Game On Santorum vs. Romney

By Paul Gable

After finishing in second place by an eyelash to Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucuses, Rick Santorum told his supporters “game on.”

The game became much more interesting yesterday when Santorum received the endorsement of 170 socially conservative Christian leaders representing various politically active organizations and financiers at a meeting in Houston.

Each candidate, with the exception of Jon Huntsman, had a representative who addressed the group. Three rounds of voting followed the speeches.

The first round saw Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry receive what was described as measurable support. Romney drew very little support.

The second round of voting saw Santorum and Gingrich emerge as Perry dropped away and the third round of balloting saw Gingrich supporters move over to Perry. According to reports, Santorum received more than two-thirds of the 115 votes cast in the final round.

“We were looking for someone who has consistently stood up for socially conservative values,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, in an interview on National Public Radio.

Perkins said the group met to attempt to stop what happened in 2008 when social conservatives split among Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson and several others, allowing John McCain to win the South Carolina primary and move on to the nomination.

It is unclear what the endorsement will mean for Santorum in the January 21st S.C. primary voting. He has been polling third behind Romney and Gingrich who are in a tightening race for first place in the polls.

Perkins said the support for Santorum will manifest itself in different ways, but he expected it would help Santorum’s fundraising efforts and standing in public opinion polls.

South Carolina may well give indications of how the support helps Santorum move toward the nomination. Perkins seemed to feel the January 21st First in the South Primary would provide a glimpse of whether Romney will roll toward the nomination or the social conservative wing of the Republican party will move to block him.

“South Carolina is going to be very telling of what the future holds,” said Perkins.

Below are listed the remaining activities for the SCGOP Republican Experience weekend in Myrtle Beach today and tomorrow.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

*8:30 AM – S.C. Faith and Freedom Coalition Prayer Breakfast featuring Sen. Rick Santorum, Ralph Reed, Jay Sekulow, Chad Connelly, and author Eric Metaxas
Sheraton Convention Center
2101 N. Oak Street
Myrtle Beach, SC

12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – SCGOP Experience Booths
Celebrity Square at Broadway at the Beach
1324 Celebrity Circle
Myrtle Beach, SC

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM – U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint Book Signing
Celebrity Square at Broadway at the Beach
1324 Celebrity Circle
Myrtle Beach, SC

*2:00 PM – South Carolina Women’s Tea featuring prominent Republican Women and Spouses of the 2012 Presidential Candidates
Sheraton Convention Center
2101 N. Oak Street
Myrtle Beach, SC

*7:00 PM – 7th Congressional District Forum
Ripley’s Aquarium at Broadway at the Beach
1324 Celebrity Circle
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Monday, January 16, 2012

*8:00 AM – State of American Energy Breakfast Forum featuring South Carolina’s elected leaders
Sheraton Convention Center
2101 N. Oak Street
Myrtle Beach, SC

*12:00 PM – SCGOP Chairman’s Luncheon honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. featuring Gov. Nikki Haley, Rep. Tim Scott, and historian David Barton
Sheraton Convention Center
2101 N. Oak Street
Myrtle Beach, SC

2:00 PM – S.C. Faith and Freedom Coalition Cookies and Milk Reception
Sheraton Convention Center
2101 N. Oak Street
Myrtle Beach, SC

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM – S.C. Faith and Freedom Coalition Kickoff Event
Sheraton Convention Center
2101 N. Oak Street
Myrtle Beach, SC

*6:00 PM – SCGOP Pre-Debate Reception
Sheraton Convention Center
2101 N. Oak Street
Myrtle Beach, SC

*6:30 PM – Doors Open to Debate Hall
Sheraton Convention Center
2101 N. Oak Street
Myrtle Beach, SC

*8:00 PM – GUESTS MUST BE SEATED IN DEBATE HALL

*8:30 PM – DOORS CLOSE TO DEBATE HALL

*9:00 PM – Debate Begins

11:00 PM – Debate Ends

*11:00 PM – SCGOP Post-Debate Reception
Sheraton Convention Center
2101 N. Oak Street
Myrtle Beach, SC

 

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