Obama vs Santorum matchup would be good for the country, Kyle Scott, Political science professor, Duke University, Santorum message consistent with core Republican values
“Why has Obama, since taking the White House, used Justice Department Attorneys, at taxpayer expense, to avoid presenting a legitimate birth certificate and college records?”…Citizen Wells
“Why is Obama now employing private attorneys to keep his name on state ballots, despite compelling evidence that he is not a natural born citizen?…Citizen Wells
“He (Rick Santorum) had no problems with what I told him that I may be doing,”… Sheriff Joe Arpaio
By Kyle Scott, Political Science Professor at Duke University, and published in the Baltimore Sun February 14, 2012.
“An Obama-Santorum matchup would be good for the country
Obama vs. Santorum is the only contest where real issues would be the focus”
“Mitt Romney was the inevitable nominee — until he wasn’t.
In order to sustain a lead, a candidate’s message must resonate with the heart and the mind. Mr. Romney’s cakewalk to the nomination has been stymied by the inability to get anyone excited about his campaign. He has supporters but not believers.
Rick Santorum’s message resonates with voters’ hearts and minds (this week at least), because he is a true believer. He believes in his message, and his message is consistent with core Republican values. What gave Mr. Santorum the edge in Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri can give him an edge in the general election against President Barack Obama.
Mr. Santorum speaks directly to issues that are most relevant to core Republicans. He focuses on social and cultural issues that evoke emotions, and emotions move people to vote, especially those who align themselves with a particular party. This has helped him do well in primaries and caucuses when core conservatives turn out to vote in greater numbers than independents.
Conventional wisdom states a candidate must win independents to win an election. But this is only true if independents show up to vote in large numbers.
Generally, independents are less likely to vote than party-identifiers. In 2008, Mr. Obama’s message and charisma evoked an emotional response from independents. But with the president failing to meet the expectations of many whom he energized in 2008, turnout among this bloc of voters is expected to be small in 2012, which means winning independents will be less important.
When independents stay at home, getting the party base to turn out becomes more important. Mr. Santorum has been able to do this, and Mr. Romney has not.
What pushed Mr. Santorum to the front in the most recent contests — and vaulted him into a tie with Mr. Romney in at least one national poll — was his ability to stay above the bickering and negativity that took place between Mr. Romney and Newt Gingrich. Mr. Santorum is not as susceptible to personal attacks, as he seems to have a clean personal life, as far as we know. This means to attack Mr. Santorum, one must attack his policy positions. This cannot be done in the GOP nomination process because to attack Mr. Santorum’s policy positions would be to attack the Republican platform.
This wouldn’t stop the president from criticizing Mr. Santorum’s policy positions in the general election, but it also means we would see a campaign in which policy would have to be discussed in a meaningful way. Could we be so lucky?
If Mr. Gingrich wins the nomination, the Obama campaign will go after his personal life and his over-the-top persona. If Mr. Romney wins the right to go up against the president, the focus will be on his tax returns, flip-flopping and his work at Bain Capital.
But if Mr. Santorum wins the nomination, he and the president will be forced to defend their respective parties’ views of what good government entails and which policies are best for the country. In other words, an Obama-Santorum matchup will focus on things that actually matter.
An election about issues is what this country needs. It may be too much to hope for, but it is a prospect we should all get excited about. To win the GOP nomination, Mr. Santorum must find a way to keep his campaign positive and issue-focused. Not only will it help him win the nomination, but it is the right thing to do.”