The Santorum Surge

Given the bubble-and-burst pattern of the GOP presidential race, it had to happen: Rick Santorum is poised for a surge.

The only right-wing candidate who hasn’t vaulted up in the polls—only to come crashing back down—the former Pennsylvania senator recently crept into double digits in the Iowa polls, tying him with fellow evangelical favorites Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann. Today, he got a big leg up on both by winning Iowa’s God primary—i.e., the endorsement of the state’s most prominent evangelical leader, Bob Vander Plaats, who ran Mike Huckabee’s winning effort in 2008. “He’s one of us,” Vander Plaats told his loyal followers. Now that reporters are finally paying attention, Santorum let loose with a highly quotable comment today: “I'm for income inequality,” he told folks at a campaign stop in Pella. 

So They Say

"What's up gangstas, it's the M-i-double tizzle." — Mitt Romney on Letterman

Daily Meme: Republicans Can Dream, Can’t They? 

What We’re Writing

  • Patrick Caldwell reports from Iowa that evangelicals adore Newt’s judiciary-bashing. 
  • Cindy Casares explores the effect of DOJ’s Arpaio investigation on the presidential race.

What We're Reading

  • Romney asks USA Today readers: “Will the United States be an Entitlement Society or an Opportunity Society?”
  • Erwin Chemerinsky takes on the Republican judiciary-bashers.
  • Perry and Romney bombard the Iowa airwaves.
  • Mother Jones offers a handy primer on Gingrich’s Congressional ethics scandal.

Poll of the Day

CNN/ORC International poll shows President Obama widening his lead over Mitt Romney to 52-45 percent.

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