Okay – how’s this for a conspiracy theory? As usual, we don’t know who the villain(s) might be, but suppose that Santorum and Gingrich are part of an elaborate game. They are being urged to stay in the race for Republican Presidential nominee because they are the coolest, best, most conservative, or whatever. But that’s not really why they are being asked to stay in and given money to do so.
All candidates need money. Lots and lots of money. Let’s follow the money and see where that takes us. According to OpenSecrets, Paul has raised $31 million and spent $29 million; Gingrich has raised $18 million and spent $16 million, Santorum $6.7 million and $5.2 million.
So, how come Gingrich and Santorum are getting so many votes? Could it be the SuperPacs? These are allowed to run ads that just happen to benefit one of them.
We think Paul gets his money from committed Libertarians, via their phenomenally successful moneybombs. But there are also some recently-rich entrepreneurs who are also solid Libertarians. So that’s where his money comes from. He gets 47% of his contributions from small individuals. But Gingrich gets 48% and Santorum gets 49% of his from small contributors.
What if – and here’s where the paranoia comes in – a few very rich people or organizations are helping G and S along in order to split the conservative vote? Paul’s votes all come from the same libertarian corner of the electorate and they can’t be budged. That leaves the field free for Romney, whose 35 – 38% of the vote is also consistent. He gets nominated and continues to get his usual 35% to 38% and voila! A massive victory for Obama!
We’re not going to suggest that either G or S should get out of the race. But, like King Solomon, we would say to them: if you really are a conservative, and really want a conservative victory, then call the other guy and decide who’s going to get out. Now!
P.S. We’re prefer a Paul nomination, but the numbers aren’t giving us any hope. He couldn’t beat Romney when only he and Romney were on the ballot.