CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. — Newt Gingrich has the momentum. Mitt Romney has the money.
Rick Santorum? He has neither at the moment.
Not that he's going to let details like that stop him from pressing ahead in his White House quest. Or, for that matter, hurdles like scant cash in an expensive state and a rapidly disappearing opportunity to emerge as the consensus candidate of conservative voters now that Gingrich has emerged as the leading anti-Romney candidate.
"Our feeling is that this is a three-person race," Santorum insisted on CNN's "State of the Union." He added that he felt "absolutely no pressure at all" to abandon his bid given Gingrich's rise.
Still, Santorum acknowledged a hard road ahead in what he called "a tough state for everybody."
"It's very, very expensive. It's a very short time frame," he said.
The former Pennsylvania senator placed third in Saturday's South Carolina primary.
Gingrich scored his first win, entering the Florida campaign with the political winds pushing the former House speaker from behind. Romney, who has raised mounds of cash, came in second and was ready to regroup with sophisticated political machines in the upcoming states, Florida included.
Underscoring Santorum's challenges, he was taking a few days away from the campaign trail in Florida this week to restock his thin campaign bank accounts. He plans fundraisers in other states, leaving Gingrich and Romney with free rein in Florida, while he stops in states such as Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. Money is a necessity in a state like Florida with numerous expensive media markets and where campaigns are usually won on TV.
That's not a natural fit for Santorum, who has run his campaign on a shoestring and won the Iowa caucuses — albeit narrowly — by spending more than a year making house calls to voters and traveling the state in a pickup truck.
To make up ground and perhaps earn some free media, Santorum is going on the attack.
Standing in a strip mall's parking lot here Sunday before heading to fundraising events, Santorum cast Romney as an inconsistent figure who would not be an effective foil to President Barack Obama's re-election bid and argued that Gingrich was too "high risk" to be the Republican standard-bearer.
"Trust is a big issue in this election," Santorum told several hundred people. "Who are you going to trust when the pressure is on, when we're in that debate? It's great to be glib, but it's better to be principled."
He also met privately Sunday with pastors and delivered a sermon at Worldwide Christian Center in Pompano Beach, where he emphasized his conservatism. Santorum, who sprinkles his campaign speeches with his Catholic faith, is banking on evangelicals to coalesce around him over the thrice-married Gingrich or Romney, a Mormon.
"Can he win? Only God knows," said David Babbin, a voter here who works at the nearby children's hospital and likes Santorum. "But I believe in miracles."
Still, he noted one of the candidate's challenges: "Rick Santorum is one of us. And that's his biggest flaw ... We live in a society that is 'American Idol' and Rick Santorum is not like that."
Santorum has other hurdles beyond what even admirers call his lack of charisma.
His tough talk on Social Security and Medicare — ending benefits for wealthier retirees, cutting payments to those who don't need them — is going to dog him here in a state of 3.3 million seniors, or 17 percent of the population. AARP estimates that more than a third of those seniors would have incomes below the poverty line without Social Security and one in three seniors rely on Social Security as their sole source of income.
Santorum didn't mention those proposals at his first public campaign event since the primary in South Carolina.