Santorum, the Conservative Choice

(Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
(Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins announces Pennsylvanian the favorite choice among conservatives and evangelicals huddling in Texas.

AND: Palmetto State Sen. Chip Campsen endorses Santorum.

See the ballot results below

Rick Santorum Wins Supermajority Support from Texas Meeting of Conservative Leaders
January 14, 2012

BRENHAM, TEXAS – This weekend more than 150 conservative leaders gathered in Brenham, Texas to discuss the Republican primary race and top policy goals for the next Republican Administration.

Speaking on behalf of the meeting’s organizers, Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins released the following statement:

“There is unanimous agreement among conservative leaders that we can and must replace President Barack Obama in November. Today, after praying for the nation’s future, conservative leaders took the first steps in moving social conservative voters toward advancing a true conservative candidate toward the nomination. After hearing presentations from campaign surrogates and individuals’ speeches and appeals, participants cast ballots for their presidential preference.

“The agreed-to threshold for support of the group was two-thirds of those present. That threshold was surpassed on the third ballot when Rick Santorum gained 74.5 percent of the vote and Newt Gingrich received 25.5 percent. From the outset, the stated goal of the meeting was to attempt to arrive at a consensus or a clear majority of support for a single conservative candidate. That goal was achieved. While a supermajority of those attending the meeting stated support for Rick Santorum as their preference in the Republican primary, it was also made clear that conservative leaders could coalesce around any of the three presidential candidates who had strong representation at the meeting; Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum.”

Ballot Results:

First Ballot
Paul 1
Romney 3
Perry 13
Gingrich 48
Santorum 57

Second Ballot (two top vote recipients)
Gingrich 49
Santorum 70

Third Ballot
Gingrich 29
Santorum 85

There were threads suggesting Santorum was building momentum in South Carolina before this. But he will have to take advantage of this moment better than he did after his Iowa showing. Gingrich and Perry are not looking like they are ready to quit — and, as before, if it appears like Santorum poses a real threat to Boston, expect the Romney campaign and Super PAC to hit him hard. Establishment candidates with the most effective negative lines are undefeated in recent South Carolina GOP presidential primaries.
Related Topics: Rick Santorum, 2012 Elections, News, Republican Party, The Page

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