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April 11, 2012

Where Does Santorum Go From Here?

While there has been speculation that Rick Santorum (R) will use his political rehabilitation during the Republican presidential primary to reenter elected office, Nate Silver doubts it will be so easy for Santorum.

"It is questionable, however, whether Mr. Santorum can expect the competition in 2016 or 2020 to be as soft as it was this year, with big names like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and perhaps others looming on the horizon, and as the Republicans who were elected to office in the 2010 wave begin to mature as politicians. Whomever Mr. Romney selects as his vice presidential candidate will also have a good shot at future Republican nominations."

"Mr. Santorum could also look to statewide office in Pennsylvania, but that might require a reasonably long wait. The incumbent governor there, Tom Corbett, is a Republican and is eligible for another term in 2014... Of Pennsylvania's two incumbent senators, one is a Democrat, Bob Casey, who resoundingly defeated Mr. Santorum in 2006 and who remains fairly popular. Because Mr. Casey is on the ballot again this year and it is too late for Mr. Santorum to challenge him, he would need to wait until 2018 for a rematch. Pennsylvania's other incumbent senator, Pat Toomey, will be up for election in 2016. But Mr. Toomey is a Republican who is relatively young and who is too conservative to be vulnerable to a primary challenge."


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