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Santorum expects boost from Super Tuesday

05 march 2012, 17:43
0
US Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. ©AFP
US Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. ©AFP
US Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Sunday he expected a campaign boost from upcoming Super Tuesday primaries, but indicated he needs trailing contenders to drop out to increase his victory chances, AFP reports.

"I think it's going to be a good Super Tuesday for us," Santorum told a group of supporters here.

"This is a game of survival, and we are doing as well as anybody in all of these races where we are either first or second in most of the states," he added.

Once at the back of the pack, Santorum has made steady gains in the state-by-state contests as other challengers rise and fall. But his standing has undergone a dramatic change since his stunning sweep last month of Colorado, Missouri, and Minnesota.

The former Pennsylvania senator also won Iowa caucuses in January.

Santorum, a Christian conservative, has appeared to benefit from his image as a politician with working class roots from a northeastern state of Pennsylvania with a similar industrial profile.

His poll surge -- the latest in a cycle of revolving conservative challenges to Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney -- has come amid a sudden eruption of national debate over explosive cultural issues -- religion, gay marriage, contraception and women's rights.

Those issues play to Santorum's message that he is the only consistently conservative candidate in the Republican race.

But Santorum suggested Sunday that his further success hinged on whether two struggling candidates, former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Representative Ron Paul decide to drop out of the race.

"For us to ultimately win, this race is going to have to narrow down to two," he said. "And I think it is going to happen eventually."

So far, neither Gingrich nor Paul has indicated any intention to quit.

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