Swamped in the state's ad
battle, Santorum told thousands in a Christian high school's
gymnasium that they can "shake up this race like no state can shake
The former Pennsylvania senator appealed to social and tea
party conservatives to take out their frustration in a place where
the Republican Party has had a poor track record and tilts toward
"No one is expecting us to do well here in Illinois," he said.
Santorum said voters might not see him on TV as much as they see
rival Mitt Romney, but that they can expect to be flooded with calls
and other pleas for votes before Tuesday's primary.
Santorum was spending the first of two days campaigning in
President Barack Obama's home state. Santorum has local ties, too --
he graduated from a suburban Catholic high school not far from the
site of his Friday night rally.
Obama was a senator from Illinois before leaping to the
"You have a unique duty here in Illinois to correct a wrong,"
Earlier Friday, Santorum was in Missouri, one of the states that
catapulted him into contender status. He won a nonbonding primary in
early February with 55 percent of the vote and a sweep of the
state's counties. Missouri Republicans head Saturday to caucuses
where potential national convention delegates will be fighting to
advance in the process.
[to top of second column]
Santorum said it's crucial that they not let one of his
breakthrough wins slip away. Romney has the support of many
prominent Republicans, including Sen. Roy Blunt.
"You spoke a month ago, you spoke loudly a month ago," Santorum
said during a morning rally at a town theater in Osage Beach, Mo.
"We need to win big and decisive. We need to show that that big win
a month ago has not dissipated the energy and enthusiasm here in
Santorum starts his day Saturday visiting caucus sites and ends
with three stops in southern Illinois, where he needs to do well if
he hopes to overtake Romney.
By BRIAN BAKST]
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