Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum’s visit to Maquoketa this evening will mark a milestone that no other presidential candidate is likely to cross this year. Santorum will have made a campaign stop in each of Iowa’s 99 counties.

“It’s more important for me because…it’s the first caucus,” Santorum said Monday during a stop in Decorah. “Number two, the values of the people here, I think, are very much in conformity with the Republican Party nationwide.” 

Surveys of 2008 Iowa Caucus-goers indicated about 60 percent identified themselves as evangelical or born-again Christians and Caucus critics charge Iowa’s Republican Party is too conservative — too focused on social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. Santorum’s opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage aligns him with the party’s conservatives, but he argues Iowa Republicans aren’t focused exclusively on social issues.
:21  :across the country.”

“This is a state that is concerned about all the issues: the moral/cultural issues, the economic issues, the national security issues,” Santorum said.  “It’s not a singular-focused state and I think that’s where most Republicans are around the country and so if you can do well here, that really reflects well on your ability to do well in Republican primaries across the country.”

Santorum began his day in Sigourney. He’s made a mid-morning stop at the Java Lounge in Williamsburg.  He’s scheduled to be in Fairfield, Keosauqua and Wapello this afternoon before his visit to Maquoketa at 7 p.m.

(Darin Swenson from KDEC Radio contributed to this report.)