All the attention this week has been on the 3 way battle between the front runners Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and the surging Ron Paul but my favorite Republican candidate Rick Santorum is still in the hunt.
Iowa has a history of surprising the political commentariat with Mike Huckabee winning in 2008 and Pat Robertson coming in 2nd in 1988. A little known former Governor of Georgia somehow spun his 2nd place showing to uncommitted in 1976 as a win making him a national candidate. Jimmy Carter then won the New Hampshire primary, beat George Wallace in Florida and defeated the field in Pennsylvania wrapping up the nomination.
A 3rd place or better showing by Santorum means his longshot candidacy would allow him to go on and camp out in South Carolina skipping New Hampshire hoping to become the next not Romney. If he wins or comes in a close 2nd in South Carolina it then would be a showdown in Florida. The political junkie in me wants the race to last until at least Super Tuesday, March 6th and I can hope against all reason that the Pennsylvania primary on April 24th will be the deciding contest like 1976.
Tempering my enthusiasm Rick's camp can't do the hard work of actually getting on the ballot in an important state like his home state of Virginia.
Santorum was born in Winchester, Virginia and moved to Butler County, Pa. as a child. He officially changed his residency to Virginia after leaving office.
Only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul will be on the ballot in Virginia. Even fellow Virginia resident Newt Gingrich failed to get enough signatures confirming that his campaign is an unorganized mess. Jon Huntsman, Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry also failed to follow the rules.
Newt put out a bizarre ad staring an elf that is not Wil Ferrrell: