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Rick Santorum's Winning Strategy: Stay Grounded

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Rick Santorum is coming to a house near you.

The Republican candidate, who two weeks ago seemed like an Iowa footnote in primary-election history, has significantly boosted his presence in Michigan and the Super Tuesday states, campaign sources have said.

Rick Santorum

"It's just a regular campaign: we're building coalitions, getting out the vote, identifying our coalitions, getting out yard signs. We're actually going to have people knocking on doors -- you know, just a basic blocking and tackling campaign," a Santorum campaign source said in an interview.

Santorum's strategy for Michigan and Super Tuesday is similar to the boots-on-the-ground campaigning his crew conducted in Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri as they won those contests by knocking on people's doors and asking for their vote.

Campaign sources have confirmed that they made key hires this week to send to upcoming races in Idaho, Texas, Washington and Oklahoma.

Another Santorum aide said in an interview that they have organized in five new Southeast states: Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Two of those southern states could be turning for the former Pennsylvania senator. A Wednesday Tennessee poll showed Santorum with a lead in the state at 34% favor against Mitt Romney at 27%, Newt Gingrich at 16% and Ron Paul at 13%. Gingrich has held a firm lead in Georgia (it has the most Super Tuesday delegates up for grabs), but it could be narrowing as a Landmark/Rosetta Stone poll showed Gingrich drop from above the 40% threshold to 35% favor. Santorum jumped to 26% in that poll after he had hovered near 10% in other state surveys.

Right after the former senator swept three victories on Feb. 7, some 375 volunteers immediately signed up to help in Georgia, a Santorum aide said. Though Santorum trails Gingrich there, the campaign senses momentum slowly shifting in their favor.

They've picked up endorsements from state House members Ed Setzler and Sam Teasley, who helped with a bit of organization before the campaign hit the ground there. "The team [in Georgia] is focused and was very well put together before we even talked to them this week," the aide said.

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