On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, which turned former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum into the political Cinderella, his campaign supporters in New Hampshire were ecstatic. Volunteers arrived at the local campaign’s headquarters in the wooden building in Bedford, and went to put on dozens of road signs.
“In the morning, six people came in and asked to write a check for the campaign. We didn’t see it here before,” Bill Cahill, Santorum’s New Hampshire campaign co-chair, told Haaretz. “The online fundraising has been fabulous this week. Even if he doesn’t win New Hampshire on Tuesday, his message will resonate here and in South Carolina. Reporters will chase him, events will be crowded,” Cahill promised, acknowledging, however, that with the newly acquired status, he expects some difficulties.
“He’ll definitely get attacked. But Rick’s strategy is simple - do not engage in fist fight, talk about issues. We won Iowa - well, won minus 8 votes - without Super-PAC and millions, without trying to drag other people down. We had a great candidate with a great message. He told me, we’ll just continue doing what we did, and it will work. And he’ll have a great week here in New Hampshire.”
Well, depends on what you call great. Chasing candidates on the freezing roads of New Hampshire (local residents tell you to be thankful for the unusual lack of snow), with events beginning as early as 7:30 A.M. and lasting until the late evening - it’s inevitable to ask, why are they doing it, especially when the numbers are down, the cash is scarce, and the press mostly ignores you.
According to the Suffolk University poll, Santorum’s support in New Hampshire stands at 8% - miles away from Mitt Romney’s 41%. “In Iowa, his numbers were low too, but he surged and he came here with this incredible momentum,” Cahill said. “The two weekend’s debates are crucial, and I am sure he can reach Tuesday’s vote in 20-s at least. He has nowhere to go but up!”
For more, go to Haaretz.com