Santorum For GOP
Reason #4 to Support Santorum: Prolong The Nomination Race

(Just to recap, linking to reasons #1, #2, and #3 for liberals and moderates to support Santorum)

As Americans who want to see Obama re-elected, we want the GOP nomination race to go on as long as possible.

How does this help Obama? First, the extended contest is damaging all the GOP candidates. Just over a month ago, Mitt Romney seemed like the inevitable nominee. GOP insiders were gearing up to say only good things about him until November…and then he lost several primaries and caucuses. Now there are attack ads flying at every candidate from all sides, and all of them are losing favorability. Meanwhile, their need to constantly campaign in order to win primaries gives them more opportunities for gaffes and blunders, in contrast to which President Obama looks competent and presidential. While they’re all busy bickering over issues most Americans don’t care about, Obama is busy being a leader. Is it any surprise that Obama’s job approval ratings have finally reached a net positive, after months and months of net negative ratings?

The other big reason we want this contest to go on is that it makes the candidates adopt more extreme positions, especially “moderate” Romney, in order to appease the GOP base which is far to the right of the average American. Did you watch last week’s debate? You can find it here. At 1:27:30 you can hear Rick Santorum accuse President Obama of “reaching out” to America’s enemies and being “afraid” of Iran. Then listen as Newt Gingrich says “as long as you’re America’s enemy, you’re safe” from Obama, but if you’re America’s ally Obama will throw you under the bus. Then when it’s Mitt Romney’s turn to answer (at 1:30:06), he AGREES with Gingrich and Santorum!

This is, of course, a ridiculous position. It’s nonsensical. The leader who got Bin Laden is protecting America’s enemies? What????? This line of reasoning cannot win in a general election. It is simply red meat for the far-right GOP base. And by prolonging the primary contest, we are forcing all the candidates, including the eventual nominee, to toss more red meat out there.

The problem for them is, the more red meat they toss out there for their base, the more out of touch they seem to the middle, not to mention seeming more uncivil. Would Mitt Romney have liked to run against Obama without questioning the president’s patriotism or sanity, but only his policy sense? Of course he would. He no longer has that option. Now that he is being forced to fight tooth and claw for nearly every GOP primary, Romney has had to cater more and more to the right fringe of his party and less and less to the moderate swing voter. Unfortunately for him, moderate swing voters are what win general elections.

We are winning. Simply by having these extremists in the race, we are winning. By prolonging the GOP race to the nomination, we win. The right can only lose the longer this has to play out. Santorum is a key piece in this process. Santorum is the one candidate that has done the most to roll back Romney’s “inevitability”, because Santorum keeps winning states that Romney is “supposed” to win. For this reason, he deserves our primary vote. Let’s keep Santorum surging.