Santorum: Poor results Saturday could doom prez bid
August 12th, 2011
05:27 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum: Poor results Saturday could doom prez bid

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – On Friday, Rick Santorum suggested he could become the first political casualty of the 2012 presidential race.

Just over two months after his official presidential campaign began, the Republican candidate intimated it could soon end - if he's not "in the top five" in Saturday's Ames Straw Poll.

The Republican presidential candidate spoke with CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.

"I think we have to be in the top five. I mean if we're eight or ninth - if we're not in the top five - this tells me that we don't have the organizational ability to get this thing done," Santorum told Crowley.

"This is a marathon. We got to show that we're building a team and so I'm kind of drawing the line there."

The Ames contest is seen as a test of a candidate's organization and popularity in Iowa.

If the former Pennsylvania senator does "draw the line" after a weak finish in Ames, it would surely be a devastating end to a long flirtation with a presidential bid.

In the past two years, Santorum has visited early presidential primary and caucus states – like Iowa and New Hampshire – scrounging for support. In June of this year, he announced his formal presidential campaign.

Since then, Santorum has barnstormed Iowa, home to the nation's first presidential contest. In the past few weeks alone, he – along with his wife and seven children – has traveled across Iowa selling his economic message and brand of conservatism. Among other things, Santorum believes government spending has run amok and is staunchly against abortion, even in the cases of rape and incest.

And yet his conservative appeal has not caught fire with many conservative voters. In a recent CNN/ORC International poll, Santorum saw a paltry two percent support. Other polls have also shown him near the back of the pack.

If Santorum does bow out of the GOP presidential race after the Ames poll, it would certainly not be the first since time that contest has claimed political casualties.

In 2007, former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson bowed out after a less-than-stellar finish in that contest.


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Rick Santorum
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. GonzoinHouston

    My early Saturday morning prediction, for what it's worth: Santorum and Pawlenty will be out. Palin and Perry, who aren't running in Iowa, will both get more votes than Bachman, who will stay in the race anyway. Ron Paul will stay in because he still has campaign contributions coming in and he doesn't know any better. Gingrich will claim an upset victory no matter how few votes he gets. Herman Cain will get squat but will claim it doesn't matter. He's toast after SC. Romney will win it but won't talk about it much because he doesn't want to answer questions about Perry. And Sister Sarah will announce that it's really hot in Iowa in August so she's pointing her bus tour to someplace with a better climate for this time of year,, New Hampshire, maybe.

    August 13, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
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    August 13, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. jimatmadison

    Newt Gingrich is the most vile American political figure in my lifetime.

    But even Newt isn't as creepy as Rick Santorum.

    On one hand, Santorum exemplifies the disgusting depths of the GOP political field, so I'd like to keep him around just to keep up the 'ick' factor.

    On the other hand, he really is creepy, and I'd just as soon he disappeared from public view.

    August 13, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. dd

    Good...sorry he has wasted so much money and time but thats that! one down and 10 or so more to go!

    August 13, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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