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The Gazette KCRG
Posted December 27, 2011
Santorum expects to exceed expectations

A local resident looks at a campaign pamphlet as Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum speaks during a town hall meeting at the Fort Dodge GOP Headquarters, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, in Fort Dodge, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

 

DES MOINES – Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said his goal is to “exceed expectations” when Iowa Republicans meet next Tuesday to choose the candidates they want to be the party’s presidential nominee in 2012.

“My feeling is we have to exceed expectations and the expectations right now for us are pretty low based on a lot of the national polls. So I feel like we need to do well. We need to be right in the mix,” Santorum said during an interview on a WHO-AM radio call-in show today.

“I would love to win it. Our intention is to win it and we’re doing everything we can to try to finish first,” the GOP candidate said. However, he noted that he would feel “very, very good” if he finishes “somewhere in that middle of the pack and up” when the caucus returns are announced the night of Jan. 3.

Santorum, who spent Monday hunting at a private hunting lodge near Adel, said next week’s race boils down to three separate races – one for the GOP libertarian wing which he expects Texas Congressman Ron Paul will win, another one between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for the support of Iowa’s establishment Republicans, and a three-way battle among himself, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry for the backing of the state’s evangelical and social conservatives.

Santorum has picked up key endorsements recently from Iowa conservative leaders and hoping that Iowans “as I say when I’m on the road, will stick it to the man” by confounding the pundits and experts with a vote for the conservative who has worked hard and spent the most time campaigning in Iowa.

Speaking to the Iowa radio audience, Santorum said “If I finish dead last way behind the pack, I’m going to pack up and go home. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think we’re going to be very much in the mix and I feel very good that we’re going to surprise a lot of people on how we finish.”

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