CNN/Time Poll: All tied up in Arizona
February 21st, 2012
04:00 PM ET
3 years ago

CNN/Time Poll: All tied up in Arizona

Mesa, Arizona (CNN) – On the eve of the final Republican presidential debate before primaries in Arizona and Michigan, as well as the 10 Super Tuesday states, a new survey indicates that Rick Santorum may be closing the gap with Mitt Romney in the Grand Canyon State.

According to a CNN/Time/ORC International poll released Tuesday, 36% of people likely to vote in Arizona's February 28th GOP presidential primary say they're backing Romney as their party's nominee, with 32% supporting Santorum. The former Massachusetts governor's four point margin over the former senator from Pennsylvania is within the survey's sampling error, meaning they are basically tied for the top spot.

See full results (pdf)

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The poll indicates that 18% are backing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, with 6% supporting Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and 6% unsure. Surveys conducted earlier this year by other organizations indicated Romney with a larger lead over the rest of the field of candidates.

Santorum surged in state and national polling after sweeping the February 7th contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.

The four major GOP White House hopefuls will face off Wednesday at a CNN/Republican Party of Arizona debate in Mesa, the first GOP showdown in nearly a month.

The CNN/Time/ORC poll indicates that roughly a third of all likely voters say that they could change their minds between now and February 28, emphasizing the importance of CNN's debate as well as the final week of campaigning.

"Arizona Republicans display many of the same ideological divisions that drove the results in earlier primaries and caucuses," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Santorum wins the born-again vote in Arizona by nine points but loses among non-evangelical Republicans by 12 points. Romney loses by three points among tea party supporters but has a 15-point lead among Republicans who oppose the tea party or are neutral toward it."

The new poll indicates that Arizona's geography may also play a big role in the battle for the state's 29 delegates at stake in the primary, which are winner-take-all.

"Romney has a 10-point lead in urban areas, but manages no better than a tie in suburban and rural Arizona. As a result, Romney is ahead in Maricopa County but is tied, 33% to 33% in the rest of the state," adds Holland. Maricopa County is where Phoenix and its surrounding cities are located and represents roughly 60 percent of the state's population.

"Class and gender may also play a role on February 28, with Romney doing best among Republican women and among GOPers who describe themselves as white collar," Holland notes.
Michigan, the other state that votes on February 28, has 30 delegates up for grabs, which will be divided proportionally.

The CNN/Time poll was conducted by ORC International from February 17-20, with 467 registered Republicans who are likely to vote in the Arizona GOP presidential primary questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.5% points.

Also see:

Paul ad slams Santorum

Obama campaign takes a swing at Santorum

Gingrich describes Obama as a national security risk

Franklin Graham questions Obama, Romney on Christian Faith


Filed under: 2012 • CNN/Time poll • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. cecilia

    I don't care – it does not matter which blow hole they send in – they are both losers – both radical – both will say or do what ever the tea people tell them to say or do. President Obama will win in 2012 because Americans want an adult to run the country

    February 21, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. freelance

    I am not too sure if Santorum is a good choice or not, but I am pretty sure that Romney is a terrible choice for us.

    February 21, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. zbass

    santorum is closing the gap??? what about ron paul?? Looks like he already closed the gap in arizona!

    February 21, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. James V.

    The gap Santorum SHOULD be closing is the one in his face... just sayin'

    February 21, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. JP

    another reason Santorum wants to get rid of pre-natal testing ... produce more people missing braincells that will vote for him ........

    February 21, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Nicholas

    Yesterday was a historic event in our capital that mainstream media blatantly ignored. Over 1000 troops marched from the Washington Monument to the White House chanting "President Paul", "End the FED", and "End these wars". When at the White House, they turned their backs to the White House and stood in silence for 1 second for every service member thats died since Obama took office – 20 minutes! Then proceeded to have a rally for Ron Paul. Where is your coverage of this? If the troops did that for any other candidate, it would be front page news everywhere.

    February 21, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Dany

    How people can be so dumb. Santorum is not a guy to be president. he is so religieux and is very crazy with the women. What wron g with you people. Wake up. Santorum is not the one. He is a losser

    February 21, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. DEMs see the writing on the wall

    Obama's declaration of war on religions in this country and on the 1st ammendment have the dems running scared. It will take every opportunity it can to discredit Santorum because it knows Romney is going to kick this power thirsty thug all over the country. The churches have gotten a wake up call and no longer care about the religious affiliation of the GOP candidate, so long as it isn't Obama.

    February 21, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Give me a break

    They asked 467 Republicans! That is hardly a representative number of people. Geesh.

    February 21, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Brett

    This doesn't deserve to be "Breaking News".

    February 21, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. alex

    I have no doubt in the end Romney will win the nomination... this is Good for America because the General election will be between two liberals (Oabama and Romney).. DEATH the right wing Republicans NUT JOBS!!!!

    February 21, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. DeeNYC

    I sure hope Santorum gets the GOP nod.
    Obama 2012.

    February 21, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Marc

    Good job Republicans. Let's all congratulate Obama on his November victory!

    February 21, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. jason

    I hope they know that if ron paul wins california and texas that he would be far in the lead

    February 21, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. Jack

    Latest poll out today shows Romney up by 10 points.

    February 21, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. jason

    @deenyc yeah, obama would crush santorum in debates if he was nominated.

    February 21, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. Vaildude

    This is breaking news? What would happen if you found out Obama had a toothache? Breaking News? CNN you are the worst of the liberal media!!

    February 21, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. Phyllis

    Isn't anyone paying attention to Santorum's wife, the one who before marriage to Rick lived for 6 years with an abortion doctor who is many years her senior (and who delivered her when she was born)? No way the American people will accept her as first lady. The GOP is going nuts.

    February 21, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  19. doe

    These pollsters are too lazy and/or too cheap to conduct proper polls. +-4 or 5% is too big of a margin of error to say anything meaningful. How can you say one candidate is ahead/behind another with such wide variances? Seems like they conduct these polls just to have something to write about.

    February 21, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. lcg123

    Mitt lost my vote when he was asked how much money he makes per speech. He said "Not a lot. It's about $30,000 a speech" That's more money than I make in a year!! I'm not voting Obama either. Hell, I probably won't have enough money for gas to drive to the polls!

    February 21, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. God

    No surprise, Santorum is the perfect nut case for a state full of nutcases

    February 21, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. westward

    Proof that 'crazy' sells pretty well in 2012.

    February 21, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. lkottis

    Why can't CNN just tell the truth – that Romney leads Santorum by 4 percentage points in the poll and then say what the margin of error is, instead of putting their own agenda's spin about its being a tie and making that the headline? Oh, because that is what CNN hopes will happen..

    February 21, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  24. DWagner

    Santorum has been on the Religious circuit for over 15 years. He makes that consultant fee off of Pro Family and Pro Life Banquet since he left the senate. This actual is not a anti Romany vote but Catholic defend you church vote against Obama policies.
    I support Romney and believe he will defend Religious Liberty just as well but convince that to scare religious people.

    February 21, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  25. Beat The Media

    They also said Ron Paul was only getting 5% of the vote in Maine. I guess they were wrong

    February 21, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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