Steve Deace

For many pro-family and pro-life leaders it’s now or never.

Many of them recently met in Texas to discuss whether or not to unite behind a Republican presidential candidate, and avoid the fiasco that led to John McCain’s nomination four years ago. A majority of those leaders left Texas deciding to back former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum for president. Since that decision, there’s been no evidence this mass “endorsement” provided any boost to Santorum. He finished a distant third in both South Carolina and Florida immediately afterwards—even among his fellow social conservatives.

That’s because this “endorsement” was little more than an “atta boy” that isn’t worth much more than a warm fuzzy, unless it includes access to the resources (see that as money) that many of these pro-family and pro-life groups “endorsing” Santorum have access to. For example, how much money would Santorum have if Dr. James Dobson sent everyone on his list one email urging them to send the Santorum campaign a one- time contribution of just $5?

Answer: he’d have more resources than any Republican candidate not named Romney or Bush has had in decades.

Instead, mostly on his own elbow grease, Santorum rebounded to win three states – Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado – that media anointed Republicrat frontrunner Mitt Romney was expected to win. Santorum has suddenly gone from an afterthought in the Republican presidential primary, to a legitimate threat to finally coalesce conservatives as the “not Mitt Romney candidate.”

Beyond winning all three states, which was impressive enough, it was the margins of victory for Santorum that has conservatives nationwide buzzing. For example, four years ago Romney won the Minnesota primary by almost 20 points. Four years later, Santorum beat Romney by almost 30 points.

In addition, Romney continues to underperform among conservatives compared to his failed 2008 presidential bid. Romney got 60% of the vote in Colorado four years ago. This year he got just 35%. Romney lost ground among conservative voters in Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida compared to 2008. Even in a state he dominated like Nevada, Romney didn’t do as well there as he did four years ago.

So much for the inevitable coronation of a RINO conservatives clearly don’t want, and is just a much better-funded version of McCain ’08.

Steve Deace

Steve Deace is syndicated nationally by the Salem Radio Network each weeknight from 9 p.m.-Midnight eastern. His radio program has been featured in major media such as Fox News, CBS News, ABC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Politico, The Weekly Standard, and Real Clear Politics among others. He's one of the top 100 talk show hosts in America according to Talkers Magazine. In 2013 he wrote the second-most shared column of the year for USA Today, defending "Duck Dynasty" and traditional American values. In addition to being a contributor for Conservative Review, USA Today, and Town, Deace is a columnist for The Washington Times. He is also the author of the book "Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again," which includes a foreword by David Limbaugh and is endorsed by a who's who of conservative leaders. He lives in Iowa with his wife Amy, and their three children: Ana, Zoe, Noah You can follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.