Santorum says he’s not dropping out even if he loses in Wisconsin

GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said his campaign will not end Tuesday, even if he loses the Wisconsin primary.

“We’re moving forward, we’re setting up our teams for the 26th. The map in May looks very, very good for us,” Santorum said on "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace."

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“You know, if you go past this month of April, we've got these primaries and then five more at the end of the month, the map in May looks very, very good for us,” he added. “Texas, and Arkansas and West Virginia and North Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky. We've got some great states, where we are ahead in every poll in all of those states.”

Santorum also emphasized he is not worried about his home state, Pennsylvania, and disregarded poll numbers that suggest former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the GOP front-runner, is gaining support there.

Santorum said poll numbers showing him faltering in his home state were the product of a “Democratic hack” pollster.


“The Democratic hack that does that, Terry Madonna, has probably and singularly gotten more polls wrong than any person I know in the history of the state,” said Santorum. 

“I think he just draws numbers out of a hat sometimes,” he added. “We feel very good about Pennsylvania. We're going to do exceptionally well there. Gov. Romney is already out there spending money, you know, dumping his millions in. But we've got a great grassroots strong network. You know, we have the strong conservative base in the state of the — in the state of Pennsylvania that's going to come out and come out strong for us.”


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When asked if he would consider running for president in 2016 if he lost this GOP race, Santorum said he was focused on 2012.

“If you listen to the folks across this country, we need a conservative,” Santorum said.

“In 1976 the Republican party made a mistake in not choosing Ronald Reagan, [choosing a moderate] and lost ... all I can say is, I’m not thinking about the future. We need to win 2012 and re-elect a conservative in 2016,” he explained.

In an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Santorum went further and pledged not to drop out of the presidential race until Romney captured the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

"There’s one thing worse than … a convention fight, and that’s picking the wrong candidate, not picking the best candidate to give us the best chance to win,” Santorum said on NBC.

According to one tally from The Associated Press, Romney has 568 delegates, Santorum has 273, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) has 135.

But Santorum still faces an uphill fight, with Romney seen as the presumptive nominee by many Republicans and Democrats. Romney has picked up a series of high-profile endorsements in the past week from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and former President George H.W. Bush.

Santorum has faced increasing pressure from GOP heavyweights to leave the race and allow the party to coalesce behind Romney ahead of the November match-up against President Obama.

Santorum must also fight perceptions on both sides of the aisle that Romney is the inevitable nominee. 

Also appearing on Fox, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) focused on a Romney match-up against Obama in the general election.

Dean said that Romney could not relate to the average America, and that his inability to connect with voters would make it difficult for the “moderate at heart” former governor to win the election. 

Barbour, however, pointed to Obama’s poor record as the linchpin for whomever runs as the GOP nominee. Barbour predicted the president would be unable to run on his record and that would spell the end of his reelection efforts. 

“The case against Barack Obama is on his record ... in this case the president’s policies are not only unpopular, they make it harder to make jobs,” said Barbour.

“If this election is about Obama’s policies, he will lose.”

—This story has been updated.

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