Poll: Santorum soars in Ohio
February 15th, 2012
09:51 AM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Santorum soars in Ohio

(CNN) - Do you need more evidence of the Santorum "surge" in state and national polling?

If so, then check out a new survey in Ohio released Wednesday morning by Quinnipiac University.

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According to the poll, the former senator from Pennsylvania and one-time long shot for the GOP presidential nomination has soared to the top in Ohio, an important Super Tuesday state. Thirty-six percent of people likely to vote in the state's March 6 Republican primary say they support Santorum, with 29% backing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 20% supporting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and 9% backing Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

The survey was conducted nearly entirely after Santorum's victories over Romney, Gingrich and Paul last Tuesday in caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota and a non-binding primary in Missouri. Santorum's sweep of the February 7 contests sparked his surge in national and state polling, and cemented the perception that Romney was having a hard time locking down support of core conservatives.

"Sen. Rick Santorum has zoomed to the front of the line among likely voters in Ohio's March 6 Republican presidential primary," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "He appears to be riding the momentum from his victories last week in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri."

Ohio is also a crucial battleground state in the general election, and the poll looks ahead to November. In a hypothetical matchup, President Barack Obama has a 46% to 44% margin over Romney, which is within the survey's sampling error. The president tops Santorum 47% to 41% and beats Gingrich 50% to 38%.

The poll indicates that picking Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, a Romney backer, as Romney's running mate would not help the GOP, with the Democratic ticket topping the Republican ticket 47% to 43%.

Ohio voters are split on whether Obama deserves a second term in the White House, and are also divided on the job he's doing as president. Forty-seven percent give him a thumbs up on his performance, with 48% saying they disapprove of how he's handling his duties. The 47% approval rating is Obama's highest rating in Quinnipiac polling in Ohio over the past year.

Ohio also has an important Senate contest in November, with Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown battling for re-election. According to the poll, Brown leads Republican Josh Mandel, the Ohio state treasurer, 48% to 35%. The survey indicates that Brown has a 47% to 34% approval rating, and by a 46% to 34% margin, voters say he deserves a second term in the Senate.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted February 7 through February 12, with 1,421 registered voters in Ohio, including 553 likely GOP primary voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points for questions only to likely Republican primary voters.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Ohio • Rick Santorum • Ron Paul
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Lynn

    Not only is Ohio the home of Boehner, but now the voters are falling for Santorum's values. Women need to read between the lines and think for themselves. His wife is educated, but was a stay-at-home mom to their 7 kids. Barefoot and pregnant, is that what Ohio women want?

    February 15, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. Dave

    The fact that Mitt bought The straw poll was slimey, however not illegal, This is serious stuff, The press would put him on notice if he tries this fix again, This guy with the personality of a table with all the doe can & will do this again if we let him, ITs not just about Maine, He will stop at nothing to buy the White House, EVERY VOTE COUNTS!!!

    February 15, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. Mikey

    This is absolutely stunning. The dislike of Romney is obviously widespread. I guess the Republicans don't want to settle. Certainly Santorum is likable and not awkward like Romney. He is also not a flip-flopping, former corporate raider. But, Santorum??? Really???

    As much as I think Santorum will be easier to beat than Romney and that increasing the odds of an Obama reelection is good for America, there is a great deal of risk here. In a head to head for President, I would take Romney in a heartbeat. Santorum holds some very extreme views.

    February 15, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. Filthburger

    this has to be a joke. please let it be a joke.

    February 15, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. republican party = septic tank

    This is great news! The one issue I care about it bigotry, and Mr. Santorum is a recognized national leader in this area.

    February 15, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Ellen

    They didn't call me! I would have told them NO ONE BUT RON PAUL.

    February 15, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. derp

    It is seriously disturbing that in 21st century America Rick Santorum is actually considered a legitimate for President.

    February 15, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. Fair is Fair

    Sherrod Brown? If Ohio elects that lunatic again, they get what they deserve.

    February 15, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. clarke

    The pickens for GOP are slim

    February 15, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. Carlos

    It is obvious where CNN is leaning to

    February 15, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Dave

    Thank you & God Bless America!

    February 15, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Jane

    Funniest news I've read all week!!! Santorum, too bad Pennsylvania can't stand you-your own state. You are pathetic!

    February 15, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. JLR

    When turnouts are in the low single digits, I would say the GOP has a serious problem. More people ate out at Applebees than voted in the last caucus.

    February 15, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    They've all "soared". Hell, even Batty Bachmann, and Duh-Duh Mapface Perry "soared" at one point or another....and then, inevitably and in conjunction with the laws of nature they crash and burn.
    The only one that hasn't been able to make it off the runway is Loony Paul, for obvious reasons, and their only intelligent candidate Hutnsman, also for obvious reasons. The GOP avoids intelligence and sraight-talk like the plague.
    Obama 2012. Seriously America

    February 15, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. A Texan

    Remember, these voters are disliking Romney more so than "liking" Santorum. When it comes November, it`s the Independents who will elect the next President.--– The rock solid Democrats and Republicans are immoveable and not willing to compromise.

    February 15, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. GI Joe.

    Santorum is a "holier-than-thou" self-righteous jerk. He will take away ALL women's rights and reverse a lot of policies that give people the right to "equal treatment" in this country.

    First women, then who? Democratic men? The gays? Unmarried people? WHO?

    February 15, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. vic , nashville ,tn

    Past three years GOP work hard to make sure Obama on term president they build the party ignore the nation development
    Now GOP don’t have a candidate, congress approval rate hits the bottom Obama approval rates is going up country is on right direction
    Karma doing its job

    February 15, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. J Mann

    go Santorum! you wont have a chance against President Obama – so you are indeed the best candidate the GOP could offer.

    February 15, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. B

    Go Santorum, you would be easy pray for Obama !

    Another religious fanatic that has no wide spread appeal.

    February 15, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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