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With an eye on tradition, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is hoping that 2016 could be his year. Having won the Iowa caucuses in 2012, and giving Mitt Romney a run for several weeks, Santorum eventually lost the nomination but came in a close second place. In many cases, the runner-up status carries into the next cycle giving Santorum a spring board into the primaries.

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Report from the Washington Post:

Rick Santorum won primaries and caucuses in 11 states in 2012, coming in a respectable second in the GOP presidential primary season. And Republicans have a history of bestowing their nomination on the next guy in line, usually an also-ran from the last contest.

Yet the former senator from Pennsylvania is rarely mentioned in the already feverish pre-game 2016 chatter among the political commentariat and the donor class.

That’s just the way he likes it. Or so he says.

“America loves an underdog. We’re definitely the underdog in this race,” he said in an interview Tuesday. Santorum added that being underestimated — again — “has given me a lot of latitude.”

Santorum’s advantage may be his ground game from 2012 which is largely still in place. He’s got dedicated volunteers in many early states so he is ahead of many possible rivals. Can Santorum convert his 2012 successes into 2016 victory? I’d highly doubt that will be the case but it doesn’t mean he won’t be a contender in some early states.

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