It’s hard to remember, sometimes, just how many candidates remain in the GOP presidential primary race. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is one who is frequently lost in the crowd. Perhaps he ought to outspokenly criticize Rep. Michele Bachmann to generate some media attention. After all, Santorum is really not so far from former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty in the polls: Real Clear Politics shows their all-time polling averages are just 0.8 points apart — Pawlenty with 2.8 percent, Santorum with 2.0 percent.

As it is, instead, he recently picked up the aid of an adviser who helped another long-shot candidate win Iowa in 2008:

Mike Huckabee adviser Hogan Gidley will be taking on a new role, helping out Rick Santorum in Iowa.

With Huckabee out of the race, Gidley is heading to BrabenderCox, the firm that works on Santorum’s campaign, and Gidley will be working press for the former Pennsylvania senator while he fights for a slot at the Ames Straw Poll, and for the caucuses.

Don’t look for the connection to lead to an endorsement from Huck himself, however. The former governor of Arkansas has pledged to remain neutral in the GOP presidential contest, and he reiterated that pledge in a statement about Gidley’s shift to the Santorum campaign.

But Santorum does resemble Huckabee in one very obvious way: His name is practically synonymous with “social conservative.” The campaign reports his grassroots momentum continues to build, with endorsements from social conservative leaders George Fellendorf and Ellen Kolb in New Hampshire. Like Pawlenty and Bachmann, Santorum has been highly active in Iowa, visiting more than 50 cities there. A strong performance in the Aug. 11 Fox News debate might boost his ranking in the Ames Straw Poll Aug. 13.