Santorum Picks a Fight with Urban America

Sarah Wheaton and Richard A. Oppel Jr. report on a new line of attack against the urban favoring economic policies of his own party, being utilized by Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum in an effort to motivate his followers.
March 19, 2012, 2pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Highlighting a divide he sees between urban (Democratic) and rural (Republican) America, Santorum has taken to attacking Republican tax plans that he says will benefit "higher-income individuals who live in those blue areas [around big cities] mostly."

According to Wheaton and Oppel, "[i]n highlighting who would benefit from competing Republican tax proposals, Mr. Santorum seemed to be using urban-rural rivalry as a way to suggest that Mitt Romney, one of his opponents, was the candidate of more liberal city dwellers and that he was the candidate of more conservative rural residents, though polls show that Mr. Romney tends to do well in suburban areas."

By emphasizing the geographic divide of their basis of support, Santorum is suggesting a somewhat counter-intuitive argument that Romney's popularity in traditionally democratic areas makes him less likely to win a general election. "If we're going to win this election, we have to have a candidate who is going to energize our base, get them excited," said Santorum.

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Published on Monday, March 19, 2012 in The New York Times
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