Campaign News

January 4th, 2012
 

Santorum “Game On”

Mitt Romney may have won the Iowa Caucuses by eight votes, but the story coming out of Iowa is Rick Santorum. In addressing his supporters on Tuesday night, the first words out of his mouth were, “Game on.”

Romney edged Santorum 30,015 to 30,007 votes. The result is closest caucus finish in history and a campaign that will go down in history. Ron Paul came in a disappointing third place with 26,219 votes. Gingrich, Perry, and Bachmann finished well behind the top three, and Gingrich might be the only candidate who moves on to compete in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

In the following days, a number of articles will be written about the advisors and staff that created Rick Santorum’s strategy, and those who endorsed Santorum will likely take a bow. That’s what happens after an impressive result, but there is one person who deserves the bulk of the credit for Santorum’s stunning finish – Rick Santorum himself.

After languishing in the polls for almost two years, most candidates would have changed course, fired their advisors, and thrown in the towel, but not Rick Santorum. From the beginning of the campaign to the caucuses themselves, Santorum stayed faithful to his grassroots strategy that relied more on blood, sweat, and tears, than the glitz, glamour, and media attention that comes with being a front-runner.

Santorum’s strategy paid off, largely because Iowa’s plentiful social conservatives coalesced around his candidacy in the closing days of the campaign. His message on bringing manufacturing jobs home resonated with blue-collar workers. Another key factor behind Santorum’s stunning victory in Iowa is the simple fact that he made himself more assessable to Iowa voters than any other candidate.

For the most part, candidates like Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich never fully committed to campaigning all across Iowa. Only when the race was in its final days did Perry and Gingrich begin to make an effort to meet voters. Santorum, on the other hand, toiled for months. He impressed Iowans, but he struggled in convincing them that he was candidate they should actually support. Still, it was worth the effort. Once Santorum showed that he had a legitimate shot at finishing well in Iowa, all those who liked him were primed to support him.

 

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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