The Santorum Surge, Take II

The Santorum Surge, Take II

The Santorum Surge, Take II

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 27 2012 5:19 PM

The Santorum Surge, Take II

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Before leaving the city, I dropped into a polling place downtown, one of the (I discovered too late) less-busy early voting sites in GOP primaries. Helpful citizens encouraged me to stand back behind a cone marking 100 yards from the polling place. They were serious about this. I ended up beckoning people at the door, then bringing them over the cone, as if I were about to make some drug deal instead of ask irritating questions.

What I found: Some Romney support that had been solid for months, and some finicky conservatives. (One car bore a Romney '08 bumper sticker; I suppose this could have been eBay'd a week or so ago.) Paula Logan, 65, hinted that she voted for Gingrich, the most conservative candidate as she saw him. "I would have voted for Palin," she frowned. "I wish she'd have run." If Barack Obama were re-elected? "I guess I'd move to Canada, although it wouldn't be ideal. They already have Obamacare."

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Thad Danson, a 19-year old student at Flager College (around 30 minutes down the highway), voted for Rick Santorum. He was won over by Santorum's strong debate performance. Barry Bennett, 52, showed up to deliver his mother's absentee ballot, but didn't vote himself... he was still thinking, but the debate had moved him closer to Santorum.

"I like Newt, but I dunno about what he did in Congress," he said. "Working with Pelosi in that ad -- things like that."

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.