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The announcement will come later this afternoon from his hometown in Cabot, Pennsylvania, near his childhood home. Santorum will then sit-down with George Stephanopoulos (really?) for his first interview as an officially 2016 presidential candidate.

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Report from ABC News:

Rick Santorum, the former Republican senator from Pennsylvania, will announce today that he will seek the GOP nomination for president in 2016, ABC News has learned. ABC News’ Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos will sit down for an exclusive interview with Santorum this afternoon.

Santorum, 57, is set to reveal his presidential intentions at an event today in Cabot, Pa., near his childhood home. It will be his second run for the White House, almost four years after he won primaries and caucuses in 11 states and finished second to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican nomination.

Santorum will join a quickly widening Republican field that already includes six declared candidates and could grow to encompass around a dozen more. Several contenders are expected to give him tougher competition this time around for the Christian conservative votes he relied on in 2012.

His experience in the last election could prove helpful, as several Republican nominees, including Romney and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., did not clinch the ticket until their second try.

But the competitive nature of this cycle has already thrown a hurdle in Santorum’s path, with recently released debate rules opening the possibility he will not poll high enough to participate in the first debate in August.

In 2012, Santorum ended up winning the Iowa caucuses over Mitt Romney by literally a handful of votes. He went on to take the “runner-up” status after winning a few more states as the “not-Romney” alternative. However, unless 2016 is drastically different, 2012 will serve as the high water mark for Rick Santorum’s presidential hopes.

He’s polling down in low single-digits and it’s likely he does not make the cut for the first Republican primary debate on August 6, sponsored by Fox News. Santorum would, technically, be “next in line” if we go by history. However, 2016, is so chock full of higher quality candidates, he is having a tough time being noticed since his bread-and-butter social conservatism is facing heavy competition.

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