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The Limits of Santorum’s Politics of Resentment

Santorum lets his resentment against Romney get the better of him (via Andrew):

If you look at where my Republican opponent has won, it’s always in and around the cities. It almost looks like a Republican versus a Democrat.

I understand why Santorum thinks this is a clever line, but it isn’t clever. What he is saying here is that Romney wins the areas that have the most people in them, which is why Romney has received over a million more votes than Santorum. He is announcing that Romney does best in the areas where the vast majority of Americans lives. Santorum is unwittingly making the argument for Romney’s electability in the fall while undermining the case for his own (if such a thing exists). This does “tell us something,” but it doesn’t tell us what Santorum wants voters to believe. Santorum is boasting that even among Republican primary voters he underperforms in those parts of the country that are essential to a general election victory. He might as well have declared, “Behold how limited my national appeal is!”

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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