(MintPress) — Rick Santorum’s showing in the Florida primary election demonstrated his inability to connect with the broad base of Republicans that have migrated toward Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. And it comes during a time when Republican voters are less happy than ever with their candidate choices. Santorum has made headlines for some of his controversial remarks which tend to resonate with his small, but faithful following.
“The greatest value of America is that we can overcome diversity,” Santorum said. “It is how we overcome our diversity. Different faiths, backgrounds, come together to be one. If we don’t believe that any more, how are we ever going to come together?”
It’s not the first time Santorum has offered up questionable comments. In a 2007 speech at the Second National Academic Freedom Conference, Santorum used words such as “evangelize” and “eradicate” when offering solutions on how to deal with “Islamo-fascism.” The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said those comments were “completely out of step with American values.”
But it seems that Santorum believes these comments to be right in line with American values. Websites have devoted lists to collect a wide array of Santorum’s controversial quotes. It seems, however, that his tactics have landed him into the lower-tier of remaining presidential candidates.
After a narrow win in the Iowa Straw Poll, Santorum has settled in the middle to tail end of the pack of Republican presidential candidates. Going into the Florida primary election, Santorum was well behind both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, and less than three points ahead of Ron Paul, who was in last place.
Before Florida, Santorum finished second from last in New Hampshire and repeated that result in South Carolina, finishing a good distance behind Romney and Gingrich again.
Romney has been atop most national polls since his 2012 presidential bid. The “anyone but Romney” approach taken by some Republicans has given way to his “electability” and chances to beat Barack Obama. Romney polls better than any other Republican candidate against Obama.
Gingrich has framed himself as the “classic conservative” in the race who is running a campaign with far less money and advertising efforts than Romney. Gingrich has polled a distant second behind Romney when matched against Obama.
So why is Santorum continuing to execute a campaign that has only been on the decline from the first straw poll? Like Paul, it seems Santorum is hanging on to a faithful legion of voters that believe in his outlier viewpoints.
Santorum’s focus on family and faith is a generalized foundation for traditional demographics of Republican voters that tend to be the older sector of the population.
It’s clear that Santorum’s campaign isn’t resonating with a large percentage of voters. With all indications pointing to a Romney-Gingrich race down the stretch, it seems Santorum will only be preaching to the same choir until his presidential run ends.