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As Bachmann Fades, Santorum Plots 'Slow and 'Steady' Rise

He hopes to mimic Mike Huckabee's success in Iowa
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2011 5:38 PM CDT

(Newser) – Rick Santorum may not have Mike Huckabee’s charm, but he’s hoping he can repeat the ex-governor’s performance in Iowa. The former Pennsylvania senator has “essentially moved” to the state, where he aims to win over onetime supporters of Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, writes Shushannah Walshe at ABC News. “Doubts have been raised about Michele and her electability, and certainly we clearly benefit from that,” Santorum says. He's building a strategy of being a second choice—which can go a long way in a caucus.

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“Key people” who back Bachmann—activists, not paid staffers—have been talking to the Santorum campaign, the presidential hopeful says. And while the media had called Perry a “conservative savior,” Santorum notes, “now folks are finding out, well, that’s not exactly the way it is.” For now, the plan is “slow and steady.” After winning the 2008 Iowa caucuses, Huckabee saw a financial windfall, says a Santorum staffer. “We’re planning on the same thing.” But without Huckabee’s “sunny optimism and upbeat personality,” Santorum may not fare so well, says a GOP strategist. (Read more Mike Huckabee stories.)

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