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December 29th, 2011
 

Santorum Continues To Rise

A new poll conducted by CNN/Time shows that all of the hard work and time Santorum has invested in the Iowa is beginning to pay off. Santorum has surged past Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Newt Gingrich and now occupies third place in the poll all by himself.

The poll also shows Romney with a slim lead over Ron Paul. Romney was supported by 25 percent of those surveyed. Paul garnered 22 percent. Santorum finished third in the poll with 16 percent, besting Newt Gingrich at 14 percent, Rick Perry at 11 percent, and Bachmann with 9 percent. Jon Huntsman who has not campaigned in Iowa finished with just 1 percent.

The poll seems to validate the growing momentum that Santorum has shown in Iowa recently. A string of impressive endorsements, positive TV ads, and media coverage that had previously eluded him have now bolstered Santorum’s campaign. As a result, he is enjoying larger crowds at his campaign stops as well as a bump in the polls.

Santorum’s ability break away from Bachmann and Perry is significant. For a month now, the three conservative candidates in the race have been stuck together at about 10 percent in the polls. Together they occupied 30 percent of those surveyed, which is greater than either Ron Paul or Mitt Romney. That has forced a number of pastors and social conservatives to call on one of the candidates to join forces with another candidate.

While that effort has come up short, Santorum seems to be accomplishing the goal of consolidating conservative support behind his campaign himself. At the same time that Santorum’s work ethic and positive campaign is beginning to pay dividends, Michele Bachmann’s campaign seems to be in disarray. Just last night, Kent Sorenson, her campaign chair, switched allegiances and backed Ron Paul.

Rick Perry has been able to get some second looks from Iowa voters by campaigning across the state, but he doesn’t seem to be able to reinvigorate his campaign. Even Gingrich, who in mid-December led all candidates in Iowa by a significant margin, now finds himself looking up at a guy like Santorum.

For months, Iowans have been forthcoming with their fondness of Santorum, but resisted supporting him because many didn’t think he could actually win. There were numerous articles written about Santorum’s “chicken or the egg” problem, but that is evaporating now that Santorum is showing positive movement in the polls.

With the caucuses just five days away, we might not know how big the Santorum surge is until the results are announced on caucus night. The CNN/Time poll shows Santorum trailing the leader by less than 10 points. It is not inconceivable that he can close the gap before January 3. Both Ron Paul and Mitt Romney have struggled to break the 25-point barrier in a poll. With other candidates fading, Santorum now seems destined to finish in the top three.

Another poll recently showed that Santorum has the highest favorability rating of all the candidates. If that holds true through caucus day, Santorum might be playing for more than just a surprising third place finish, he could just go all the way. After all, some guy named Mike Huckabee won Iowa even though he was outspent 20 to 1. History might just repeat itself.

Speaking of Huckabee, Bob Vander Plaats’ Super PAC is now running the following TV ad in Iowa markets:

 

Photo by Dave Davidson – Prezography.com

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of TheIowaRepublican.com, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and TheIowaRepublican.com as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, TheIowaRepublcian.com. Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.




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