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The 5 Stages Of The Political Death Cycle

From denial to acceptance, from Ron Paul to John Edwards, a guide to the end of a political campaign. Right in the middle of it: Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.

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You've lost a bunch of important states to the point where it would require an act of God for you to be the nominee, but you still you have a shot.

Rep. Ron Paul on Bloomberg TV today: "I am trailing, but the race is not over."

You get frustrated as reporters slowly drop off your campaign, and you slowly return to obscurity. You blame your opponent’s advertising, and appeal to interest groups as the reasons for his success. You shoot the messenger and blame bad news on the press.


You try to regain the headlines, with a series of campaign stunts and over-the-top statements. Your campaign releases an increasingly unrealistic set of memos displaying a profound ignorance of the laws of statistics.

Hillary Clinton's memos to superdelegates, reporters, and supporters became something of legend, while Rick Santorum's memos have effectively conceded the fact that he can't win the nomination outright.


Your opponent is the worst person in the world, and you are the only person who can save the country. Your donors are abandoning you. You fear for the country under your opponent’s leadership.

Rick Santorum declared yesterday that Mitt Romney is “the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama,” a variation on his usual campaign stump speech line that he's the worst on Obamacare. Santorum's emails to supporters for money have taken on a more desperate tone, as he argues that Romney will not repeal Obamacare — which he believes will mortgage the futures of the nation's youth.

Begin angling for the Vice Presidential nod.

Santorum isn't there yet, but it sure looks like he's heading that way.