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Commentary: Santorum real front-runner

While Mitt Romney technically won the Iowa Caucus by eight votes Wednesday morning, the real winner was the runner-up, Rick Santorum.

Had I written this one week ago, my guess is most people reading this would think to themselves, “Who?”

With every Google search that looked up this former-Republican senator from Pennsylvania, Santorum’s stock in the 2012 presidential election rose. Mitt Romney has been in the Republican spotlight for many years, but, unless you are an avid follower of the primaries and debates, Santorum’s name is probably new.

With the next step being New Hampshire, Santorum is going to look to take the momentum he gained from the Iowa Caucus and build on that.

While the Iowa Caucus means next to nothing in the grand scheme of things, we did learn this: Santorum is a contender.

Three months ago I would have said the Republican nomination was a race between Romney and Ron Paul, but it would appear the race has widened. I expect Romney to win New Hampshire as well, but if Santorum has similar results that he experienced in Iowa, he will probably be the front-runner in my mind.

Santorum, 53, began his political career right out of college, working for various elected officials in Pennsylvania. In 1990, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Santorum was in the Pennsylvania public light until 2007, when he focused on his pursuit for the presidential office.

Again, I can’t emphasize enough how little the Iowa Caucus means in the grand scheme of things. John McCain finished fourth in the 2008 Iowa Caucus, and he went on to win the nomination.

Santorum is not a lock for the nomination, but neither are Romney and Paul. Santorum might have lost by eight votes in the Caucus, but ultimately he came out a winner.

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