Average Tuesday For The Republicans

Today marks a potential turning point in the Republican race to not destroy the Republican Party. Voters in two states will go to the polls to decide who will represent...

Today marks a potential turning point in the Republican race to not destroy the Republican Party. Voters in two states will go to the polls to decide who will represent the Republicans in the fall in their attempt to unseat President Barack Obama, who has been enjoying a rise in the polls and currently has double digit leads against all four potential Republican challengers in a recent poll.

Now there are two polls that put two of the GOP contenders ahead of Obama. A USA Today/Gallup poll taken between 2/20-2/21 did show Santorum with a three point lead over Obama and a recent Rasmussen poll put Romney with a 2 point lead over the President – though a Politico/GWU/Battleground poll puts Obama ahead of both Santorum and Romney by 10 points.  So what does this mean for the Republican Primary and the General Election? Not much. The Republican Primary has nothing to do with Obama and has more to do with the fracture of the Republican Party that began with the emergence of the Tea Party and the over all negative view of the Bush administration’s handling of foreign policy and the economy.

With both Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich somewhat marginalized by their own backgrounds and statements it has become a two man race between Santorum and Romney. In Arizona Romney holds, per the polls, a comfortable lead but in Michigan the two are neck and neck with only 2 points separating them – a pattern that has haunted Romney in this, his second attempt to win the Republican nomination.

I suspect however that Santorum’s recent comments on contraception and his odd position on separation of church and state put him at odds with the general voting public. Santorum should be cautious getting branded as the religious candidate because there are currently, according to some reports, over 30,000 different sects of Christianity alone and lately he has sounded like he only supports a very narrow concept of Christianity. His comments leave very little room for people of other faiths let alone those who choose to not believe in any specific religious ideology. If Santorum gets the nomination he will have to face some detailed questions about how his faith would effect his Presidency and clarify, or rather correct and hope no one remembers the primary, his statements that seem to ignore the diverse beliefs of those he wishes to govern over. It is a topic not expected to move many voters one way or the other as last time I checked I have yet to see a Jewish Synagogue, a Catholic Church, a Baptist Church and a Mormon Temple fighting in the streets of Los Angeles.

Today will most likely result in exactly what this race has been from the start – a split vote representing a split party.