The field of Republican presidential candidates is rapidly changing, and Illinois’ junior U.S. senator hopes the battle for the nomination continues into spring.   U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) says he’s not fazed that Rick Santorum actually won Iowa. Romney seemed to be on a clear path toward the nomination with wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, and good poll showings in South Carolina.

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But Kirk says shorter primary seasons are not always best.   “That’s the conventional wisdom,” he says. “But I think the reality from what I’ve seen, and I’ve gone through some tough primaries is, the longer you talk about Republican issues, the better the Republican nominee is going to do.”   Kirk says Romney shouldn’t worry about an Iowa loss because not everyone who wins Iowa secures the nomination. For example, Mike Huckabee won the Republican nomination in 2008, and John McCain, the eventual nominee, came in fourth.

(Illinois Radio Network)