Santorum Hopes Florida Delegates Not Winner-Take-All

Jan 23, 2012 12:54pm
gty santorum tk 120103 wblog Santorum Hopes Florida Delegates Not Winner Take All

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VENICE, Fla. — GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum is hoping that Florida’s delegates are chosen in an unconventional manner, namely at this summer’s convention.

Currently, the winner of the Jan. 31 Florida primaries is slated to receive all of the state’s 50 delegates. But because Florida moved its primary up against the wishes of the party, the state may ultimately be made to dole out its delegates proportionally to candidates in the order they place here.

Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator who won in Iowa but is trailing in Florida, is hoping the rules change by the August convention and he can pick up at least some delegates.   “It’s winner -take-all, unless it’s not,” Santorum told reporters before touring the PGT window manufacturing plant. ”

“Because what we’ve been told, if there’s a contention at the convention about it being winner-take-all, it won’t be winner-take-all. It’ll be apportioned by Congressional districts. If  there’s an opportunity for us in some Congressional districts to pull off a surprise here and there — even if we don’t pull off a win in Florida, we may win some congressional districts at the convention if it goes to a convention. You never know,” he said.

“We’ve got three candidates in the race — four with Congressman Paul — who are going to stay in this race a long, long time. If there’s one thing  you can predict about this race; it’s that you can’t predict about this race.”

But if Santorum is hoping for an eleventh-hour change to the rules, he is  still very much hedging his bet that Florida remains winner-take-all.   That means not spending any real money on television advertising here and not campaigning here exclusively over the next 10 days.

“We’ve got other states coming up within a week of Florida, and we haven’t been to any of those states. We’ve spent a fair amount of time in Florida, doing events early in the campaign. So we’re going to be jumping around doing other events in other places. So we want to make sure we’ve got the groundwork laid in those places too,” he said.

Santorum was only officially declared the winner of Iowa’s caucuses  last week, but was able to gain little momentum from the announcement after Newt Gingrich’s win Saturday in South Carolina.  Asked how he could break through given the attention Romney and Gingrich are receiving, he said: “Sitting on the sidelines watching two people destroy each other creates an opportunity itself.”

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