Your afternoon reading:

  • "Two weeks before the Republican nominating contest opens at the Iowa caucuses, former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania has won a highly coveted endorsement from one of the state’s social conservative leaders." — Vander Plaats Endorses Santorum, The New York Times
  • "It's been a bad week for Newt Gingrich in our early state Republican polling, but we still find him with a good sized lead nationally. He's at 35% to 22% for Mitt Romney, 11% for Ron Paul, 7% for Michele Bachmann, 6% for Rick Perry, 4% for Rick Santorum, 3% for Jon Huntsman, and 1% for Gary Johnson." — Newt leads nationally but what does it matter?, Public Policy Polling

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "Gov. Rick Perry has a new sidekick on the campaign trail in Iowa, a man he calls 'the kind of neighbor all of us long to have.' That's Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who at Tuesday's first stop introduced Perry as 'the next president of the United States.'" — Jindal Campaigns With Perry in Iowa
  • "In a new ad courting Iowa Republicans just two weeks before the kickoff caucuses, Gov. Rick Perry hits Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney as creatures of K Street and Wall Street, respectively — and touts his own Main Street credibility." — Perry Claims Main Street Cred in New Ad
  • "Aerial surveillance in the form of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft will replace about 900 National Guard troops on the U.S.-Mexico border as early as next year, a strategy not all Texas lawmakers like." — More Helicopters, Fewer Troops to Patrol Border

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