AMES, Iowa - Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum said Friday that he won't fall off the map after the Iowa caucuses, even though he has little-to-no campaign organization in other early primary states.
Santorum, who has spent more time in Iowa than any other candidate, says he has an advantage heading into New Hampshire that the 2008 winner of the Iowa caucuses, Mike Huckabee, didn't have.
"I'm from that area of the country," Santorum told reporters during a campaign stop in Ames. "In that respect, we have an advantage going into New Hampshire that Mike didn't have."
Iowa's religious conservatives, who helped propel Huckabee to victory in the 2008 caucuses, are now coalescing around Santorum and giving him a critical last-minute boost in the polls.
The former Pennsylvania senator hadn't been able to break double digits in the polls until this week, when he landed in third place with 16 percent support in Iowa, behind Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Santorum is still settling into the realities of his new position in the polls.
"I'm not going to do anything differently," he said. "We're just going to continue to work hard."
Many GOP candidates have experienced rapid, intense surges in support this year, but none so far have lasted beyond a month. Santorum says his moment in the spotlight will be lasting.
"This is not my first rodeo," he said.