Rick Santorum: Presidential Candidate Again, But So Much Has Changed

Rick Santorum had quite a ride in 2012.

The former senator from Pennsylvania won the Republican caucuses in Iowa by just 34 votes – a big victory for an upstart presidential candidate with little organization or money – and became the conservative alternative to eventual nominee Mitt Romney. All told, Mr. Santorum won 11 nominating contests and accumulated the second-highest vote total after Mr. Romney.

On Wednesday, Santorum is expected to announce his second run for the presidency from his hometown of Butler, Pa.  

In short, it’s highly unlikely Santorum can catch fire the way he did four years ago. But what’s the downside in running again?

“I don’t see one at all, particularly since Santorum can say he had a strong showing in 2012,” says Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. But the counterargument is that “they weren’t voting for him, they were voting against Mitt Romney. This time around, it’s 31 flavors.”

Read more from Linda Feldmann at The Christian Science Monitor

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Analysis & Political Strategy