Huffpost Politics

Rick Santorum Adviser: 'Biggest Fear' Is No Wins Tonight

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STEUBENVILLE, Ohio -- A senior adviser to Rick Santorum said Tuesday evening that a worst-case scenario for the Republican presidential candidate is a number of second-place finishes in key Super Tuesday states.

"My biggest fear is we walk out of here and we just have seconds everywhere and don't win. We need to win some states," John Brabender, a strategist for the former Pennsylvania senator, told The Huffington Post.

Brabender also said that if former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) does not perform well outside of his home state, then he should drop out of the race.

"Gingrich today predicted that he was going to win at least two states and do extremely well in all the southern states," Brabender said. "If he finishes third in all the southern states except Georgia, the path is for him to move aside and let us have a one-on-one shot with Romney. That's the path."

"We have not been shy about saying that if we can get a one-on-one shot with Romney, everything changes overnight. And that's their worse fear," Brabender said of Mitt Romney's campaign.

And despite his claim that Santorum needs a win or two, Brabender disavowed the idea that he has to win Ohio.

"It's ridiculous to think that it's about winning or losing in Ohio," he said.

"I don't think we'll get blown out here. I think it'll be close," he said of Ohio. "Everybody's buying into this that they want to make this about one state and we see that every single week. Everybody kept saying, 'Oh it's about Michigan.' We ended up tying on the delegates. We're not buying into that."

"There's 10 states. If we do well in Tennessee and Oklahoma, and Romney has yet to win a southern state, we're the only ones who can claim we can win in the West, the middle part of the country and in the South. That's not a bad thing," Brabender continued.

He said that Santorum has "about $1 million in the bank" and is going to start buying ads on Wednesday in Alabama and Mississippi.

It should be noted that a few weeks ago, when Santorum was leading here in Ohio by double digits, he declared it to be "ground zero" in the GOP primary.

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