Santorum sets campaign announcement for May 27 in Pittsburgh

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) said Wednesday he’ll make a “big announcement” regarding his 2016 plans on May 27 in Pittsburgh.
Santorum attended school in Pittsburgh and spent several years there as a lawyer before being elected to Congress.
 
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Santorum set up a testing-the-waters campaign account earlier this month to help finance his trips to early-voting states, where he’s been meeting with local activists and party leaders to gauge support ahead of what appears to be another run at the Republican presidential nomination.
 
Last week, Santorum attended three events in South Carolina, and he held three events in Iowa the week prior. He’ll head back to Iowa on May 16 for one of the state party’s biggest fundraisers, the Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines.
 
Santorum emerged as the most formidable challenger to the eventual Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, in 2012.
 
He traveled to all 99 counties in Iowa and ultimately edged Romney in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, pulling from a strong base of social conservative and evangelical voters.
 
He faces a more daunting political landscape in 2016, however.
 
Santorum will be competing with a far larger field of candidates for the votes of social conservatives and evangelicals, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), former neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008.
 
Santorum is currently buried in the polls in 11th place nationally and taking only 2 percent support, according to the RealClearPolitics average. He’s only doing a little bit better in Iowa, pulling 2.7 percent support, according to RCP.
 
—Updated at 8:22 p.m. 

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