A day before the Iowa caucuses, The Atlantic‘s Molly Ball covers the “Santorum surge,” writing of former Sen. Rick Santorum:
Santorum, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul appear locked in a tight battle for the top spot on Tuesday. Late polling shows each hovering above 20 percent, within the margin of error. Assuming it’s close, it probably matters little who places where, though one would always rather be in first than in third. But for Santorum, who lacks both Romney’s air of political privilege and Paul’s cultlike following, the attention and validation are especially sweet. They may even be too sweet; his confidence could easily become hubris. Already, he’s talking a big game about New Hampshire, where a recently released poll showed him at 3 percent.
Santorum is one of the strongest opponents of LGBT equality in the Republican field, having recently told NBC’s Chuck Todd that he believes current same-sex couples who are legally married would have their marriages declared “invalid” if a federal marriage amendment that he supports were to be added to the U.S. Constitution.
Of Santorum’s uptick in the polls and what a win would mean for LGBT equality, Log Cabin Republicans executive director R. Clarke Cooper tells Metro Weekly, “Rick Santorum is not expected to win the Iowa caucus. Further, his views on LGBT Americans are so out of step with most voters that FOX News asked Santorum today if he was out of touch when it came to matters of one’s sexual orientation and would such views limit his success.”
He added, “Issues that unite voters around a candidate and win a general election are the bread and butter variety relating to economic growth and job creation. Divisive tactics on social issues have a diminishing return and no longer work for the long game.”
And GOProud chief strategist Christopher Barron told Metro Weekly, “A Santorum win means nothing for ‘LGBT equality.’ A Santorum win would be, however, great news for Mitt Romney.”
Explaining, he noted, “Santorum has no money and no organization outside of Iowa and won’t even appear on the ballot in several states. A win by Santorum will expedite Mitt Romney’s path to the nomination, which is good news for Americans — gay and straight — living in the failed Obama economy and bad news for this President’s re-election chances.”
Look for more coverage of the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday, Jan. 3, at Metro Weekly.