So we're almost 48 hours out from Rick Santorum's shocker big day and...where are the new endorsements? Has anyone seen any?
Look -- we know how this works. Endorsements are a good indication of what party actors are thinking. And after Iowa -- and so far, after Minnesota/Colorado -- what they're thinking seems to be: no thanks.
On paper, at least to me, this seems like an easy call, and it has ever since the first Santorum surge in the week leading up to Iowa. If you believe that Mitt Romney can't be trusted to act as a conservative if elected (and that seems like a plausible view and at any rate is certainly one that a lot of very vocal conservatives have made), then you need to support someone else. Not Huntsman, surely. Not Perry, at least not after Iowa. Not Gingrich -- he's just as untrustworthy as Romney, and is surely a far worse general election candidate than any of the others. Not Paul. That leaves Santorum.
And yet, here we are. There was no rush to endorse him after Iowa...some evangelicals eventually met to do so, but it was hardly a ringing, forceful case made. Roll Call's Congressional endorsement watch has collected a grand total of 3 -- 3! -- endorsements, all Members of the House from Pennsylvania. The Washington Post endorsement tracker has two for Santorum, James Dobson and Iowa's Bob Vander Plaats.
These people must know that by sitting back and watching, they're basically sanctioning a Mitt Romney nomination. So either they really don't mind that -- or they have something against Rick Santorum. My increasing guess is that it's the former; they've chosen Romney, but are unwilling to attach their names to him. If that's true, it may mess up the data set for the Party Decides authors, but what's happening is basically what they (and I) expect: party actors collectively settled on a nominee. And it appears as though they'll be able to make it stick.