Nate Silver points out, quite reasonable, that there is no obvious next step if Rick Santorum wants to return to elective office.
It is questionable, however, whether Mr. Santorum can expect the competition in 2016 or 2020 to be as soft as it was this year, with big names like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and perhaps others looming on the horizon, and as the Republicans who were elected to office in the 2010 wave begin to mature as politicians. Whomever Mr. Romney selects as his vice presidential candidate will also have a good shot at future Republican nominations.
In the 2016 scenario, if we assume a Romney loss, Santorum starts off in an enviable position. He can argue that the party "once again" blew it by nominating a more moderate candidate. And he starts off as the frontrunner in Iowa, arguing that this or that younger pretender is just another media favorite.
The Stand Your Ground controversy continues.
Most Americans think that the Supreme Court will make a political call on health care. The rewards of the Republican are pretty blatant; start yelling about the unconstitutionality of a law, it raises doubts about the constitutionality of the law.