There's been a steady debate throughout the Republican primaries whether the notion of "retail politics" -- the old fashioned, baby-kissing, bus-stop-greeting, local-official-courting style of campaigning -- is still relevant in the FOX News era. If there's ever a case to be made that its time has come and gone its Rick Santorum's tragic campaign.
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Santorum has been putting in unparalleled amounts of time in Iowa and New Hampshire, easily dwarfing local efforts by the top tier candidates in either state, yet has been unable to muster even a brief polling bubble.
According to the Washington Post's candidate tracker, Santorum has made a staggering 240 visits inside Iowa since June, where he's aggressively sought to jump start his campaign by drawing in social conservative voters. Michele Bachmann is in second in the state, with 164 visits in that span. And among the top three finishers in TPM's latest Polling Average, the number drops dramatically: 59 visits from Ron Paul, 14 visits from Mitt Romney, and 52 visits from Newt Gingrich. What's Santorum gotten for his effort?