DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- They are barely blips in presidential polls and their campaign cash is scarce. Some are running on empty, fueled mainly by the exposure that comes with the blizzard of televised debates and interviews they eagerly grant to skeptical reporters.
Yet the second-tier candidates for the Republican presidential nomination soldier on. They argue that the race is far from over and that anything can happen with polls showing a wide-open race in Iowa five weeks before the Jan. 3 caucuses.
More than energy and determination, also-ran candidates like Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann rely on particular issues, free media and prospects for the future to drive them to keep their small-scale operations going.
Santorum, Bachmann and others are likely to remain in the race until voters have their say.