Poll: Santorum leads Romney nationwide by eight points
February 19th, 2012
04:27 PM ET
8 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. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Go Tea Party Go!! Tear down the GOP and any chance at the Presidency!

    February 19, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. Brandon Taylor

    Rick Santorum 2012

    February 19, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Ann

    Santorum could never reach independents...he is way too extreme, just look at his gaffes in the past week regarding contraception and Obama as having an anti-Christian theology...the man spends more time explaining away his remarks than campaigning! The pure hatred for this man on the left is just a glimpse into what will be coming if he continues to rise. Unfortunatley he also has plenty of skeletons in his political closet as well. Keep it up GOP and you will be sure to see four more years of Obama!

    February 19, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Detroit for Romney

    Rick does not stand a chance verse Romney....... Mitt will win the nomination and become the next president of the United States.........

    February 19, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    and at this point NEITHER one has a chance of beating President Obama and that is the most important part. If the GOP wants to ride of a cliff with a way far right ideology then let them go right ahead. Just as long as it stays OUT of the White House.

    February 19, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Charlie from the North

    Moral of the story: The Christian right is so extremely anti Mormon that they wil throw their support behind anyone. That's how they fell abut Obama as well so all of you "thinkers" out there who are saying to themselves "oh that's great Sanatorium is such a crackpot whacko there is no way he will win against a smart guy like Obama" please take a minute for a brief math lesson before you decide to relax.:
    The right-wing/ tea party represents only about 18-20% of the voting age population. While that is a relief it is no cause to relax because: Of the voting age population only 75% or so is registered (more in some states less in some) if of that 75% only 40% vote then we are down to about 30% of the voting age population voting and guess what? The right-wingers, no matter what you think of them, are certain to vote. Their 18% is the majority at 40% voter turnout. Don't believe that can happen? then google Maine Governor election 2010 and see for yourself what kind of governor you get from a 40% turnout.
    Anyway my point is that if turnout is 40% we will lose badly, if it is 60% we have a good chance, if it is 70% it will be Obama by a landslide, we will take back the House reinforce the Senate and you can order the black onyx for Mount Rushmore. So vote, get your friends to vote, your family to vote, your co-workers to vote. Never back down and never surrender.

    February 19, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. mario

    who want santo for pope???????????

    February 19, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. Kevin

    Here's what I hope will happen: Santorum somehow manages to beat Romney and clinch the Republican nomination, and then, of course, Obama crushes Santorum in the general election.

    February 19, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Rick has a 10 point lead over mittens in Tora Bora, as well.

    February 19, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. Dee

    I,m not repub at all,but, "Sanatarium is even more "Zealot,and Extreme than all Religions put together!!! Keep Church out of my Bedroom? Obama 2012

    February 19, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. Jim in San Mateo

    Since I don't have any congressional races that will go the Republican way, I'm half tempted to switch my registration so I can vote for Santorum in the California primary in June and Obama, our next President, in November.

    February 19, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. anagram_kid

    Santorum 2012 (BC that is)

    February 19, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. American

    Agree or disagree with the positions; Santorum at least appears consistent & authentic. Many Americans unfortunately recognize Romney as a flip-flopper & inauthentic politician, who will say anything to pander for votes.

    February 19, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  14. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Ricky Santorum hangs himself whenever there is a microphone in the room . Keep talking Ricky.

    February 19, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. Ari

    Well it looks like another banner election year in America.

    February 19, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. Porky

    Here comes Ayatollah Santorum!

    February 19, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. GOP Hate America

    Im voting for Obama

    February 19, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. Sara

    Santorum is too extreme Romney is a flip-flopper, who only knows to protect the 1% of America.

    Speaking to independents: The economy is turning around. 1.5 million jobs created by this administration last year. This year – 2 million jobs expected.

    Obama 2012

    February 19, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. Keith

    Mittens doesn't stand a chance in Michigan. He's on record as having opposed the bail-out that even Ford said was necessary for Ford's own competitors.

    February 19, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  20. DumpTheGOP

    My wife and I have re-registered Republican just so we can vote for Santorum in the primary!! We have also solicited our GOP friends to vote for Santorum!!! Let's get him as the GOP nominee!!! Oh, baby!!!

    February 19, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. Dick Hertz

    Never happen. Ron Paul 2012.

    February 19, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  22. Texico

    Hate to be the one to break the news to everyone but "Never Wrong Pundits" who have correctly predidcted the Presidency since 1908 including the three way race in 1992 Predicts that it will not only be Obama but Obama in a landslide. GOP and the right wing better start preparing to fix that broken party and plan on 2016.

    February 19, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  23. Joe Brown

    So the lemmings want to know: are there any shortcuts to the ocean?

    February 19, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. Gladys

    No thanks Ricky.

    February 19, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  25. Dany

    If it's Santorum, Obama has nothing to fear. Santorum is living in another world and is very dangererous for the women. Wake up women and vote for Mitt Romney.

    February 19, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
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