A Rare Moment of Hope For Santorum
While most of the Republican presidential candidates have bypassed the typical ground game route, Rick Santorum has practically moved to Iowa, hoping that he can shake enough hands to convince the state's social conservatives that he is the real deal. But so far, it hasn't paid any dividends. He wallows near the bottom of Iowa polls, never breaking out of the single digits.
He's set to make a "major announcement" today, and if early leaks are correct, it's a big endorsement for his campaign. According to The Hill's Daniel Strauss, Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz will endorse Santorum's campaign. Schultz is a Tea Party favorite in the state, after he won a highly contested Secretary of State race last fall, knocking off the Democrat who had held that position. He's used his office to promote many of the causes popular among the grassroots right such as photo ID bills. Democrats successfully blocked that bill, but Iowa still suffered as a part of the 2011 wave of voter supression laws when, by executive order, Gov. Terry Branstad removed over 100,000 former felons from the voting rolls.
Shultz also endeared himself to the social conservative base by publicly criticizing moderate Republican candidates like Jon Huntsman (and earlier Mitt Romney) for not competing in the caucuses. "He gives Iowa Republicans a dynamic, young leader who could be a fixture in Iowa politics for years to come," conservative website The Iowa Republican wrote when Schultz won his seat last year. Schultz is one of the most prized remaining Iowa endorsements after Branstad and Sen. Chuck Grassley have declined supporting candidates and US Rep. Steve King increasingly appears unlikely to offer an endorsement.
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