Rick Santorum Is Running For President Again

Break out the sweater vests, Rick Santorum is getting ready to enter the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination.

Rick Santorum Sweater Vest

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who ran a surprisingly strong, albeit ultimately doomed, campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012 is set to announce his intentions regarding the 2016 race at the end of this month, and it’s apparent that he will be announcing at that time that he’s entering the race:

Rick Santorum will announce whether he will make a run for president later this month at an event in his hometown of Butler, Pennsylvania, on May 27.

“Look, it was a great campaign last time,” he told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren on Wednesday night, referencing his 34-vote victory in the 2012 Iowa Republican caucus. “We were clearly the underdog and we are starting out as looking at this race and we would be in the same position. And so we are very comfortable there.”

Santorum said he is looking at a venue in the town approximately 35 miles north of Pittsburgh “to sort of talk about what it was like growing up there and where America needs to go in the future.”

The former Pennsylvania senator made his 2012 announcement in Somerset, Pennsylvania — an hour and a half east of Pittsburgh and near where his grandfather worked as a coal miner.

While Santorum did not specifically say that he is entering the race, NBC News has confirmed that he will indeed be entering the race on May 27th. Santorum already has the bare bones of a campaign website up and running, although the only thing it is doing right now is accepting donations and RSVP’s for the May 27th announcement, so that’s a pretty clear indication of what his intentions actually are. Additionally, as I have said before when candidates have made these announcement that they are going to be making an announcement, such as when Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee did it in April, it’s rather obvious that when a potential candidate schedules an event such as this that they are intending to enter whatever race it is they might be considering. Additionally, it hasn’t been exactly been a secret that the former Senator has been considering another White House bid. As early as December of last year, it was apparent that Santorum was gearing up for another Presidential bid. Since then, he was reportedly been spending time in Iowa, where he pulled off the surprise victory that briefly catapulted him to political stardom before he was unable to follow up that win with anything impressive in South Carolina, Nevada, or Florida, as well as other early primary states.

Ordinarily I suppose, Santorum would be considered a serious contender for the nomination. He did, after all, finish second to Mitt Romney in both the number of total votes won and the number of actual primaries or caucuses won. That becomes a somewhat less impressive accomplishment, though, once you realize that Romney  won roughly 10,000,000 votes and 37 states while Santorum received less than 4,000,000 votes and came in first in just 11 states while gaining second place in 15 others and third place in the final 17 contests. and that Newt Gingrich was only 1.2 million votes behind Santorum in popular votes.  (Source) In addition to the fact that Santorum’s claim to be the Republican “next in line” is rather dubious given the results in 2012, the biggest impediment to his claim on that status lies in the fact that his appeal is largely limited to evangelicals and social conservatives. Unlike previous Republican “heirs apparent,” there is no evidence that the Pennsylvania Senator would have much crossover appeal among other wings of the party the way candidates like Reagan, Bush (both 41 and 43), McCain, and Romney did when they ran. Given that, a Santorum 2016 campaign is likely to look very much like his 2012 campaign did, and be just as unsuccessful.

The polls seem to confirm the fact that Santorum is unlikely to be able to capitalize on his 2012 success. Nationally, his polling average of 2.0% puts him at the back of the pack along with potential but as yet undeclared candidates such as Rick Perry, John Kaisch, and Bobby Jindal. In Iowa, where Santorum spent the better part of a year campaigning in an effort that brought him his most significant victory in 2012, he is also stuck at 2.7%, at the back of the pack with a number of candidates that likely have no chance at all of breaking through. In New Hampshire, where Santorum came in fourth behind Romney, Jon Huntsman, and Ron Paul, the former Pennsylvania Senator is at the bottom of the pack with a polling average of 1.7%, which is not surprising considering that the Granite State has few of the evangelical voters that Santorum appeals to. South Carolina was more fertile territory for Santorum last time around, since he came in third behind Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, but even there is again polling at the back of the pack with a polling average of 2.0%. Finally, while Santorum came in third in Florida in 2012, he is apparently drawing so little notice in the Sunshine State now that his name isn’t even included in the polls.

