Posted by | April 10, 2012 17:24 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

It is hard to think of a candidate with whom I disagree more than Senator Santorum.  In addition, I gave him little chance of advancing past the Iowa caucuses.  Still as Steve Benen notes, he performed a very impressive feat:

…despite having very little money, no staff, no organization, few endorsements, an unimpressive legislative record, and a weak message, Rick Santorum managed to beat Mitt Romney 10 times during the Republican nominating race (Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana). The total reaches 11 if you include Missouri’s pseudo primary in February.

That’s pretty amazing when you think about it. Romney had every possible advantage and looked to have the race wrapped up in January, and yet, Santorum managed to push the race into mid-April. Sure, some of this is the result of Romney being such a weak frontrunner, but Santorum nevertheless saw a lot of booms and busts (Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich), and managed to somehow hang on and give Romney a run for his money.

While I thought that Romney was a weak candidate, I did not see anyone in the field that could beat him.  Santorum made me much closer to being wrong than I expected.  Well done.

By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.