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Rick Santorum Iowa

January 3, 2012 by staff 

Rick Santorum IowaRick Santorum Iowa, Iowans will head to almost 1,775 precincts across the Hawkeye State Tuesday night to caucus on which Republican hopeful will challenge President Barack Obama in November.

Recent polls show three of them in position to win Iowa, which leads the procession of state caucuses and primaries.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, who is a heavy favorite to win the New Hampshire primary next week, hopes to prevail in the Hawkeye State and over the weekend raised expectations for a win in Iowa. Romney hopes to become the first non-incumbent Republican to win both Iowa and New Hampshire, which would put him on the fast track to winning the GOP nomination.

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is also looking to win the Hawkeye State. Paul has a very dedicated following and, with a strong second place showing in the Iowa Republican straw poll back in August, has shown that he has a solid organization in place in the state.

Garnering little in the way of media coverage and remaining a blip in the national polls, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania has surged in the last week in surveys of Iowa Republicans. Santroum has worked Iowa the old fashioned way, campaigning in all 99 counties in the state. Social conservatives have been influential in the Iowa caucus in recent decades, propelling Mike Huckabee to victory in 2008, helping Gary Bauer and Alan Keyes pull strong showings in 2000 and allowing Pat Robertson to finish second in 1988 over then Vice President George H. W. Bush. Santorum hopes to continue that trend with a strong finish on Tuesday night.

The other candidates remain in the mix even as their hopes fade in Iowa. Despite leading the state in early December, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich is sinking in the polls as he faced a barrage of attacks in recent weeks. While he has been hitting the airwaves in recent weeks, including turning his fire to Santorum this weekend, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has not recovered from a string of gaffes and poor debate performances. Despite winning the Iowa Republican straw poll in August, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has faded in the Hawkeye State though, on Tuesday morning, she vowed to push on to South Carolina which will hold its primary after New Hampshire. Other candidates–namely former Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah and former Gov. Buddy Roemer of Louisiana–have focused on New Hampshire instead of Iowa.

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