Will This Be as Good as It Gets for Santorum?
His political future may not be so bright: Nate Silver
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2012 6:22 PM CDT
Rick Santorum announces he will be suspending his campaign during a press conference in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A standard line of thinking about Rick Santorum: He was smart to drop out now and save face, so he can come back stronger than ever a few years down the road. Nate Silver takes a closer look at his prospects and raises some serious doubts. For example, if Mitt Romney loses the general election, Santorum would be considered an early front-runner in 2016, but it's doubtful that field or even the one in 2020 will be anywhere near as "soft" as this one, writes Silver in the New York Times. (Think of Rubio, Ryan, Jindal, Christie, Jeb Bush, etc.)

Romney's VP pick also would get a boost, but it's unlikely he would choose Santorum because of his low favorability ratings. How about Pennsylvania? Santorum almost certainly would have a long wait to run for governor or either of the two Senate seats, for various reasons. "Santorum is himself fairly young at 53, so he will have plenty of time to build up his brand name and evaluate his options," writes Silver. "Still, it could easily be that the 2012 nomination campaign will prove to be the high-water mark of his political career."