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The “Not Romney” Race: Signs of the Santorum Surge?

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2012 - lowa Elections Mitt Romney Rick Santorum

In the three-way race to be the number one “not Romney,” there are two new clues this morning on who might be winning it. And the strong online fundraising at RickSantorum.com is not one of them.

First, Politico’s Jonathan Martin and James Hohmann report that the SuperPac backing Romney has launched ads attacking Rick Santorum in South Carolina. Hard to imagine any SuperPac spending dollars on a fading campaign, so there must be polling showing a rise in Santorum’s numbers, which would make sense given the ongoing melt-down surrounding Newt.

And there is a much more subtle clue as well —yesterday’s New York Times piece on the Catholic high school Santorum’s boys attend. It is run by, gasp, Opus Dei, don’t you know. The Time’s is generally quite complimentary, and gives a very balanced overview of what Opus Dei really is and does, but the piece will serve the key function of providing a cue to the left on what it will have to chew on if the Santorum surge materializes and a Santorum nomination becomes a reality.

How long until The Da Vinci Code’s Dan Brown is asked for his opinion on the significance of the Santorums’ choice in schools and the dangers of an Opus Dei affiliated nominee?

The “Mormon question” hasn’t been much of a factor in the GOP race to date, though more and more LDS-related stories area appearing, and the issue will undoubtedly be used against Romney by the left if he is the nominee, (and probably in a way injurious to the president given the shudder that religion-baiting sends through most Americans.)

But an “Opus Dei” issue for Santorum, as a convenient way for the left to grind its anti-Catholic axe? “Senator, you have sent your sons to a school run by Opus Dei. Do you approve of all of Opus Dei’s practices and beliefs?”

Speaking of the Mormon issue, Article VI Blog remains the best place to review any eruptions on that front –there are many links today, for example– and one of its co-founders, John Schroeder, has posted a long piece on how he ended up in the “Evangelicals for Mitt” camp over at MittRomneyCentral.com. The actual “Evangelicals for Mitt” site is here, and given the uptick in MSM LDS interest recently, both should be very busy this weekend and next week.

Hughniverse

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