Inside the Beltway

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“It’s a New Hampshire primary, it’s January, and here we go again,” says poll director David Paleologos. “Romney’s strategy of running out the clock is costing him margin, Huntsman is still fighting hard and beginning to rally, and New Hampshire is playing contrarian to Rick Santorum, the Iowa Caucus star of a week ago, who has dropped to fifth place.”

THE REAGAN CONSERVATIVE

Rick Santorum deserves the mantle of “Reagan conservative,” says someone who worked as a policy adviser in the Reagan administration for eight years. Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer has endorsed Mr. Santorum in his White House quest.

“I believe Sen. Santorum best personifies the Reagan-inspired conservatism that unites the GOP,” Mr. Bauer says.

“The main pillars of Sen. Santorum’s governing philosophy — smaller, constitutionally based government, lower taxes, a strong and confident American role in the world to keep our nation safe, a commitment to defending America’s families and defending the sanctity of life — is exactly the blueprint to put America back on the right track.”

BODACIOUS BUDDY

Well, what the heck. Buddy Roemer says he’s in the presidential race for the duration, though he’s never set foot on the presidential debate stage and languishes in the polls.

“If this causes me to be a thorn in the side of the Republican Party, so be it. This contest may well come down to a delegate fight, and I will request that all of my delegates who are acquired proportionally in New Hampshire, and all the other states in which we are on the ballot, not support any candidate for president who does not stand up to corruption with me,” Mr. Roemer says.

“The race is wide open,” he insists.

POLL DU JOUR

• 47 percent of Americans expect the economy to “stay the same.”

• 29 percent say it will get worse, 23 percent say it will improve.

• 39 percent “don’t expect to do anything different financially” in 2012.

• 38 percent will cut back on household spending, 24 percent will pay down their personal debt.

• 18 percent will save more, 12 percent will get rid of one or more credit cards.

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