Rick Santorum announces presidential campaign for Republican nomination.

Rick Santorum Announces Second Presidential Bid Joining an Already Crowded Republican Field

Rick Santorum Announces Second Presidential Bid Joining an Already Crowded Republican Field

The Slatest
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May 27 2015 6:48 PM

Rick Santorum Announces Second Presidential Bid Joining an Already Crowded Republican Field

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Rick Santorum speaks to supporters during a campaign stop during 2012 election.

Photo by Mark Hirsch/Getty Images

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum announced on Wednesday he’s giving running for president another shot, after winning 11 states during the 2012 GOP nomination battle before succumbing to Mitt Romney. The 57-year-old evangelical conservative has found support in the past from the Republican party’s socially conservative base but has never quite been able to move voters—and contributors—beyond that core to threaten for the nomination.

Santorum is hoping he can build upon his 2012 showing, but the former senator is entering an already crowded Republican field with double-digit candidates and a trio of like-minded conservatives in Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who all need to capture the same bloc of voters in order to be competitive.

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“Mr. Santorum hopes outreach to lower-income Americans, combined with his base of support among evangelical Christians and the party’s most conservative voters, will propel him ahead of better-funded candidates with establishment backing,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The strategy builds on his 2012 bid as a lunch-bucket conservative with a populist economic tone and a focus on social issues, an image that appealed to voters who felt eventual nominee Mitt Romney was insufficiently conservative.”

Santorum’s first challenge is going to be entrenching himself in the top 10 in GOP polling. Last week, Fox News, which hosts the first primary-season Republican debate, announced it would cap the number of participants at 10 to avoid potentially having to squeeze 20-odd podiums on stage. Polling earlier this month showed the two-term senator with just a percentage point or two of support, just enough to put him in 10th among likely Republican candidates.