Santorum in Iowa

by Robert Costa

Des Moines, Iowa – On Sunday night, I stopped by Santorum’s headquarters in nearby Urbandale. The cramped offices were bustling. Supporters, from college kids to retirees, made phone calls and visitors were constant, most of them looking for lawn signs. According to an organizer, the campaign has enlisted over 1,100 caucus captains. Over on the home page, I look at the strategy behind the surge:

“Right now, timing is everything and Santorum has it,” says Steve Grubbs, a GOP consultant who recently directed Herman Cain’s Iowa campaign. “He has the luxury of peaking late, and I think he will certainly finish in the top three.” In the final sprint, Santorum and his campaign advisers are cognizant of their new place near the top of the Iowa race, but in background conversations, many of his aides say they are wary of making predictions. Instead, they are focusing on turnout — corralling the campaign’s thousand-plus caucus captains, making innumerable phone calls, and tapping online social networks. Ensuring that Santorum’s supporters show up — and bring along friends — is crucial, many say. Sustaining Santorum’s position, especially against better-financed rivals, will be about organization as much as fervor.

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