Santorum bows, the general election begins

Gage Skidmore

Article Highlights

  • RickSantorum’s decision to suspend his campaign confirms that the GOP race is over.

    Tweet This

  • Romney needs to reach out to Santorum supporters while zeroing in on Barack Obama

    Tweet This

  • Santorum is young and has a strong base of supporters. He is, as he said, not finished yet

    Tweet This

Rick Santorum announced Tuesday that he is suspending his presidential campaign, leaving Mitt Romney to wrap up the Republican nomination to take on President Obama despite still having GOP hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul in the race.

AEI scholars say let the general election begin.

"Rick Santorum’s decision to suspend his campaign confirms that the GOP race is over. Romney has already pivoted to Barack Obama.  Campaign on," said AEI Senior Fellow Karlyn Bowman, an expert on American voting and public opinion trends. "How long it will take campaign wounds to heal remains to be seen.  Romney needs to reach out to Santorum supporters while zeroing in on Barack Obama."

But even with Santorum out, his role in the GOP is not over.

"Can Rick Santorum come back after some surprising successes in the 2012 race?  He’s young and has a strong base of supporters.  While the 2012 race is over for him, he is, as he said, not finished yet," Bowman said.

"Every time he went to a state, even if he didn't win, he built up a network," countered Henry Olsen, vice president of the American Enterprise Institute, in remarks to NPR. "Why should he have cut that short to curry favor with the big-money people lined up behind Romney, who aren't going to like him in four years anyway?" 

In an AEI analysis of polling data earlier this year, it was shown that Santorum may be the conservative choice for many Republican voters, but it's a myth to think Romney can't win them over. In one-on-one matchups taken at the time by Economist/YouGov, self-identified conservatives backed Romney over the two leading conservative alternatives: Gingrich and Santorum.

Click here to read AEI's Special Topics section on the 2012 election.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine

What's new on AEI

image The Census Bureau and Obamacare: Dumb decision? Yes. Conspiracy? No.
image A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
image Give the CBO long-range tools
image The coming collapse of India's communists
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Graduation day: How dads’ involvement impacts higher education success

Join a diverse group of panelists — including sociologists, education experts, and students — for a discussion of how public policy and culture can help families lay a firmer foundation for their children’s educational success, and of how the effects of paternal involvement vary by socioeconomic background.

Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Getting it right: A better strategy to defeat al Qaeda

This event will coincide with the release of a new report by AEI’s Mary Habeck, which analyzes why current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates and what the US can do to develop a successful strategy to defeat this enemy.

Friday, April 25, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Obamacare’s rocky start and uncertain future

During this event, experts with many different views on the ACA will offer their predictions for the future.   

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.