By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Friday February 10, 2012
Rick Santorum momentum building
If Rick Santorum was ever going to reemerge as a serious presidential contender, it had to be Tuesday. And he delivered, with stunning victories in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri.
Now comes the hard part: raising enough money and building enough organization to compete effectively in the coming contests – two on Feb. 28 and 10 on Super Tuesday, March 6.
The Internet makes the first task remotely possible. Overnight, Mr. Santorum says, he raised a quarter of a million dollars.
“So we’re doing really well and we feel like going forward, we’re going to have the money we need to make the case we want to make,” the former Pennsylvania senator said on CNN Wednesday morning.
But the reality is that the wounded Mitt Romney still has a formidable war chest, outside groups raising big money to support him with ads, and a vast organization. He raised 25 times more money than Santorum in the fourth quarter of 2011. All last year, Mr. Romney raised $56 million to Santorum’s $2.1 million.
After Santorum was declared the winner of the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, more than two weeks after the fact, his fundraising picked up. In January alone, he brought in $4.2 million, according to his campaign.
Another challenge before Santorum is the continued presence of Newt Gingrich in the race. If Mr. Gingrich were to drop out, Santorum suggests that he would have a clean shot at Romney, as the sole mainstream conservative in the race.
Indeed, Gingrich was not on the ballot in Missouri’s nonbinding primary, and Santorum won a whopping 55 percent, versus 25 percent for Romney and 12 percent for Ron Paul. (Source: Alaska Dispatch News)