Rick Santorum Dipping Toes Into Presidential Waters

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Politico's Jonathan Martin raises his eyebrow at a series of appearances former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum has planned in Iowa. Santorum, who is an anti-abortion, anti-LGBT, and anti-immigration-reform activist, will appear before the type of conservative activists who dominate the state's caucuses during election years — indicating strongly that he's interested in testing the waters for a 2012 Republican presidential run. "I’m very concerned about the state of affairs in this country and how Republicans are dealing with [issues]," he said. “One of the things we’ve seen from the Iowa caucuses is candidates that appeal to the base do very well. I think historically that’s always been sort of a key in Iowa. Whether I do or not, I don’t know — I mean, we’ll see.” Having Rick Santorum in the pre-primary mix for 2012 puts other possible names in a different context. For example, it moves the end zone further to the right for the rest of the GOP presidential aspirants who have already visited Iowa since last November's election (that's Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Haley Barbour, and George Pataki). And it makes those governors — even Pataki, who exited office here in New York with the lowest approval ratings of his career — look like sure things. Santorum lost his last Senate race to Democrat Bob Casey in 2006 by eighteen points — the largest margin by which any incumbent senator had lost in over 25 years.

Santorum dips toes in 2012 Iowa waters [Politico]