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Election 101: Nine things to know about Rick Santorum and his White House bid

Rick Santorum’s 16-year career in politics can be charted through his rigorous positions on hot-button issues: welfare, abortion, gay rights. His boldness has made Mr. Santorum a politician that people either really like or don’t just as deeply.

- Correspondent

Possible 2012 presidential hopeful and former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, talks with GOP activist Sue Carrol on May 12 in Salem, N.H. (Jim Cole/AP Photo)

3. What are his challenges?

Santorum’s national name recognition is poor, which can pose a huge hurdle in the race to raise cash.

Santorum is also seen as unable to win a presidential election because his views are not in the mainstream. Analysts note his 18-point loss in his reelection bid in 2006 in Pennsylvania, a swing state.

Santorum may also face a problem for voting for policies that added to the federal deficit while serving in Congress, says G. Terry Madonna, professor of public affairs at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. One such vote was for the Medicare prescription drug program.


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