Last August, an article from Commentary Magazine entitled "The Media Myth of "Independents" reported:
"Voters are dissatisfied with the incumbent president because his policies have failed. There is no "reaching out" to Democrats and independents (or Republicans for that matter), at least in the classic sense; there is only offering solutions.
This is mainly because independents don't really exist-at least not in the way the media and pollsters continue to claim they do, against all available evidence. Last month, Alan Abramowitz wrote another full takedown of the obsession with independents-who usually vote for one party and are not an accurate indicator of the popular vote. At the Columbia Journalism Review, Greg Marx sums it up perfectly: "most 'independents' aren't independent. The ones who are care most about the economy, not displays of bipartisanship. And winning independents doesn't guarantee you'll win the popular vote."
The truth is, firing up your party base is at least as important as appealing to independents, and usually more so."
The problem of firing up the conservative base is a critical concern for the Republican party. Consistent conservatism is what the base seeks in a candidate, and Mitt Romney's record does not reassure them. Likewise, Newt Gingrich's long history of flip-flops cast serious doubts on his authenticity. Contrast this to what a recent National Review article said of Rick Santorum:
"Rick Santorum's instincts and intellectual choices consistently tend toward freedom.
On taxes, for instance, Santorum has always been superb. The Club for Growth's white paper on Santorum, calling his tax stances "very strong," confirms that "Santorum has consistently supported broad-based tax cuts and opposed tax increases either by sponsoring key legislation or by casting votes on relevant bills."
His record on a host of other conservative issues is as solid as that of any politician in the past two decades. He has been firmly and repeatedly against all sorts of regulatory abuse, against McCain-Feingold and other restrictions on political speech, for school choice, for tort reform, for a strong military, and for a balanced-budget amendment.
Obviously he has been as stalwart a defender of social conservatism, for 20 full years, as any other public figure. And as virtually every conservative involved in the judicial wars during Santorum's time in the Senate has confirmed, in person or in print, Santorum and his staff were the go-to people in the Senate when you needed to find tireless, committed advocates for conservative jurists....
...as Mark Levin asked ..., "If Rick Santorum is not a consistent, principled conservative... then who is?"
The "moderate" model is so 2008. We can't afford to make that mistake again. Mitt and Newt may "talk the talk" (or attempt to) but Santorum has "walked the walk" and that's what will matter to the conservative base in November.