Editorial: Santorum visit pays dividendsLast week, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum paid a visit to Luverne to speak before a full house inside the Palace Theater.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
Last week, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum paid a visit to Luverne to speak before a full house inside the Palace Theater. Considering Santorum’s earlier success in Iowa, where he had won the state’s caucus event Jan. 3, a visit to a community near the state line certainly seemed to be a prudent idea.
Just how much that Luverne visit paid off for Santorum is unclear, but it definitely didn’t hurt him any. While the former Pennsylvania senator captured 45 percent of the vote statewide in winning Tuesday’s Minnesota Republican presidential caucus straw poll, Santorum earned a dominant 83.6 percent of Rock County Republicans’ support.
And it wasn’t just Rock County where Santorum excelled — it was across southwest Minnesota. Santorum captured 80.4 percent of the vote in Cottonwood County, 77.8 percent in Nobles County, 75.9 percent in Pipestone County, 70.2 in Murray County and 69.9 percent in Jackson County. Clearly, Republican voters in this region saw Santorum as a truer conservative than the other candidates.
It should also be noted that a total of 171 voters participated in the Rock County presidential straw poll, a figure that represents an increase of 78 from 2008. Whether Santorum brought those additional folks to the caucus is anyone’s guess, but it seems to say he energized a fair share.
And so, onward in the nominating process we go. All of a sudden, Santorum has political momentum — and he has a few of us southwest Minnesotans to thank.