Mesa, Arizona (CNN) - Is Mitt Romney starting to surge in Arizona?
A new poll released Wednesday, six days before the state's primary, indicates the former Massachusetts governor is holding a 16 point lead over former Sen. Rick Santorum.
CNN LIVE: Tune in Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET for the last presidential debate before Super Tuesday, the CNN/Arizona Republican Party Debate hosted by John King. Follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate and on Facebook at CNN Politics. For real-time coverage of the Arizona and Michigan primaries, go to CNNPolitics.com or to the CNN apps or CNN mobile web site.
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According to the NBC News/Marist survey, 43% of people likely to vote in Arizona's GOP presidential contest say they are backing Romney, with 27% supporting Santorum, 16% backing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and 11% behind Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.
The survey was conducted Sunday and Monday and its release came hours before a GOP presidential debate hosted by CNN and the Republican Party of Arizona at the Mesa Arts Center. The showdown is the first in nearly a month and is the last time the candidates will share a stage before primaries in Arizona and Michigan on Tuesday, before Washington state holds a contest on March 3, and before 10 more states hold primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday on March 6.
A CNN/Time/ORC International poll released Tuesday indicated a closer race in Arizona, with Romney at 36%, Santorum at 32%, Gingrich at 18% and Paul at 6%. Romney's four-point advantage is within the survey's sampling error.
The CNN survey was conducted Friday through Monday, and when you break down the numbers, Romney appears to gain ground while Santorum loses support. Looking just at the sample from Friday and Saturday, Santorum edges out Romney 36%-35%. But the figures from Sunday and Monday tell a different story, with Romney holding a 38%-26% advantage over Santorum.
"That pattern reflects what several other publicly-released polls indicate," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Other polls that include data from last week show a fairly close race, but polls that were done entirely this week show double-digit leads for Romney. The interviews conducted in the CNN/Time poll straddled both periods."
Winning Arizona is extremely important, as the 29 delegates at stake in the primary are winner-take-all.
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 for the overall sample and plus or minus seven percentage points for the Friday-Saturday and Sunday-Monday breakdowns.
The NBC News-Marist poll in Arizona was conducted February 19-20, with 2,487 registered voters, including 767 likely Republican primary voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for GOP primary questions is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, with an overall sampling error of two percentage points.
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Just like Nevada . Arizona has a large Mormon Populous.
If Romney cant carry Arizona , he's done !
"After all of the headlines grabbing attention Santorum received over the past 10 or so days, is it any real surprise that Rick is fading while Mitt is rising.
I sure miss the old-school GOP.
The classic GOP : The party that use to believe in limited government – civil liberties – personal freedoms – grown-ups being allowed to live their lives as they see fit – the Constitution. Where "moderation" and keeping a civil tongue was expected.
The current GOP has gone down the toilet, and it is currently being held on involutary life support by people that grow more angry and discourteous by the minute.
The party of Lincoln is no more, and we as a nation are worse off for this loss :(
As a former Republican, I am truly saddened and shocked to see what has become of the GOP.
The old-school "Party of Lincoln" is no more.
This current version of the party gets more angrier, and more extremist in their views, by the day. This is NOT the party that such great leaders (Dwight D. Eisenhower) envisioned.
Looks like Rmoney must be making his Norquist no-tax pledge in that pic.
Nothing new here – I feel your pain. I too was once a proud republican, but no more. I don't know what to call the republican party anymore, but they certainly aren't the same ones I grew up with. The ignorance and disregard for facts and science that come out of these people makes me cringe.
You know it's bad when Ronald Reagan and Nixon would be considered too liberal by their current standards.
Nothing new here, I know exactly what you mean. Lincoln would be appalled by a party of extremeists, who trash the rule of law and working people at the same time. His whole career was devoted to learning and serving, two words that have become obscenities in the current GOP lexicon.
this is his to lose. How he cannot point out Santorum's faults is a problem. Santorum is running a extremely religious program. Ron Paul has pointed out Santorum's voting record... USE THE INFO. Santorum got FIRED from his last government post... USE THE INO. Wife and I already know, if Romney is not the candidate, then Obama gets he vote, unconditionally. If Romney is the republican nominee, then we'll listen. It is that black/white.
Pay attention, people. The GOP is no longer a party based on a rational philosophy, it has devolved into a cult based on articles of faith. It is far more a religion now than anything else.
Even his sons are so lack-luster. What is it about Willard that turns even the GOP off?
Well, I would not like to comment on that. The one who is running now certainly needs an overhaul and lube job !!!!
It appears that Gingrich is on the wane and the "Not Romney" vote appears to be coalescing around Santorum. Good. Obama will trounce Santorum, if he is the nominee.
Ever notice, there aint no brothers with Mr Personality! White, Whiter & Whitest. Gee there is a nice jingle for a guy never picked up a tool in his Filthly Rich Mormon world. Lets face it, between Bain & The 02 games he got more Earmarks than all the Candidates COMBINED. We the Middle class of America need to pull together come November & help the momentum of the working folk win against all the Fatcats Like Ro MONEY & CO. Come Nov please help this GREAT PREZ & pull nothin but D,s & take back This great Country. GOD BLESS AMERICA & the workin man!
Nothing new here wrote:
....This current version of the party gets more angrier, and more extremist in their views, by the day. ....
I agree. The current iteration is an emboldened, vitriol laden party that lacks leadership from within. All Republican leadershipo comes form without. They allow themselves to be steered by their own media, who are in turn influenced by wealthy special interests. They are being led by a pied piper right to the cliff. I just hope they don't take the entire country with them as they continue their implosion.
Some are saying the Mormons living in AZ will give Romney the win. Even if every Mormon in AZ voted for him, it wouldn't be enough. I think there's a Mormon factor but it's not the simple number of people voting. It's that people who live and work among Mormons realize they aren't anything like the cartoon characters portrayed in the media. They're far less extreme and pushy with their beliefs in public policy than those currently making noise from the fringes of the GOP. Good grief– they use contraceptives, incorporate science into their beliefs, even want to see the environment protected and want to allow people to practice their religion without the infringement of govt. . Those are down right revolutionary for some GOP'ers these days.
Thank you CNN for true freedom of speech from both sides. Its the checks & ballances that make this great Country the most unique on Earth!!!!
America, come Nov, pull nothin but D,s. & help this Great Prez take back The US for the workin Folk!!!! I like this marketing. Can a nation get a William Daley to the Rescue?
This is only the republican nomination being voted on, not the presidency.
If Mitt wins the nomination, he will still have President Obama to deal with, and Mitty RoMoney will then find out what it feels like to be profoundly out of his league.
Obama 2.0, 2012
Souptwins, I could not disagree with you more. I will never forget the time in St George when I was aproached by the lds cult and asked to join the Mormons. I politely said, sure no problem, If you enact a black elder. they were very ofended. They phiscallly knock on your your door if you miss church or if you have a spout with your wife also. They are truely wierd people!!!!
IIn other news a new poll shows that 65% of CNN readers are tired of news reports on polls.