A few years ago, there was a great deal of commentary that the GOP was becoming the exclusive province of southern evangelicals. And yet all the primary and caucus victories so far this year have gone to a Mormon from Massachusetts, a Catholic from Pennsylvania, and a Catholic who nominally hails from Georgia but grew up in a variety of places including Pennsylvania and . . . (gulp) France.
Gingrich seems to be fading as the alternative to Romney: That’s what happens when your major policy idea comes from an old Andy Griffith TV movie and it turns into the cold open for Saturday Night Live. Santorum is far from a perfect candidate — among other things, he misremembered the national motto while talking about American exceptionalism. But the victories in Minnesota and Missouri suggest that Iowa was not a fluke. He can identify with grassroots Republicans and he speaks to their concerns.
— John J. Pitney Jr. is Roy P. Crocker Professor of American Politics at Claremont McKenna College.