Republican Women Just Can't Get Enough SantorumS

Rick Santorum has some unlikely allies in the war on women— women. And the nuttier his public proclamations, the more conservative ladies love him. According to a new poll, the former Pennsylvania Senator's favorability rating among female conservatives has jumped 13 points since January— and its biggest jump has occurred in the past week. And they say women never go for nice guys.

The ABC/Washington Post poll shows that 57 percent of GOP women view Santorum favorably, up from 44 percent earlier this year. Only Mitt Romney is viewed more favorably among women— 61 percent of them think Mittens is A-OK. Ladies continue to find Newt Gingrich distasteful.

To review: Rick Santorum has said that he thinks states should be allowed to make birth control illegal, that the federal government shouldn't pay for prenatal testing because it causes abortions, that birth control causes single motherhood, that the Netherlands has doctors there that just run around euthanizing the elderly against their will, that birth control gives women license to "do things," that public schools shouldn't exist because they make children turn out weird, that the Crusades reflected American values, that Barack Obama should oppose abortion because he's black, that gay sex is sort of like dude-on-dog sex, and that Satan is personally attacking America. Whee!

Republican strategists believe that growing female approval of Santorum is a sign that conservative women don't really care about issues that affect the world at large, but rather issues that affect their own personal families. If this is true, it seems conservative women seek a candidate with views that validate their life choices over one that isn't such an embarrassment that he's a threat to national security.

Santorum's supporters also say they're impressed by the fact that Santorum can relate to the middle class's struggles, because he does blatantly pandering things like lament the price of milk. Yes, he's just like every other struggling former politician who made $923,000 last year.

The Post conjectures that Santorum's swelling favorability rating is a bad sign for Obama, that the birth control debate doesn't affect people's opinions and that a national conversation that's been driven by Democrats (really?) will eventually backfire. But favorability ratings are not polling averages are not votes, and just because a growing number of people don't actively want to throw a Rick Santorum Muppet down the stairs in effigy doesn't mean that people don't care about women's health. Or that he's not a joke.

Rick Santorum winning more support among republican women [WaPo]