A twittertwatting from a very excited Rick Santorum alerts us to the fact that Rick is Rising in the only state in which he has been campaigning so, really, just give him the Republican nomination now and save Herman Cain any further embarrassment over his poor luck with the ladies.

While the political world obsesses over the problems of Herman Cain, social conservatives here in Iowa are making a quiet effort to unite behind a single candidate to defeat Mitt Romney in the January 3 Republican caucuses.  Romney will benefit from a divided field, they believe, and the best way for social conservatives who oppose Romney to assert their influence would be to support a single candidate. In a move that could stun political observers around the country, those conservatives are increasingly focusing on Rick Santorum as that candidate.  Nothing is a done deal — many are trying to make up their mind between Santorum and Newt Gingrich — but Santorum appears to be gaining strength fast among some of Iowa’s most influential conservative leaders.

Virtually none of that strength is showing up in the polls at the moment. To call Santorum a long-shot would be an understatement; the former Pennsylvania senator is currently in seventh place in an eight-candidate race, with 3.7 percent support in Iowa and 1.7 percent nationally, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.  Yet many Iowans believe the caucuses might be won with as little as 25 percent of the vote, and some Iowa social conservative leaders believe Santorum has the potential to rise significantly in the nearly two months left before the caucuses.

Sure Santorum is next to last in an eight-candidate race (or in seventh first place as Santorum explains to his wife every time she asks him when he’s going to get a real job), and he only needs one in four people to get past the fact that he’s a repulsive sex-obsessed panty-sniffing dork, but in a field of candidates that increasingly  looks like week one auditions on American Idol, anything can happen in America!

Except Rick Santorum becoming President because, you know, Google hates him.

Fifth place, at best.