Rick Santorum Forms Presidential Exploratory Committee

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum became the latest Republican to dip his toe in to the Presidential waters:

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum announced late Wednesday that he has formed a presidential exploratory committee.

“I’ve been to 25 states over the past year … and have gotten a lot of great feedback and a lot of encouragement,” Santorum said on FOX News Channel’s “On The Record with Greta Van Susteren” Wednesday night.

Santorum, 52, served two terms as a Pennsylvania senator before he was defeated in 2006 by Democratic Sen. Bob Casey. Prior to serving in the Senate, Santorum was a member of the House of Representatives from 1991-1995.

He reportedly made a little under $100,000 a year at FOX News Channel as an on-air contributor under a three-year contract set to expire in 2013. However, the network suspended the contract last month, citing a conflict of interest as he publicly mulled a presidential run.
Santorum joins former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty as the third viable Republican candidate to form a presidential exploratory committee.
Still, Santorum — a social conservative who hopes to makes inroads with evangelicals in the leadoff state of Iowa — is a dark horse candidate for the nomination, trailing better-known potential candidates such as Romney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in the polls.

According to the Real Clear Politics average of recent national polls, Santorum currently registers 2.2 percent support nationwide.

In other words, he’s not much of a factor in the race outside of his core socially conservative supporters, and they’ve got plenty of other candidates to choose from. Unless Santorum is able to pull of some kind of surprise in early on in Iowa or, maybe, South Carolina I doubt he’d be in the race very long if he does ultimately decide to run.

 

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mithras says:

    Vanity candidacy. Sen. Man-on-Dog wants to get booked on talk shows and perhaps sell a book.

  2. Boz says:

    Funny thing is that Santorum has been viewed with skepticism by social conservatives since he endorsed Arlen Specter against Pat Toomey back in 2004. That helped kill a lot of social conservative turn out for him in 2006. He’s got some influential backers (especially really aggressive foreign policy types) who would like to have a guy they can own and control as the face of social conservatism, but, to be honest, the grassroots social conservatives see through this guy.