Polls: All knotted up between Romney & Santorum
February 13th, 2012
03:02 PM ET
2 years ago

Polls: All knotted up between Romney & Santorum

Washington (CNN) - The race for the Republican presidential nomination appears to be all tied up between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, according to two new national surveys.

The latest edition of the Gallup Daily Tracking poll, released Monday afternoon, indicates that 32% of registered Republicans say they are backing Romney for their party's nomination, with Santorum at 30%, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 16% and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at 8%. Romney's two point margin over Santorum is well within the survey's sampling error.

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Santorum has surged 14 points in the Gallup Daily Tracking poll over the past week, while Romney's dropped seven points, Gingrich has slipped six points, and Paul has edged down three points.

According to Pew Research Center Poll also released Monday, Santorum's at 30% nationally among Republicans and independent voters who lean towards the GOP, with Romney at 28%, Gingrich at 17% and Paul at 12%. Santorum's two point margin over Romney is well within the survey's sampling error.

The Pew poll indicates that Santorum has double digit leads over Romney among self-described tea party movement supporters and among white evangelical voters.

Both surveys were conducted entirely after Santorum's victories over Romney, Gingrich and Paul in the February 7 contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.

National polling is often a lagging indicator, but a rise in such surveys can help candidates when it comes to building momentum, which can help with fundraising.

"The primary wins have given Santorum wind at his back, which is important, but he'll need the infrastructure to build a sail to capture that wind if he's to be successful in future states," says GOP strategist Doug Heye, a former communications director for the Republican National Committee.

Romney edged out Santorum Saturday in a non-binding straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference, and topped Paul by less than 200 votes in the Maine caucuses, which were announced later that day. Arizona and Michigan are next up in the primary and caucus calendar. Both states hold primaries on February 28th.

According to the Pew poll, President Barack Obama leads Romney 52%-44% in a hypothetical general election matchup, with Obama topping Santorum 53%-43% and beating Gingrich 57%-39%.

The Pew Poll was conducted Feb. 8-12, with 1,172 registered voters nationwide, including 552 Republican or independents who lean towards the GOP, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for registered voters is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points for Republican nomination questions.

The Gallup Daily Tracking poll was conducted Feb. 8-12, with 1,000 registered Republicans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

Also see:

Romney wins mask lingering questions about his candidacy

Santorum: 'This is a two-person race'

Political clashes coming over budget, payroll tax cut

Ron Paul forges ahead after finishing second in Maine


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Polls • Rick Santorum
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The republicans want to finish the job they started under Bush, destroy the country. It seems they rally around the most divisive hate mongers.

    February 13, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. GABBICA

    aside jokes and mocks...Romney will probably win and be a great challenger to Obama. I think Romney is a good guy.I do not care about childish bullcrap like "fighting about gay marriage"..come on. I am independent and I do care for any of those idiotic issues that the media try to bring up to mock the republican candidates.Seriously, I grew up in Europe and seen where the welfare state goes. Terrible.I mean it is so obvious people. I will vote -as I am acitizen now- and i am sure I will not vote for more expendature of the entitlement state.

    February 13, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. Romney is not My Hero

    @Sniffit- Love the Post! But which one is which? LOL

    OBAMA 2012 – It becomes clearer by the day

    February 13, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. dreamer96

    Newt is hoping for an open GOP convention..where he can use what delegates he has to win a few points.

    .Santorum maybe a true Conservative...if that means a male chauvinist, that thinks all women are the property of men...and that a woman's body belongs to her husband...if you are talking about an American version of the Taliban..If you mean Santorum believes in an overloard social class of rich lazy, beautiful people ruling over the dumb workers...like the old southern plantations ...then yes Santorum is a true Conservative..If you mean a religious leader the uses double talk about every life is important in one breath and let's start another war using other kids lives and mass killings for the top 1%...or if you mean Oil is king and little support to real renewable energy in this country...running US right into a wall..

    And since Mitt Romney can only muster far less then 50% of the GOP votes and is just as flawed as Santorum in many ways...Mitt is in real trouble too..

    The GOP is for the top 1% and can use religion only so far..and with terrible GOP voter turn out is losing the hearts and minds of the average traditional GOP voter....

    February 13, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. rcw

    We are doomed... I guess the end of the World is coming if Ricky wins.

    February 13, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. Dixie Independent voter

    Besides outlawing birth control and going to war against Iran, does Santorum have any plan in mind for his fantasy presidency? Romney is saner, but so flimsy we cab see through him. GOP, please dump the Tea Party and get your relevancy back.

