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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

If Santorum Does Well in Iowa, What’s His Threshold in New Hampshire?



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A surprising strategic move on Santorum’s part: capitalize on his just-beginning-to-show Iowa momentum by putting money into . . . New Hampshire?

Santorum’s in roughly the same spot in the next two states; he’s at 3.3 percent in New Hampshire and 2.7 percent in South Carolina. Still, Santorum’s agenda is staunch, outspoken social conservatism, a hawkish foreign policy, and a bit of economic populism (eliminate corporate taxes for the manufacturing sector, because it can easily relocate overseas, while the service industries can’t). Doesn’t that sound like a better fit for South Carolina than for more libertarian-minded New Hampshire? Couldn’t he get a jump on Granite State contenders Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney by effectively skipping New Hampshire and spending an extra week campaigning in South Carolina?

Of course, if Santorum can win just 8.3 percent of the vote in New Hampshire, he can come out of the state with a delegate. The winner will probably come out of the state with 4 delegates (if he wins 34 percent of the vote) or 6 delegates (if he wins 50 percent of the vote). So perhaps it’s worth some ad spending to get that 8 or 9 percent fourth- or fifth-place finish . . .


Tags: Rick Santorum


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