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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

April 11, 2012 at 6:30 AM

With Rick Santorum out, some ponder what could have been

Karen and Rick Santorum

Karen and Rick Santorum (Photo courtesy of RickSantorum.com).

At some point in politics, people get nostalgic. They let all the potential possibilities take hold and wonder what would have happened had things gone just a bit differently.

After the 2008 presidential elections, nostalgia took a while to kick in.

Rebecca Traister of The New York Times said what was on at least some disillusioned Americans’ minds. Had Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination in 2008, she claimed that Clinton supporters “would have to apologize to the world for robbing it of an imagined Barack Obama presidency.” But things seem to have changed. “Three years after that intense and acrimonious time,” she continued, “some on the left are engaging in an inverse fantasy. Almost unbelievably, they are now daydreaming of how much better a Hillary Clinton administration might have represented them.”

Concerning the 2012 elections, the questions of what could have been are cropping up much faster.

Rick Santorum dropped out of the presidential race yesterday, and discussion of what might have been started almost immediately. Blogger Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post tweeted the following about the Iowa primaries:

Others took to Facebook. Sarah Kleiner Varble of the Abilene Reporter-News speculated about the Texas primaries: “Santorum’s out. What would have happened if Texans had voted in the Republican primary on March 6 when they were supposed to?”

Texas, with a massive 155 delegates, was originally scheduled to host their primaries on Super Tuesday, March 6. But because of complications due to redistricting, the date was first pushed to April 3, meaning it would have taken place last week along with Wisconsin, Maryland, and Washington D.C. The final date for the primaries was pushed all the way to May 29.

The most recent Texas polls in mid March had varying results, but showed promise for Santorum. The Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research poll had Santorum up by 8%, and the Rasmussen Reports had Mitt Romney up by 2%. The Real Clear Politics average gave the advantage to Santorum, winning by 3%.

In the end, these numbers just become today’s what ifs. What is known now is that the general election starts today.

Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney

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