Barnes explores Santorum’s chances as the ‘anti-Romney’

Fred Barnes‘ latest Weekly Standard article delves into the meaning of the Iowa caucus results for both Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum:

[Romney] now faces an opponent, Santorum, who can credibly claim to be an honest-to-God conservative alternative to Romney in what may now be a two-person race. Should the press go along with this, as it’s no doubt inclined to, Romney will have a tougher battle on his hands than he must have expected pre-Iowa.

Both Ron Paul, who came in third, and Newt Gingrich, who was a distant fourth, said they will take their campaigns to New Hampshire, whose first-in-the-nation primary is next Tuesday, and South Carolina with its January 21 primary. But coming out of Iowa, Santorum is the big story and the chief threat to Romney.

A one-on-one race is exactly what Romney hoped to avoid at this stage, particularly a race against a more conservative candidate with momentum from having dramatically exceeded expectations in Iowa. With three or four candidates dividing the conservative vote, Romney had an advantage that’s now gone.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

Reader Comments