What all these polls show, of course, is that whatever momentum Rick Santorum may have had in 2012, it has not followed through to the 2016 campaign cycle. In no small part, this is due to the fact of his limited appeal. Unlike the 2012 race, this time around Santorum will be competing for the evangelical and social conservative vote with a number of candidates, including Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson and, to some extent, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. In that kind of environment, it’s hard for a candidate like Santorum to make a mark, especially when he’s running against people who have been far more active in electoral politics over the past three years than he has. So, while anything’s possible, I wouldn’t expect a repeat of Santorum’s 2012 performance. But, hey, at least the sweater vest industry will benefit.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. J-Dub says:

    Please God, let him re-instate the Conservatives Unite Moneybomb. I’m tired of seeing my donations go to waste. I give and I give and it seems they just end up in a bottomless hole or down the drain.

  2. CSK says:

    Great! Now will he deliver that long-promised lecture on how “birth control isn’t okay for married Christian couples”?

  3. CSK says:

    @J-Dub:

    Oh, thanks, pal. Now I have to mop the coffee off my computer screen.

  4. DrDaveT says:

    Maybe I’m wrong, but it sure seems like the more niche-appeal extremists enter the Republican primary race, the better Jeb Bush’s chances get. His base (to the extent that he has one) isn’t going anywhere, but the spittle-flecked True Believers that the Republicans have been relying on in national elections are going to split their allegiance among the 31 flavors of loony, and be slow to shift their support when their personal loon gets punted from the clown car.

  5. Slugger says:

    I don’t understand current politics. It seems to me if I were running one of the major parties, I would be zealous about maintaining the value of the brand. Thus I would limit the entry of low chance candidates just like a McDonalds executive would limit the menu at an outlying franchise. Certainly, everyone has the right to enter into any electoral contest subject to the eligibility rules established for that office, but everyone does not have the right to the imprimatur of my party. The value of the Republican brand is not enhanced by several of the announced candidates in my opinion.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I love the smell of burning Santorum in the morning.

  7. grumpy realist says:

    AAAND it’s another one for the clown car!

    (Clown bus, at this point.)

  8. JohnMcC says:

    My first reaction was to recall that Repubs seemed to have a heck of a hard time counting ballots during the last presidential cycle. There was some partially formed and ungenerous comment forming in my old gray matter to the effect that ‘how would we know who won?’ ‘Are the same officials who apparently had dyscalculia counting the votes this year?’ And etc etc.

    So I clicked onto the wikipedia entry for results of Repub primaries in ’12 and — you know what — Ron Paul did a terrific job of nearly stealing 2d place at least in the early primaries, conventions and such. In places where he was defeated by vote count (Iowa) he managed to get almost all the delegates.

    Feeling somewhat guilty over the off-topic nature of that line of thought, let me bring my comment back around to include Mr Santorum by saying this: The social conservative wing of the Repub party had almost no candidates speaking principally for them. There was, of course, none to challenge them. But without a Huckabee or Buchanan, Santorum had them to himself. In this cycle, they are inundated with would-be champions.

    Now, where is the Ron Paul constituency going to go this cycle? Personally, I don’t see them settling on the present Senator Paul who doesn’t seem able to distinguish himself from the Neoconservative orthodoxy of the Repub party. Proposals to ‘audit the Fed’ don’t seem to go far in Congress. There is some tired old talk about flat-tax that gets a ‘yeah, yeah, I’m for that too.’ But a real movement within the party that actually got more support than the SoCons has nobody. Which is pretty strange because they were a very damn effective organization only about three years ago.

    Still a very off-topic comment. But Rick Santorum is really a boring little man whereas Ron Paul is kind of interesting. I couldn’t help myself.

  9. Gustopher says:

    it’s hard for a candidate like Santorum to make a mark

    But when Santorum Does make a mark, you should pretreat your sheets before putting them in the washing machine.

  10. Tillman says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Okay, that made me gag. I know what santorum is.

    @Slugger: Citizens United kind of dealt the mortal blow to the slowly-decaying institution of party control. If a candidate has enough groundswell, they can just file some trivial paperwork and have a money-making machine all set up.

  11. Tillman says:
  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tillman: My job is done here.

  13. Gustopher says:

    Ordinarily I suppose, Santorum would be considered a serious contender for the nomination. He did, after all, finish second to Mitt Romney in both the number of total votes won and the number of actual primaries or caucuses won.

