Poll: Santorum leads Romney nationwide by eight points
February 19th, 2012
04:27 PM ET
3 years ago

Poll: Santorum leads Romney nationwide by eight points

(CNN) - The latest results from Gallup's daily tracking poll indicate Rick Santorum has overtaken Mitt Romney nationwide and now leads the former Massachusetts governor by an eight-point margin.

According to the poll released Sunday, 36% of registered Republicans said they are backing Santorum, while 28% prefer Romney.

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The new numbers represent a five-point drop for Romney since Wednesday, when the candidate was statistically tied with his opponent, 33% to 31%. Meanwhile, Santorum has jumped five points in the same time period.

The survey was conducted Tuesday through Saturday, more than a week after Santorum snatched a trio of victories in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota. One day before he pulled the big upset on February 7, Santorum was in third place in the daily tracking poll with 16%.

Romney's campaign, as well as a super PAC supporting his candidacy, have since taken a visible turn in strategy, attacking the surging candidate through surrogates, interviews and ads.

Both presidential hopefuls are now in a bitter match over Michigan's upcoming February 28 primary. While the state represents home territory for Romney, who won the state in the 2008 primary and whose father once served as governor, Santorum plans to launch an aggressive campaign and already tops polls measuring support in the state.

Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, has steadily watched his poll numbers decline after failing to capture a second state following his big South Carolina primary win January 21.

According to Gallup, Gingrich came in third place with 13%, with Texas Rep. Ron Paul closely behind at 11%.

Both Gingrich and Paul have said they could envision a primary stretching out to the Republican National Convention, though Gingrich emphasized this weekend that Georgia will be a key Super Tuesday state to win for his White House bid.

"I tell people it's like the NCAA Final Four with no elimination. You could imagine all of us going all the way to the convention," Gingrich said to reporters in Washington on Sunday.

For the ongoing poll, Gallup surveys more than 1,000 registered Republican voters on a daily basis, and the poll drops the oldest of five days each day and adds results from the most recent day of polling.

In the latest survey, Gallup questioned 1,187 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents by telephone February 14-18, with a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Also see:

Gay sheriff resigns Romney role after allegations

Bachmann: GOP is extremely 'pro-women'

Paul: Santorum has an 'atrocious voting record'


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Polls • Rick Santorum
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Loathstheright

    Too funny, the righties want a Talibangelical, fascist, homophobe over a Vulture Capitalist who sent jobs to China and hid the money in off shore accounts....Conservatives have lost their freakin minds and should not be allowed to vote because they are insane.

    February 19, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  2. ML

    Go Rick, go!

    February 19, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  3. grwohio

    The media Obama may be a smart person, but he completely lacked the experience and track record required to be president. So he gives a good speech. That means little in terms of ability. His results show this is true.

    Santorum, Newt, Cain.... the list could go on and on. None have the ability to be a good president. They have flash but lack substance. I don't know if Mitt Romney can be a great president, but he has a long track record of getting things done. His speaking ability and presence may seem weak, but that will matter little when it comes to leading this country to better places.

    February 19, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. Chad%Biff

    The Establishment Neocons want Romney. Plus the Mormon cult wants Romney. Now, why can't you red necks understand that Establishment Neocons + Mormon cult = unstoppable force?

    February 19, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. george of the jungle

    Charlie you are right. We need to get everyone out to vote. The repo party will vote for anyone who is not black or mormon. They don't seem to care what kind of nut job he is as long as he meets the criteria. Women of America get out and vote. The repos are trampeling all over your rights, First they say No to abortion then they co. mplaine about single mothers on welfare. What do they want?? They want to regulate birth control methods and testing during pregnacy they they don't mind laws that effect smoking seats belts and helmets on motorcycles abortion,birthcontrol. Thats ok for the govenment to jump in on. But rights for gays is a no no as anything that doesn't fit with their religious beliefs . They will cram their adgenda down your throwts if you don't stand up for yourselves

    February 19, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  6. logicnLA

    Are Republicans nuts? Do they listen to this man? He will start another Inquisition given the chance.Don;t think I'm exaggerating? Read his views on mixing his morals with politics. Itis illegal under our laws, but it doesn't seem to matter to politians or our courts. If they can get him in, why wouldn't it follow that they would also have enough votes for Congress.

