Santorum surge linked to Super PAC prevalence

    Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum’s underfunded campaign is posing a challenge to Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney.

    A Pennsylvania political analyst says super PACs are proving to be a big benefit for less-resourced candidates.

    Super PACs, of course, are those creatures of the Citizens United U.S. Supreme Court case of 2010.

    They can accept unlimited funding from individuals and corporations, rendering null old election law that required presidential candidates to get their funding from a larger number of people in a wider swath of states.

    Shirley Anne Warshaw, a political science professor at Gettysburg College, says the “everyone-gets-a-turn” surges of presidential candidates in this year’s race can be traced back to these new funding sources.

    “It’s due to the super PACs — the super PACs that are not coordinated with the candidate, that are being funded by a very, very small group of people,” she said.

    Warshaw says Santorum’s recent triple-win in the early contests in Colorado, Missouri, and Minnesota isn’t representative of the support he has from a large group of people.

    The next primary is Feb. 28 in Michigan.

    Warshaw says there’s no telling how it will shake out. She recommends watching for the ad buys by the various super PACs supporting the remaining GOP candidates.

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