    His second place finish was mostly due to being unappealing. Each and every one of the other non-Romney non-Paul candidates had a brief period of front-runner status and attention, from Michelle Bachman to Herman Cain — even Newt had his moment in the sun. Santorum was dead last. There was no other non-Romney to replace him, so he got the votes for the rest of the campaign.

    He was the man people went to when all the other non-Romneys were gone. They didn’t want to turn to Santorum, but it was either him or Romney, so in the end they went with Romney.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tillman: Something smells funny about that clip.

  15. Scott says:

    The trouble with people like Santorum is that he has to run. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to remain visible and employed. It is a never ending cycle. If he doesn’t keep in the public eye there will be no money coming in and he would have to get make money the old fashioned way, i.e., earn it. Can’t have that.

  16. JohnMcC says:

    @Gustopher: Oh BOY! I have been just waiting for some controversy that I could wind up to 700 comments! Did Newt Gingrich threaten Rick Santorum for 2d place in ’12? Perfect!

    Actually, my friend, if you’re the sort of junkie that I guess most of us here are, you’ll be amazed at how well Ron Paul did (as I was — see the absurdly long comment above) and be reminded of how the non-Romney clowns came in like lions and slunk away like lambs. Check it out at wikipedia:
    Results of the Republican Party presidential primaries 2012.

    (Never can make those links work for wikipedia.)

  17. al-Ameda says:

    Finally, it’s coming into focus:

    Mike Huckabee will go after the upbeat, angry and resentful base Republican Christian vote, while Rick Santorum goes after the relentlessly dour, angry and resentful base Republican Catholic vote.

  18. CSK says:

    @Scott:

    In April 2013 Santorum became the CEO of Echolight Studios, a producer and distributor of Christian films based in Texas. He’s still CEO, as far as I know.

    That, apparently, is his day job. I don’t know if he has to quit it to run.

  19. CSK says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Fully one-third of the people who voted for Santorum in the Mississippi and Alabama primaries (both of which he won) assumed he was a fundamentalist Protestant.

  20. al-Ameda says:

    @CSK:

    Fully one-third of the people who voted for Santorum in the Mississippi and Alabama primaries (both of which he won) assumed he was a fundamentalist Protestant.

    Really? I didn’t know that.
    But it certainly makes sense – in style and in disposition Santorum would appear to appeal to the fundamentalist Christian voter.

  21. CSK says:

    @al-Ameda:

    One wonders how many of them were chagrined to discover that he’s a Papist.

  22. Pinky says:

    chutzpah: the act of proclaiming oneself more civil and intelligent than one’s opponents while making ejaculate jokes about them

  23. gVOR08 says:

    According to WAPO, Foster Friess is back. Apparently every serious GOP billionaire has his own pet Prez candidate. And you expect me to worry about the Clinton Foundation?

  24. Scott says:

    @CSK: Well, good for him. I have more respect for ex-politicians if they go out and do something that is more than a pundit/think tank gig.

  25. gVOR08 says:

    @Pinky: Sorry Pinks, but laughing and pointing is the only appropriate response to these people. Santorum wants respect, maybe he should behave respectably.

  26. gVOR08 says:

    @Scott: To me it smells like Newt Gingrich, who basically made himself a brand, Newt Gingrich Productions, to sell books, videos, anything for a buck. Apparently Callista is an expensive hobby.

  27. PJ says:

    Frothy.

  28. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Pinky:

    Gosh, did that happen? And on the internet of all places? What do you think this means for our society’s future, when anonymous individuals make crude jokes? I hope the children will be ok.

    Do you need to borrow this?

    Also, funny enough, when I scan these comments I don’t see a commentor who is making an ejaculate joke also claiming that they are either more intelligent or more civil than Santorum.

    But as someone who is always bringing up the inconsistencies of authors and commentors, you would never broadly accuse a group of people of doing something they haven’t actually done, would you? I mean, if so…that would…why…that would almost make you a hypocrite.

    I shudder at the thought. I change my mind–you can’t borrow my fainting couch. I think I need it for myself after this shocking news.

  29. J-Dub says:

    @Pinky:

    When there is a successful scheme to move the term “Santorum” to the top of Google’s search engine to be synonymous with a “frothy mixture” of ejaculate and, well, other things and then you proceed to name your fundraising drive C.U.M, then yes, you deserve to be mocked often and loudly because you are an idiot.

