A significant sweep

Santorum's Tuesday trifecta exposes Romney's continuing challenge

With Tuesday’s stunning election results, it will be fascinating to see exactly who decides which Republican candidate is “electable”: the voters or the media.

Truth be known, primary voters’ biggest hesitation with candidate Rick Santorum may be whether the “mainstream” media will find him acceptable.

Voters may ultimately determine they don’t give a hoot what the media think – and that conservatives are tired of being told to go sit in a corner and pipe down.

Yet, close observers have long known that if Santorum ever got traction in the race, the media would paste his picture next to “extreme” in the dictionary. After all, he’s for family values and against abortion. He holds other conservative views, which will likely make him constitutionally ineligible to hold office in the left-wing media’s view – but being ardently pro-life and a passionate advocate of the nuclear family is probably enough.

This, despite the fact that Gallup puts the pro-life and pro-choice populations at about equal. That means, of course, that half the country is “extreme,” which is one of the media’s more impressive feats of mental acrobatics.

The fact is, there is nothing significantly wrong with Rick Santorum and no reason why he shouldn’t be considered for the presidency. Three states’ voters said as much loud and clear Tuesday in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri.

You do have to wonder whether Santorum’s traditional American values are too quaint, even objectionable, to the anything-goes crowd that seeks total control over American society these days. How sad if such a candidate is deemed unfit. If so, it says more about the country than the candidate.

As for the horse race, Santorum’s surprising sweep again calls into question on-again-off-again frontrunner Mitt Romney’s ability to connect with conservatives.

Some of it may be that he’s a Mormon, and that would be pitiable and self-defeating: This election is about the country’s soul, not man’s.

Though Romney also has been bloodied by his Ultimate Fighting cage match with Newt Gingrich – while Santorum has happily soared above the fray – we’ve previously noted that Romney has lingering deficits with regard to conservative voters. His governing record is a tapestry portraying varying ideologies and occasional U-turns. And Romney is haunted by the ghost of George W. Bush – which frightens away many who’ve been traumatized by ersatz conservatives.

The bottom line is, Romney still must find a way to exhibit his conservative credentials. Unfortunately, birth certificates are easier to produce.

At the same time, Republican voters may have to decide who picks their presidential nominee – them or the liberal media.

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