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Sunday, December 4, 2016

4 Reasons Rick Santorum Will Never Be The 2016 GOP Frontrunner, And 1 Reason He Could Be

It’s a question that may not be as absurd as it sounds: Why isn’t Rick Santorum the GOP’s 2016 frontrunner?

The Washington Examiner‘s Byron York took this provocative query and spent about 1,000 words explaining why the former senator from Pennsylvania might just be the answer for Republicans who are trying to find the “missing white voters” who stayed home in 2012, even though Santorum’s proposed tax giveaways for millionaires may have have been even larger than what Mitt Romney proposed.

There’s a simple reason Santorum — who is visiting Iowa this week and is “open” to a 2016 run — should be the frontrunner for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination: tradition.

The GOP tends to engage in a sort of primogeniture in which the runner-up from the last GOP primary, when he runs, tends to become the nominee the next time the slot is available. The last time this didn’t happen was in 2000 after Bob Dole steamrolled his competition and didn’t really have a runner-up in 1996.

Rick Santorum was the runner-up in 2012, just barely edging out Newt Gingrich for that title.

History already seems to have forgotten how close the hero of the fundamentalist movement came to defeating Mitt Romney in Michigan, the state where Romney was born, and potentially becoming the GOP nominee. Romney himself feared a “Waterloo” in Michigan.

Santorum likely would have won the state if he hadn’t told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that John F. Kennedy’s speech about the separation of church and state made him want to “throw up.” Romney only won his home state by 3 percent — and Santorum, a devout Catholic, lost the Catholic vote by 6 percent, according to exit polls.

Could this proud defender of the sanctity of marriage and all sorts of other sanctities end up pulling off the upset he teased last time around in 2016? Here’s why that’s not likely — and one reason it could happen.

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