  30. humanoid.panda says:

    @al-Ameda:

    But it certainly makes sense – in style and in disposition Santorum would appear to appeal to the fundamentalist Christian voter.

    I think Bobby Jindal calls himself an evangelical catholic, and that’s what Santorum is: theologically Catholic, but with the cultural and policy sensitivities of a Southern Baptist. One could say this is the worst of both worlds..

  31. Scott says:

    @gVOR08: Apparently, Echolight is legit, producing movies targeted for the Christian community, a perfectly respectable thing to do.

  32. humanoid.panda says:

    @Pinky:

    chutzpah: the act of proclaiming oneself more civil and intelligent than one’s opponents while making ejaculate jokes about them

    Person A, a senator,argues that the group to which Person B are the moral equivalent of dog f*kers.
    Person B, a sex columnist, makes a crude anal sex joke in reaction.

    According to our guardians of civility, person A is being civil as he is not using cuss words, and is talking in the abstract. Person B is being uncivil, as he is using cuss words and is talking about an individual .

    This is why calls for civility are always,ALWAYS, covering up either sloppy thinking or moral monstrosity.

  33. humanoid.panda says:

    Paul Krugman is often pounds the drum on this: his opponents have predicted austerity politics will produce growth. He predicted they won’t. When it became clear he was right and they were wrong, they started focusing on the fact that he is being rude,crude and dismissive to his opponents. F*k that, I say.

  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Pinky: I for one never made any such claim. I don’t have to.

  35. Argon says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Maybe I’m wrong, but it sure seems like the more niche-appeal extremists enter the Republican primary race, the better Jeb Bush’s chances get.

    …but kills him in the general election because he can’t move back to center. He’s tarnished by association, not just with his brother but with the rest of the clown car.

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Pinky: Oh, and for the record, the burning Santorum I was referring to? How do you know I was not talking about Rick himself? Or his newest campaign? Seems to me your mind made the leap of thought to the other.

    All I can say is, if you find the gutter so offensive, maybe you should crawl out of it.

  37. J-Dub says:

    @Argon:

    And then the people who supported the fringe candidates don’t show up to vote for the RINO that just got nominated.

  38. Gustopher says:

    @Pinky:

    chutzpah: the act of proclaiming oneself more civil and intelligent than one’s opponents while making ejaculate jokes about them

    Actually, there is no ejaculate in santomum — it is a frothy mixture of non-ejaculatory substances which can be produced the unfortunate occaissional byproduct of safer anal sex.

  39. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    It appears you may have forgotten how this all started for Senator Man on Dog. It’s arguable that Santorum has deserved all the mockery and derision sent his way.

    …and panda already made this point. Oh well, that’s what happens when I just skim the comments.

  40. Pinky says:

    @Gustopher: Hey, great, I have a lot more respect for your politics now that know that.

  41. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Pinky:

    He’s just making sure you are being accurate. Isn’t that your MO, usually?

  42. Pinky says:

    @Neil Hudelson: You’re on this site about 1% as much as I am, but you always ask me about my MO. What’s with that?

  43. Tillman says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Person A, a senator, argues that the group to which Person B are the moral equivalent of dog f**kers in an interview with the AP.
    Person B, a sex columnist, makes a crude anal sex joke in reaction, and then organizes an effort to get Person A’s name listed at the top of the world’s most-used search engine’s results as that crude anal sex joke.

    Fixed that for you.

    This is why calls for civility are always, ALWAYS, covering up either sloppy thinking or moral monstrosity.

    We’re certain of that, right? Every call for civility ever made from the beginning of time has been made as cover for poor reasoning and horrific crimes? ’cause you seem pretty certain, what with repeating “always” in ALL CAPS too.

  44. humanoid.panda says:

    @Tillman: That was quite a bit of an exaggeration, I confess. Fix that “calls for civility are much, much more often than not..”

  45. Tillman says:

    @Gustopher: Yeah, I had to check again, I could’ve sworn semen was involved somewhere.

