Romney Hopes To Hold Off Rising Santorum


GOP hopeful Rick Santorum is hoping to capitalize on his surge in the polls--by targeting Mitt Romney in his home state.

Santorum is using the state as a platform to launch an attack on what he says is Romney's lack of consistency.

"Governor Romney supported the bailout of Wall Street and did not support the bailout of Detroit," Santorum charged, though he added that the government should not be involved in bailouts "period."

Romney, who was raised in Michigan, has slipped behind Santorum both in statewide polls and multiple national ones. No stranger to a competitor's surge--several other candidates have surged dramatically, only to plummet weeks later--the Romney campaign is hoping to weather the meteoric Santorum rise the same way it did Bachmann, Perry, Cain and Gingrich--twice--before him.

Santorum, riding the wave of the GOP's revival of the culture wars, may be peaking at the right time. A social conservative, an election focusing on religious freedom, contraceptives and gay marriage could likely favor him over a candidate like Romney, who is still struggling to convince voters of his conservative credentials.

A loss in Michigan, where his father was once governor, could be humiliating for Romney, and would likely highlight his continuing difficulties connecting with GOP voters.

Newt Gingrich, for his part, predicts a revival of his own candidacy once Southern states begin voting in early March. Though several conservatives have called for him to drop out, in order to shore up more votes for an ascending Santorum, Gingrich has steadfastly continued on.

Ron Paul is also marching forward, focusing on collecting delegates as he goes. In unbound states, which Colorado is, delegates can choose whatever candidate they want at the convention, regardless of who won the state. Paul is counting on those delegates to come out for him come convention.

CBS cites Colorado as an example of what Paul hopes to do at the convention: despite finishing last in the state's caucus, Paul says 50 percent of the delegates slated to attend the convention are his supporters. He is pinning his presidential hopes on those candidates, as well as those from other unbound states, coming out for him at the GOP convention.

The next two contests, Michigan and Arizona, will be held February 28.

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