cite where in the Constitution there is a “right” to health care? Please where the Federal Gov’t has the authority to issue “mandates” to the state? And please cite where the authority comes from to fund medical research with tax payers money?

    We either are a nation governed by the rule of law, or the rule of the mob. Too many both on the left and right favor the latter.

  • Oregon Catholic

    I didn’t say it was a right, I said it should be and gave several reasons why I think it needs to be a federal issue. Healthcare today ( not 200+ yrs ago) is a basic issue of morals and fairness for all in the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No one should be deprived of BASIC healthcare (before they have an emergency) because they can’t pay, and sick people in MS should have access to the same level and quality of healthcare as those in FL or CA because we are all equal citizens of this United States.

    Imagine yourself explaining to Jesus why some families can’t see a doctor on an as-needed basis and get treatment for illness before they are in crisis because the parents are under-employed and can’t afford private insurance. Explain to HIM why you think that’s just A-OK because “that’s what the Constitution says” while you have full coverage for your own family because you have been fortunate enough to work for an employer with good benefits that hasn’t laid you off or cut your hours below what you need to get benefits. Don’t forget that everything you have is a gift of God’s grace. You really don’t own that money you make – you are God’s steward of it – and you will be called to account for it.

  • naturgesetz

    À propos healthcare as a right, I’d say that the federal Constitution does not establish it as a legal right. But I think that morally it is a right.

    The Terry Schiavo case became a cause célèbre because pro-lifers recognized that Terri’s right to life included a right to ordinary health care, including nutrition and hydration. And if we recognize this as her right, it can only be because it is a universal human right, since the law did not explicitly confer it.

    Of course, over the course of history, what constitutes ordinary measures has changed. In primitive cultures there might have been certain plant products that were used for certain illnesses or injuries, possibly with a “medicine man” to select and administer them. But over the centuries, medicine has progressed. Moral theology recognizes that there can be a distinction between ordinary measure and extraordinary one, but ordinary measures are required. Moral theology also teaches that there is an obligation not only to preserve life, but as a part of that obligation, an obligation to maintain health.

    It seems to me that when the cost of some ordinary forms of health care is beyond the reach of many people unless they have insurance coverage, the circumstances make it a moral right for people to be provided for; and if the private sector is not delivering ordinary care to all, then government — at some level, not necessarily federal — should step in and devise some sort of “safety net.” And it seems to me that voters ought, morally, to see the provision of ordinary health care to all as something to be supported.


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