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Post Partisan
Posted at 04:36 PM ET, 01/02/2012

Santorum proves durable

We asked PostOpinions columnists, bloggers and editors who would win Tuesday night’s Iowa caucuses and why. Read all the PostOpinions predictions, as well as analysis of Iowa from Richard Cohen, Kathleen Parker, Eugene Robinson, Jennifer Rubin and Marc Thiessen.


My prediction: Mitt Romney in first, with the stable, unspectacular support of party regulars that has survived every fit of anti-Romney exuberance. Rick Santorum in second, taking much of Mike Huckabee’s evangelical and social conservative support from last caucus season. Ron Paul narrowly behind in third, with a strong showing from supporters whose ardor makes them impervious to the Iowa cold.

After a less-than-overwhelming Iowa win, Romney hopes Newt Gingrich and the two Ricks (Perry and Santorum) persevere until the South Carolina primary to again split the conservative vote. Gingrich stays in through South Carolina and Florida in order to hear himself at GOP debates. Santorum’s support, though not sufficient to gain the nomination, proves durable.  The former Senator is neither a novice nor a Tea Party caricature. Displaying rare policy creativity, he talks about the need for economic mobility among the disadvantaged and defends foreign assistance as essential to American interests.

Meanwhile, Tim Pawlenty will continue to kick himself for his early departure from a winnable race.

By  |  04:36 PM ET, 01/02/2012

 
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