Crystal Wright

Rick Santorum won the Louisiana primary but is looking zanier by the day, as he can’t control the stream of consciousness erupting from his mouth. The killing of Treyvon Martin dominated news coverage last week leading up to the Louisiana primary, relegating Santorum’s win to its rightful place of a footnote in Saturday’s news cycle. Only 20 delegates were awarded proportionally anyway in the contest. While Santorum boasted his Louisiana win was a vindication of his campaign, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Rick Santorum has become a polarizing candidate, reinforcing negative perceptions the Republican Party is obsessed with bedroom issues such as abortion and ultrasounds over pocket book issues like creating jobs and gas prices. Santorum won Louisiana like the other Bible belt primaries he won in Alabama and Mississippi because Louisiana is saturated with evangelical Christians, who respond to his message of allowing one’s religious beliefs to drive policy.

Louisiana wasn’t a game changer because Santorum can't win for two reasons. First, Math matters and he’s trailing Mitt badly in the delegate count, (Romney has more than half the number of delegates needed to get secure the magic number of 1144) and second, Santorum is only appealing to a small audience of evangelical Christians. The combined formula will not hand him the nomination in Tampa. As G. Terry Madonna, a Santorum observer described him, “he is in a box that he doesn’t seem to be able to get out of because he keeps narrowing his message and going back to his demographic, so he is limited.”

In contrast Romney continues to win in swing states like Florida, Michigan, Ohio and most recently Illinois demonstrate he can win across all groups: men, women, Tea Party conservatives, Catholics, and different incomes. True, Romney hasn’t been able to woo evangelicals and win in the deep south but curiously an AP exit poll found most voters believe Romney would be a stronger candidate against Obama than Santorum. Exit polls in other southern states also revealed electability was an important factor to voters. I believe many evangelicals continue to vote for Santorum because it’s like going to a confessional it makes them feel good but they know in the end voting for Rick won’t win him the nomination. If Romney gets the nomination, in the end, evangelicals will support him.

Crystal Wright

Crystal Wright is author of the newly released book Con Job: How Democrats Gave Us Crime, Sanctuary Cities, Abortion Profiteering, and Racial Division. She is also the principal owner of the Baker Wright Group, LLC , a full service public relations firm, specializing in communications counseling, media relations, message development, media training and crisis communications. The firm’s approach is straight forward: an unvarnished approach to public relations.