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Santorum takes a different tack, out of necessity

FILE - In this Dec. 28, 2011 file photo, Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum gestures as he waits to speak to local residents during a campaign stop at USA Furniture and Bedding, in Dubuque, Iowa. Other candidates are rumbling across Iowa in garishly painted buses with loudspeakers blaring campaign music. Santorum's bus is Chuck Laudner's heavy-duty pickup truck. His is a shoestring campaign that sometimes flies in the face of conventional political wisdom. FILE - In this Dec. 28, 2011 file photo, Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum gestures as he waits to speak to local residents during a campaign stop at USA Furniture and Bedding, in Dubuque, Iowa. Other candidates are rumbling across Iowa in garishly painted buses with loudspeakers blaring campaign music. Santorum's bus is Chuck Laudner's heavy-duty pickup truck. His is a shoestring campaign that sometimes flies in the face of conventional political wisdom. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
By Mike Glover
Associated Press / December 30, 2011
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MUSCATINE, Iowa—A lot of things stand out about Rick Santorum's dogged bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Many buck conventional political wisdom, and are the hallmarks of a campaign on a shoestring budget.

Most candidates are rumbling across the state in garishly painted buses with loudspeakers blaring campaign music to announce their presence in usually tranquil Iowa towns. Santorum's vehicle of choice is a supporter's heavy-duty pickup truck with an aide working in the back seat.

Iowa's airwaves are filled with TV commercials. But Santorum's presence is much more restrained. That's largely a consequence of the fact that he can't afford much of one.

And yet, Santorum's low-key, scaled-down approach appears to be working. He's seeing a burst of momentum as Iowans give him a long-awaited look ahead of Tuesday's caucuses.

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