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March 8, 2012

Santorum keeps fighting, thanks to ‘secret army’ of home-schoolers

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/santorum_keeps_fighting_thanks_to_secret_army_of_homeschoolers_20120308/

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Rick Santorum in Steubenville, Oh., Mar. 6. Photo by REUTERS/Jim Young

Despite losing to Mitt Romney on Super Tuesday, Rick Santorum outperformed expectations and won three states. Could it be his thanks to his “secret army” of home-schoolers?

Religion News Service has the story about the grassroots support for Santorum among home-schoolers:

Drawing on his experience as a home-schooling father of seven, the former Pennsylvania senator has also sought to rally enthusiasm by pledging to continue that course in the White House. 

“It’s a great sacrifice that my wife, Karen, and I have made to try to give what we think is the best possible opportunity for our children to be successful,” Santorum said during a March 1 campaign stop in Georgia. “Not just economically, but in a whole lot of other areas that we think are important—virtue and character and spirituality.”

Rallying home-schoolers could provide a huge boost to Santorum’s bare-bones campaign. The tightly knit and predominantly Christian communities are famous for furnishing favored candidates with hundreds of steadfast foot soldiers. Studies show that home-schoolers are disproportionately likely to vote, donate and volunteer for campaigns.

“When they find someone who gives credence to the fact that they home-school, they tend to be very loyal and active and engaged,” said [Rebecca] Keliher, a home-schooling mother of five in Nashville, Tenn. Many are motivated by the unwelcome prospect of seeing home-schooling critics elected to office.

This is an innovative effort. Obama had social media in 2008. Could Santorum sweep into the White House with the help of home-schoolers in 2012? Doubtful, but it’s an interesting storyline. Read more from RNS here.

And for more on home-schooling as an educational form primarily employed by Christians, check out this story I wrote in 2005.

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