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August 19, 2014

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So long, Santorum

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Sam Morris

Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann are introduced before the GOP presidential debate sponsored by CNN on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, at the Venetian.

Remember Rick Santorum? Sure you do! Think back to a few days ago. He’s the guy who was behind Mitt Romney in the bid for the Republican Presidential nomination … even though he just lost a senate race in his home state by what turned out to be the largest margin of defeat for an incumbent senator since 1980.

The funny thing is, Santorum was a serious contender. He announced his run on Good Morning America in June of 2011, saying he was “in it to win it.” And for a while, everybody thought he was kidding himself. But then, he won the Iowa caucus. By 34 votes.

Then Santorum won three states on February 7, and then he won Mississippi and Alabama and Louisiana. (In Nevada's Republican caucus on February 4, Santorum placed fourth behind Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.)

For a moment, he seemed like a real contender. At least to anybody who’s bad at math. Realizing he didn’t stand a chance, delegate-wise, Santorum gracefully exited the race this week, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Maybe he'll stand a better chance in the 2016 primary. He’ll no longer be the guy who just suffered a massive defeat in his hometown, the guy who everybody thought was just kidding when he started his run; he’ll be the guy who suffered a massive defeat in his hometown nine years ago and was once a real contender. Which doesn’t sound quite as bad.

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