Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee talk after a Republican presidential primary debate, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Update Wednesday: Now Santorum has decided to end his campaign, The Washington Post has confirmed. CNN first reported his exit.

Update Monday: Huckabee didn't even make it past Iowa -- the state he won in 2008 -- tweeting just prior to 10:30 p.m. Eastern on Monday night that he will be suspending his campaign.

Huckabee got 1.8 percent of the vote in Iowa -- slightly more than the 1 percent Santorum got. The below post is from Monday.

Please indulge a bit of a cliche here to quickly communicate a point.

Time does indeed change almost everything. The much-debated but short list of those expected to win or claim one of the top places in Monday's Iowa caucuses offers us just a bit more proof that this is often true.

Most political observers anticipate that, on the Democratic side, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will emerge victorious from the caucuses. On the Republican side, it's pretty widely agreed-upon that New York businessman Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) will claim the top prize. This set of most likely possibilities would, as you have no doubt by now heard, seem to reveal something about the mood of the electorate and its embrace of "outsider" anti-establishment candidates.

This much we can say for sure, though: The things that Iowa voters wanted in candidates in 2008 and 2012, are not, apparently, what they seek today. Consider the following.

In 2008, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee managed to win the Iowa caucuses, taking 34.4 percent of the vote, more than nine points ahead of his next competitor, Mitt Romney.


Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Four years later, former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) narrowly edged Romney, earning 24.6 percent of Republican caucus-goers' votes. The results were so close that, on election night, Romney was declared the winner with what appeared to be a surplus of eight votes. A few days later, the real outcome emerged: Santorum had won the Iowa caucuses by 34 votes.

Among the reasons political commentators and reporters often identified as the cause of  both the Santorum and the Huckabee victories: Each man's overt evangelical approach to faith and political ideas.

Here are reactions from seven presidential candidates on the evening of the 2016 Iowa caucuses. (Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post)

Come 2016, that much hasn't changed. Trump and Cruz have both made direct and targeted appeals to evangelical voters. What has changed, though, is the fact that Huckabee and Santorum will not be on those voters' radar screens. And by this, we mean neither man is expected to claim first, second, third, fourth or even the fifth place in Monday's caucuses. They currently stand in seventh and 11th places, respectively, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polling. Their combined share of the vote? Five percent.

Politics is certainly a business in which timing is everything. How a candidate fares is often dependent upon who they are running against and what voters are looking for at that particular time. Back in 2008 and 2012, Huckabee and Santorum clearly had what certain voters were looking for. This time around, they aren't even making the debate stage.

Four years is a long time in politics.