The Great Debate

The real contest in Iowa

February 1, 2016
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa January 31, 2015. REUTER/Jim Bourg

Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, January 31, 2015. REUTER/Jim Bourg

Santorum and the Tea Party crackup

January 6, 2012

By Michelle Goldberg

The views expressed are her own.


It’s easy to read too much into Rick Santorum’s stunning finish in the Iowa caucuses after months of dismal poll numbers. In some ways he won by default, emerging as the last conservative candidate standing because no one took him seriously enough to attack him. Nevertheless, by virtually tying with Mitt Romney, he has become the leading conservative alternative in the race. And that should put to rest the exhausted conventional wisdom that the American right is primarily motivated by a desire for small government. Because Rick Santorum sure isn’t.