    @humanoid.panda: Oh come on, man, you’re supposed to get in a huff because I challenged your wording, not be humble and courteous about it! 🙂

  46. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Pinky:

    You know you can read articles and comments without commenting yourself, right? Or are you under the impression that:
    a. Commentors make up the majority of the readership, and
    b. Rate of commenting equals depth of articles read?

    But hey! If you want to get in a pissing contest about who shows their face here more, by all means I concede that you win. Here is a cookie.

  47. J-Dub says:

    Here is a cookie

    I wouldn’t eat that Pinky, Neil might have donated to Santorum today.

  48. michael reynolds says:

    @Pinky:

    I think you’d have better grounds for objecting had your party not spent the last two decades making cigar jokes.

    Tell me, which bothers you more, “Santorum” or, “Feminazi?”

  49. grumpy realist says:

    I think this cartoon posted on Balloon Juice sums up the situation perfectly….

    (Read the posting. It’s got some good links as well.)

  50. Pinky says:

    @Neil Hudelson: I don’t know, I could be misreading you. You just seem to give off a weird vibe like I’ve violated your idea of the pecking order. My fault if I’m reading you wrong.

  51. grumpy realist says:

    And if you drill down into the comments over at Balloon Juice, you’ll see predictions that Mitt Romney will jump back in the race early 2016.

  52. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: But there was a cigar. I would have been happy if I’d never heard about it, but it existed, because of a sexually creepy guy. There was no Santorum thing until a sexually creepy guy made it up. He seems to have made it up because Santorum wasn’t sexually creepy. In other words, you’re ok with it because both sides do it, even though in the example you chose, only one side actually did the original act. You don’t want to talk about the thing that happened, and want to talk about the thing that didn’t.

  53. Kylopod says:

    The next-in-line “rule” for GOP primaries hasn’t always applied. It didn’t in 2000. The runner-up from ’96 was Pat Buchanan, another hardcore so-con whom the party establishment had little interest in. Instead they went with W., who had never run for president before and whose only prominence in the field came from being the son of the most recent GOP president. If history repeats itself, that bodes well for Jeb.

  54. michael reynolds says:

    @Pinky:

    The issue is crudeness, no? In which case the matter of whether or not there’d been a cigar is irrelevant. Right?

    Right.

    Because if the issue is not the general topic of crudeness, then what is it? Political nastiness? You can’t possibly imagine that anyone’s going to tolerate a Republican delivering a lecture on political nastiness. You can’t be that un self-aware.

  55. Pinky says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Hey, I just thought of something funny. Your MO is asking about my MO. And that’s a bad M – (shut your mouth!) I’m just talking about Neil. (I can dig it.)

  56. J-Dub says:

    Ooh, I want an MO! Do I comment enough to have an MO? Can I be “snarky guy”?

  57. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: If we’re talking about crudeness, I think it’s relevant that in the examples you chose, one side was repeating a crude thing that a Democrat did, and the other side made up something about a Republican. If we’re talking nastiness, well then, again, yeah, same thing. But in the big picture, I think that the Republicans are about 20% too nasty, and the Democrats something like 200%.

  58. C. Clavin says:

    That sweater vest is frothy

  59. michael reynolds says:

    @Pinky:

    You have a very distorted view of recent history.

  60. DrDaveT says:

    @J-Dub:

    Ooh, I want an MO!

    My MO is to post an overthought comment long after everyone else has moved on to other threads.

  61. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:

    and the other side made up something about a Republican

    who had compared that person’s love life to bestiality. You left that rather important bit out. It was mentioned several times that Santorum equated homosexuality to bestiality on a regular basis. I guess that is ok in your book because Santorum really does think that homosexuals are no better than dog fu<kers, so that's not crude at all.

  62. Paul Hooson says:

    Only if you think that pornography or homosexuals are our greatest problems, would anyone think that this failed and flawed politician Rick Santorum is the second coming of American politics….Nothing to see here folks, move on…

  63. wr says:

    @Pinky: “n the examples you chose, one side was repeating a crude thing that a Democrat did, and the other side made up something about a Republican.”

    It was a consensual sex act between willing adults. That you find it so “crude” and troubling says a lot more about you than about either of the parties involved.

  64. Pinky says:

    @wr: I just upclicked you for that. I really hope it does say something about me.

  65. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:
    What do you hope it says about you? That you don’t like improvised sex toys?