Democrats for Santorum!

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 13 2012 11:11 AM

Democrats for Santorum!

Public Policy Polling finds a 39-24 lead for Rick Santorum over Mitt Romney in the Michigan primary. Romney scored 39 percent there in 2008. He was born there. He has yet to do worse in a primary (not caucus) this year than he did four revolutions around the sun ago. What explains it?

He's only up by 12 points with actual Republican voters, but he has a 40-21 advantage with the Democrats and independents planning to vote that pushes his overall lead up to 15 points.
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This is weirder than you think, trust me. In 2006, when Bob Casey, Jr. exiled Santorum from the Senate, the guy won 41 percent of the overall vote. He held 28 percent of independents and 7 percent of Democrats. He was more or less despised by anyone who wasn't a Republican or conservative.

What a difference a Republican primary makes! Now, Santorum is the de facto blue collar candidate (please pay no attention to his policies) running against a guy who gets the vapors when he fires people, an entertainingly pretentious figure from the 1990s Republican era, and Ron Paul. So of course he's the guy who appeals to moderates.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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