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Restore Our Future, the political organization that supports Romney and has devastated Gingrich with attack ads in two states, is turning its attention to Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator.

Already, the group has spent $5 million on television advertisements combined in Arizona and Michigan through Feb. 28, and Ohio, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Georgia through Super Tuesday. The group also has commercials airing in Mississippi and Alabama.

Santorum responded with a commercial in Michigan designed to blunt the attacks and tarnish Romney. It shows a Romney lookalike wielding a machine gun that sprays mud in Santorum’s direction.

When the weapon jams, the gunman tries to fix it, and ends up splattering himself instead.

The Red White and Blue Fund, which supports Santorum, is advertising in Michigan, but the former senator and his allied group are being outspent roughly 3-1 by Romney and Restore Our Future.

“We know that we’re going to win some and were going to lose some, but we have the resources and the organization to go the distance even if that means a primary calendar that extends into the spring,” said Gail Gitcho, communications director for Romney.

With Gingrich unable to come close to duplicating his Jan. 21 victory in South Carolina, his goals are as diminished as his campaign bank account.

“We want to aim at Washington state with 40 delegates. We want to do as best as we can in Michigan, but understanding there’s a larger strategic gain for us if a consensus builds around the idea that Mitt Romney is unacceptable as the nominee,” campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond said.

He said Ohio, Georgia, Oklahoma and Tennessee are priorities.

A state-by-state list, with the number of delegates at stake in parentheses:

Feb. 28:

Arizona primary (29): The winner gets all the delegates, and private polling shows Romney well ahead. Candidates gather in Mesa on Feb. 22 for their first debate in three weeks.

Michigan primary (30): The relative lack of suspense about Arizona heightens the political significance of Michigan, the first of the big industrial states to vote in the Republican race. Romney, who grew up in the state, won it four years ago. Santorum’s support in the polls is rising statewide as well as nationally, and he hopes for an upset that can strengthen his chances on Super Tuesday.


March 3:

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