Santorum Will Run ... but Can He Beat the Yawn Factor?
Voters may find him ho-hum—or he may be erring by going the blue-collar route
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2015 11:02 AM CDT
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City on Thursday, May 21, 2015.   (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

(Newser) – Rick Santorum is set to announce today during an interview with George Stephanopoulos that he'll run for president in 2016, ABC News reports. The announcement will take place in Santorum's hometown of Cabot, Pa., and will mark his second run for president, after he finished second to Mitt Romney in the 2012 race for the Republican nomination. So far, all signs point to him positioning himself as the comeback candidate, despite low poll numbers that might not even qualify him for the first primary debate in August, the Washington Post notes—a recent RealClearPolitics polling average placed Santorum 10th among GOP candidates at just 2.3%, the Wall Street Journal notes. "It was a great campaign last time," Santorum said earlier this month, per Fox News. "We were clearly the underdog. ... We would be in the same position and ... we are very comfortable there."

John Brabender, Santorum's campaign strategist, echoes that positivity, telling the Post that his "phone rings off the hook" as consultants vie for a chance to work with his boss, adding that Santorum "wears [being counted out so many times before] as a badge of honor rather than something to get angry about." But while some speculate that GOP "star power," as the paper puts it, is too strong this time for Santorum to stand out, the New York Times floats a more nuanced theory: that by flying the blue-collar banner in lieu of tackling hot social issues, Santorum may not be hitting the right chord with conservative voters. The paper notes a joint appearance last week by Santorum and fellow contender Mike Huckabee in front of social conservatives in Iowa: Huckabee spoke about religious liberty and "pumped up the crowd"; Santorum talked about working-class issues and received polite applause.
 

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