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February 11, 2012

Rick Santorum Takes National Lead In PPP Poll By FIFTEEN Over Romney

It's PPP and all but 15 points? Oy.

Riding a wave of momentum from his trio of victories on Tuesday Rick Santorum has opened up a wide lead in PPP's newest national poll. He's at 38% to 23% for Mitt Romney, 17% for Newt Gingrich, and 13% for Ron Paul.

Part of the reason for Santorum's surge is his own high level of popularity. 64% of voters see him favorably to only 22% with a negative one. But the other, and maybe more important, reason is that Republicans are significantly souring on both Romney and Gingrich. Romney's favorability is barely above water at 44/43, representing a 23 point net decline from our December national poll when he was +24 (55/31). Gingrich has fallen even further. A 44% plurality of GOP voters now hold a negative opinion of him to only 42% with a positive one. That's a 34 point drop from 2 months ago when he was at +32 (60/28).

Santorum is now completely dominating with several key segments of the electorate, especially the most right leaning parts of the party. With those describing themselves as 'very conservative,' he's now winning a majority of voters at 53% to 20% for Gingrich and 15% for Romney. Santorum gets a majority with Tea Party voters as well at 51% to 24% for Gingrich and 12% for Romney. And with Evangelicals he falls just short of a majority with 45% to 21% for Gingrich and 18% for Romney.

It may not be as much of an outlier as it seems at first glance when you consider a Rasmussen poll released yesterday.

President Obama's lead over Mitt Romney in a potential head-to-head contest has swelled to 10 points, with the president capturing 50% support to Mr. Romney's 40%. Meanwhile, Rasmussen finds that Mr. Obama leads Mr. Santorum by just four points, 46% to 42%. Another recent Rasmussen poll, focused on the key battleground state of Ohio, finds a dead heat in a potential Obama-Santorum contest. But the president leads Mr. Romney by four points among Buckeye voters. The evidence from Rasmussen clearly suggests that, at least for the moment, Mr. Santorum is the most electable Republican.

It's pretty clear at this late date that Romney simply isn't sealing the deal. Normally at this point the Romney attack machine would get going and try to destroy Santorum but some conservatives reportedly urged Romney not to go down that road again for fear of alienating conservatives.

What a disaster this whole thing is.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:08 AM

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