    February 13, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. Liili

    There is a GOD!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    February 13, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    is this going to be a repeat of 2008? Remember how far John McCain was then that he was written off and next thing you know he storms back and wins the nomination. Of course we know what happened after that and looks like history might repeat itself. If Santorum wins the nomination he'll get the support of the far right and isolate everyone else, and if Mitt wins the GOP right will NOT support him. Romney has been running for POTUS for 6 years or more and still can't seal the deal.

    February 13, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Truth somebody wrote:

    Romney is taking a page right out of Planet Fitness...
    ....whacks them down....whacks them down....whacks them down,
    ---------------------–
    And the truth stands up, and Romney whacks that down. [and I mean the actual truth and facts]

    February 13, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Bozzz

    The GOP leadership must be shaking their heads and wondering what happened to their party. There are no reasonable candidates–not one.

    February 13, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Deeb

    @ GROVER NORQUIST IS AN ENEMY OF THE STATE

    You got that right...if Willard loses Michigan he'll be up a creek without the boat...let alone a paddle.

    February 13, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. arale norimaki

    Rick Santorum is the anti-gay, anti-abortion guy who is running on these social issues. Never mind health reform or jobs. Or anything important or non-discriminatory, for that matter.

    Rick Santorum was a lawyer for professional wrestling.Back in the late 1980s, the family-values candidate played a central role in deregulating professional wrestling in Pennsylvania as part of a team that lobbied the state government to get wrestling’s status changed from sport to entertainment. WWE's formal acknowledgement that their product is "sports entertainment" has saved the company millions of dollars in taxes and state athletic commission fees. It also deregulated the pro wrestling industry and eliminated government oversight – which many have argued led to the proliferation of drug abuse among performers and premature deaths.

    February 13, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. Nucet

    Did no one else notice
    "According to the Pew poll, President Barack Obama leads Romney 52%-44% in a hypothetical general election matchup, with Obama topping Santorum 53%-43% and beating Gingrich 57%-39%."

    didn't have Paul mentioned at all.

    February 13, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. San Juan Texas

    Ron Paul all the way.

    February 13, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. ourjungle

    Which costs the taxpayer more, the so-called Romney Care, or the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHP)??? That should be the next GOP debate question. U.S. Representatives, and U.S. Senators receive some of the best health care in the country, much of it paid with taxpayer dollars. Yet, the lifer politicians (the magnets attrack them) seem unable, or un willing to extend similar protections to the rest of America (search....Health Care for U.S. Congress). Which GOP candidates still uses government health care insurance,inspite of their multi-million dollar incomes.

    February 13, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. Fitz

    Where's RON PAUL on the Pew Poll? He always does well when matched up with Obama. Oh I keep forgetting CNN doesn't want people to know Paul is the only other viable candidate.

    February 13, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. Cindy

    hahahahaha They think Santorum can beat Obama??? Bring it! Should be fun(ny).

    February 13, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. logicnLA

    Keep it tight and let the skeleton's fly! Thankyou GOP

    February 13, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Thinking7

    Santorum will take out Romney any day. Santorum has the ethics and leadership to prove it. Romney has attacked Santorum on several issues. Santorum speaks about the issues. He doesn't attack anyone. He is a good guy and one America needs.

    February 13, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. Dave

    Romney won the CPAC. He has practical skills that the US needs. I am voting for Romney.

    February 13, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Lord733

    I am going to pray every day to the God of My Understanding that by this time next year we are all looking at another four years of President Obama. I know you Right Wing Nuts hate him, but trust me you are in the minority. Obama will win. Now in 2016 you may have a chance with a few rising stars on the horizon like Bobby Jindal or a couple of others. I am not now nor will I ever be a Republican, but I am now and I will always be an American and I want what is best for this country. And I have to tell you, the Republican Party ain't it.

    February 13, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. v_mag

    The entire focus of the R's since 2008 has been defeating President Obama. They've had 4 years, billions of dollars, their own Faux News channel, all of talk radio, and every other advantage. And what have they done? They've run exactly zero candidates who can fulfill their prime objective of unseating the President.

    Would you let an inept bunch of Bozos like that run your country?

    February 13, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. Larry in Houston

    well – I guess if the sanitarium gets the nod – he ain't gonna make it – he's way out of touch – he's got his right signal light On, and he's going in circles, but it's too bad, b/c I don't feel sorry for him. The newter is goin to the moon, and probably will never come back – especially IF the Sanitarium wins Texas, or Any Southern State. (In other words the newter will end up dropping out) (after the southern states vote)
    I guess – it will be between Romney vs. Obama in November.
    Vote Democrat 2012 – – & hope the dnc comes up w/ somebody who could seal the deal.

    February 13, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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