Rick Santorum "Pulled Along" into 2012 Race

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has told the Des Moines Register that he feels "being pulled along" into the 2012 Presidential contest and that he's "very encouraged by everything that’s happening.”

Since that first visit last October, when Santorum spoke to a few dozen social conservatives in Des Moines and gave a speech in Dubuque, he has logged four more Iowa trips, more than any GOP prospect weighing a 2012 campaign.

Santorum has handed out three checks to Iowa Republicans and campaigned for seven. He has also enlisted the help of a small circle of Iowa advisers to help him make inroads, including Nick Ryan, a longtime senior aide to former Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle. And on Tuesday, Santorum met with about 80 Republicans in Gull Point State Park near Milford. Santorum and other Republicans eyeing the caucuses have made Iowa contacts while campaigning for candidates running this fall. But Tuesday’s event marked Santorum’s first in Iowa strictly aimed at putting him in touch with party activists.

Santorum also headlined four events for candidates across western and northwest Iowa on Monday and Tuesday, in key Republican hot spots such as Sioux Center and Spencer. He’s the first caucus prospect to dig that deeply into that GOP-heavy part of the state at this early stage in the campaign.

I noted this earlier in the week but the Iowa Republican polled 399 likely Iowa Republican voters on their preference come 2012. Former Arkansas Governor and current Fox News talk show host Mike Huckabee finished on top garnering 22 percent while former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney finished second with 18 percent. Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House from Georgia, finished "surprisingly well" in their view with 14 percent in third place. Sarah Palin finished fourth with 11 percent. Texas Congressman Ron Paul garnered 5 percent, while Pawlenty, and South Dakota Senator John Thune each received 1 percent. Former US Senator Rick Santorum garnered support in the poll but it did not surpass the one percent threshold. He clearly has some work to do.

It is difficult to foresee Rick "man on dog" Santorum differentiating himself in what's likely to be a crowded field. He's not especially well versed on economic issues which will likely dominate both the GOP contes and the general election. Neither is Sarah Palin but she has a ready made cult following though I suspect that her support will continue to erode slowly but surely over the next 18 months.

Of course a year and five months out, anything can happen but Santorum faces an uphill climb on fundraising and name recognition. The field of 2012 Republican prospects includes far better-known names, including national figures Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney not to mention next door neighbor Tim Pawlenty who has also made frequent visits to the Hawkeye State.

 

Tags: Rick Santorum, GOP 2012, US Presidential Election (all tags)

Comments

3 Comments

Santorum

Oh, if we can only be so luck to have this "douche bag" be on the Republican ticket in 2012.  He was soundly drummed out of office by the voters of Pennsylvania proving to be to far right for the Commonwealth!  Just what the GOP needs, another looney right wing nut.  Just what the Dems need for an easy win.  Hey maybe he can team up the the "brain dead" 1/2 term  former Gov. of Alaska, Dream ticket for Democrats to run against.

by BE10sCoach 2010-08-19 10:45PM | 0 recs
Oh please!

This is nothing but more of the same ol' making "facts" up to suit your own personal reality. No one is pulling Santorum to do anything. The only stroking going on here is the stroking he is doing to himself to assuage his own ego. Puhleeese!

by mcarnes 2010-08-19 11:59PM | 0 recs
RE: Oh please!

I was somewhat surprised he didn't mention God in his self-aggrandizing oratory.

Certainly Sarah Palin believes that she is a messenger from God as does Sharron Angle. Not sure if Newt believes it though he may express such a sentiment but he is such the conniving liar. Huckabee certainly sincerely believes he is an instrument of a Christian God. 

by Charles Lemos 2010-08-20 01:51AM | 0 recs

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