Santorum says he'll exit presidential race if he does poorly in Iowa caucuses

Rick Santorum said if he finished badly in Iowa's Jan. 3 caucuses, he would drop out of the presidential race.

"If I finish dead last behind the pack I'm going to pack up and go home but I don't think that's going to happen," he said Tuesday on the Des Moines radio station WHO.

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The former Pennsylvania senator has been focusing his resources in Iowa and won endorsements from a number of the state's top conservatives, including its secretary of State, Matt Schultz (R), and Bob Vander Plaats, the head of the social conservative group The Family Leader. 

He has been near the bottom in polls of the state, usually only topping Jon Huntsman, who is not competing in Iowa.

Santorum, who failed to make Virginia's presidential ballot, also criticized that state's requirements, saying the process is rigged toward candidates with the most money.

"It's weighted toward the candidates who have the most money to go and buy it," Santorum said.

Candidates were required to submit 10,000 signatures by Dec. 22 at 5 p.m. to make it on Virginia's ballot for the March 6th Republican primary. Only Ron Paul and Mitt Romney qualified.

Santorum had raised only a little more than a million dollars for this presidential bid, according to his third-quarter fundraising report. Fourth-quarter reports are due next month.

He wasn't the only candidate to criticize Virginia's system after failing to get on the ballot. Newt Gingrich's campaign director said Virginia's process is a "failed system" and compared the setback to the Pearl Harbor bombing in 1941.

“Newt and I agreed that the analogy is December 1941,” campaign director Michael Krull wrote on the Gingrich Facebook page. “We have experienced an unexpected set-back, but we will re-group and re-focus with increased determination, commitment and positive action."

In the same interview, Santorum said that his campaign, through volunteers, was able to collect about 9,000 signatures but couldn't hit the 10,000 minimum.