Rick Santorum continues to amaze me with his resiliency. The primary hat trick was astonishing, given the relative paucity of resources and organization, and has shot him at least temporarily into the lead.
Jay, Paul, and Don have a lot of useful commentary worth reading.
One caveat, though--a commenter on a political blog pointed out that Santorum a couple of weeks ago that Sanrotum was something of a proxy for "generic Republican" in the polls. He hadn't had a crapstorm hurled at him by either the media or his opponents. But it's hitting him now, and I'm worried.
The President's Loyalist Media Auxiliary is already starting to soundbite him to death. The oily crapweasel Charlie Rose's interview was a case in point. Even though Santorum kept trying to shift it to economic issues, Rose was able to frame the narrative.
That can't keep happening. Even if it's just one question in an interview, five minutes out of an hour, that's what going to be highlighted in the reporting. He has to fight the culture war--the President certainly is--but he can't be painted into a corner on it. He can't abandon it, either--it is a winner, as Jay notes. But it's a winner as part of an overall package, one that frames the other guy as an out of touch extremist. The populist angle can work, if he can keep hammering it. Leave the culture war stuff to the proxies for now.
He has to frame the narrative and not let others do it for him. Otherwise, the rise is just another not-Romney boomlet that will pass.