In a stunning turn of events the Republican race is now once again very much up for grabs.
Just two weeks ago it seemed Mitt Romney was the sure bet to lock up the Republican nomination, as he had convincingly won Florida and Nevada with approximately 50% support in each state.
Suddenly, Romney hit a snag-after a series of struggles in nationally televised debates, as well as a few interview blunders that have hurt his reputation slightly among the American public. Romney’s slips have opened the door right back up for Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, who have fought back strong over the past two weeks, rattling the Romney camp with several crushing defeats.
In the process of winning Florida and Nevada, Romney may have made a crucial mistake. In a live CNN interview he stated that “he was not concerned about the very poor.” While Romney could have meant that he didn’t feel some Americans should receive government handouts, the comment came across as very tasteless to many.
Now, it is Santorum with all of the momentum in his corner as he put together three solid victories in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota, effectively erasing any advantage that Romney had in this race. Romney’s biggest struggle in this campaign has been garnering strong support from his followers as his past reputation as a businessman and a flip-flopper on political issues have turned off many. In the most recent CNN poll, Santorum now leads Romney 34% to 32% nationally.
Santorum and Romney appear to have similar beliefs on some of the major issues Americans are most concerned about in the upcoming election. Both feel that the Health Care law should be repealed, both are pro-life and both are anti-amnesty.
Furthermore, they also think the military should remain strong in order to maintain the defense of our nation. The two candidates disagree on several key issues though. First, Santorum believes that businesses should be granted tax cuts as this will allow for more job creation, while Romney feels an open market system is the best way to remain competitive.
In terms of the U.S’s role in the world, both Romney and Santorum both believe in American exceptionalism and that the U.S must protect its interest to preserve its place as a superpower.
Meanwhile, Ron Paul’s grassroots campaign continues to have strong reception across the country. However, he hasn’t been able to garner the support that Romney and Santorum. Paul differs from the Santorum, Romney and President Obama in that he wants to stay out of foreign interventions all together.
Paul believes that by bringing troops home from overseas and ending conflicts with other nations, federal spending could be cut and the U.S could end its days of pre-emptive wars. Like the other candidates, Paul opposes the idea of amnesty to illegal immigrants and that the 14th Amendment should be changed to restrict immigrants from coming into America illegally.
Ron Paul’s plan to preserve the American economy is to end Social Security and put in its place a program only for the elderly. With regards to unemployment, Paul would eliminate government influence in the free market, which he feels would enable creation of more jobs.