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Surging, but Is Rick Santorum for Real?
| February 14, 2012 | 05:08 PM EST

The latest Republican to surge in polls, Rick Santorum is trying to turn his newfound strength into something lasting.

Curious Republicans now pack his rallies. Supporters have funneled nearly $4 million to his formerly empty campaign account over the past seven days. And his staff is plotting an aggressive strategy to challenge Mitt Romney in Romney's native Michigan and beyond.

But things don't look so strong just beneath the surface.

Santorum is underfunded and outmanned. He's still lacking in organization, a month and a half into the primary season. And, after he won three contests in a single day last week, his opponents -- on the right and the left -- have begun their own efforts to tear him down.

An upbeat Santorum declared "We're building" in a brief interview in Tacoma, Wash., on Tuesday before heading to Idaho for campaign events. "We've got a great volunteer base. In some states we're going to have staff. Other states we aren't. We're going to use volunteers."

His challenges were on display this week in Tacoma, where hundreds of supporters waited on cold, wet cement stairs in the dark to see the Republican presidential candidate with whom they're barely familiar.

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