    February 19, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. Sue

    I refuse to believe that ANYONE WITH 1/2 A BRAIN would choose Santorum over Romney! I don't care for either one, but one doesn't have to be a Rhodes Scholar to understand that Santorum is is TOTALLY INCOMPETENT to be president of the U.S.!!!!!

    February 19, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. Steve

    Go Rick!

    February 19, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  9. Carlin123

    I am baffled that people would even consider this ferret faced religious fanatic.

    February 19, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  10. Discernment

    Rick Santorum = Republican / Tea Party version of a 'Taliban High Priest'

    February 19, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. ajk68

    I think four more years of Obama could be a good thing. At some point he and his zealots will need to own up to the disaster he has made out of the economy. They've blamed it on Bush so far. There's no way any sane person can continue to blame it on Bush after Obama's second term.

    February 19, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  12. ned

    Not Santorum. Romney has a far better skill set, and far higher intelligence, and it's too bad that people keep chipping away at things that don't really matter.

    February 19, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  13. tcaros

    Go Obama 2012...
    Santorum will be beaten severely.

    February 19, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  14. Tony in Maine

    blithering idiots – every last one of them. God help the United States if the Scalia Court trumps the people again.

    February 19, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. DS in Houston

    The GOP has turned to the hard right in recent years. Independent and moderate voters will not support these extremists. In nominating a Far Right social conservative like Rich Santorum, the Republican Party is ensuring its defeat in November. If Santorum or Gingrich was the nominee, his presence would hurt down-ballot candidates in every state, ensuing that Democrats will retake the House and strengthen their position in the Senate. That's why I'm pulling for Rick or Newt. Mitt is campaigning as a conservative now, but he's really a Massachusetts moderate, as Newt calls him.

    February 19, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  16. felix in mass

    I wonder why no real viable candidates ran for the GOP race this year? Maybe they'll wait until Obama finishes bailing the country out of Bush's mess (another 4 years) and the economic outlook is brighter before they jump in. Santorum? Seriously?

    February 19, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  17. Max

    QUIT NOW!

    Romney must just QUIT!!!! Period. It's obvious that the republican electorate is rejecting him, since he's too far remove from most of us. Romney lives in a world of his own, on an affluence that more than 98% of Americans can't even dream about.

    So, he must just QUIT the race, distribute his tremendous wealth to the poor and go fallow Christ. As he knows it's almost impossible for a RICH MAN like him to enter into the Kingdom of god.

    At this juncture, QUITTING is the right thing for Romney to do. This will give him enough time to locate enough people to share his wealth with.

    QUIT NOW Romney! you just weren't cut out to be in the presidential suite, at least, not on 1600 Pennsylvania ave. Sorry, and it makes no sense to try again at something you've been trying at since 2006.

    February 19, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. Drew

    Hahahhaha oh my god the election might as well be over... this is too ludicrous for words

    February 19, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  19. Morpunkt

    Let the truth be known.
    Rick Santorum is riding the wave of the Evangelical power brokers, i.e., Bob Vander Plaats of Iowa, James Dobson of Colorado, Mike Huckabee, etc. He has become their new darling, just as Huckabee had become, in 2008, thusly botching Romney's bid that year. Well, we all know that outcome. All that it did was ruin Romney's chances of beating Obama. And he would have. Now, we see the Evangelicals using a Catholic as their new Great Evangelical Hope. Ironically, the latest polls indicate that most Catholics, by far, favor Mormon Romney over Catholic Santorum. Why? Because they know better.

    Preacher lobbyists of the Evangelical ilk need to stay out of their power trips in politics.

    February 19, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  20. Drew

    Maybe this is their way of letting us know that they want four more years of Obama

    February 19, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
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