Support from men and evangelicals boosts Santorum nationally
February 22nd, 2012
06:00 AM ET
3 years ago

Support from men and evangelicals boosts Santorum nationally

(CNN) - A poll released Wednesday showed Rick Santorum maintaining his lead nationwide among likely Republican voters, topping his closest rival Mitt Romney by a margin of nine percentage points.

The poll from Quinnipiac University showed Santorum with the backing of 35% of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, compared to 26% for Romney. The two other candidates in the race, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, were at 14% and 11%, respectively.

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.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

Fourteen percent said they didn't know who they were voting for or that the question didn't apply.

Broken down further, the poll showed Santorum's support was strongest among Republican men and evangelical Christians. Santorum led Romney 35% to 24% among men, and 45% to 19% among white evangelicals.

"Sen. Rick Santorum's lead among Republican voters and GOP-leaning independents is built on the votes of Republican men, Tea Party supporters and white evangelical Christians," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement accompanying the poll's release. "Santorum is riding the momentum wave from his trifecta of victories in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota, but so far this year momentum from one week has been a much-overhyped asset by the time the next round of voting comes along."

When voters were just asked to choose between Santorum and Romney, the margin between the two candidates expanded. Santorum had the support of 50% of likely Republican voters, compared to 37% who went for Romney.

Most respondents, 54%, said it was not likely at all a candidate not currently in the race would wind up becoming the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. But if such a candidate emerged, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would be the most popular, with the support of 33% of likely Republican voters. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush were at 20% and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels stood at 15%.

Forty-eight percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said having a candidate not currently in the race become the nominee would be bad for the GOP, compared to 37% who said it would be good for the party.

The Quinnipiac University poll was taken by phone February 14-20 from 2,605 registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. The sampling error was plus or minus 2.9 percentage 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 • Mitt Romney • Polls • Rick Santorum
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. GI Joe.

    -– but, he has lost women, gays, hispanics, sane people, educated people --

    February 22, 2012 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  2. DoNotWorry

    This man is going nowhere fast. He is the Republican's last gasp for a Not-The_Romney candidate because the religious right refuses to vote Mormon for Romney and can't bear voting Black for Obama. If they think their nutcase can win, let the rest of the country vote. Keep in mind that the Republican Party only has a few thousand people voting in each state.... not a representation of the American public. Time for Americans to join a third party and let this one join the Whigs and Federalists in Heaven.

    February 22, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  3. Marie MD

    Duh!! Is this a surprise? Those crazy white bible thumping evangelicals, my god or no god, and everyone who is not christian should be stoned. Then those men who like to tell their little women what to do and keep them pregnant and popping out baby after baby because that is the only time they feel manly, and keep them in the kitchen like a little wife should.
    Fortunately these people are not a majority anymore in this country or anywhere else where civilization has taken over the Neanderthal thoughts of some of these men.

    February 22, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  4. Shelby

    It is sad that the evangelicals are falling for phony Santorum who voted to give Planned Parenthood millions of dollars in funding. Also, Santorum's wife dated an abortion doctor prior to marrying Santo!

    Must mention, too, Santo's LOW charity giving. This fraud talks about how great charities are yet doesn't seem to care much for donating to them. Between the years of 2007 through 2010, santo has donated to charity ONLY 1.76% to 2.67% of his earnings. This is very low for a wealthy Christian.

    February 22, 2012 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  5. Dave

    Earth to Santorum: You will need much more than the support of men and Bible-thumpers.

    February 22, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  6. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    It is funny that all politicians are brought into this world by WOMEN! If it were not for us, they would not be here. Please remember we VOTE!

    February 22, 2012 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  7. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Support from men and evangelicals boosts Santorum nationally◄
    And next thing you know those MEN will emerge with a new name – Sally!!!
    It's not that those MEN truly believe in “any” Church of God
    They're just "defiant" and “angry” and SATANorum talks their snob!!!

    In the general – they will be the minority!!!

    Obama 2012!!!

    February 22, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  8. HenryB

    These results are not surprising. The sad thing for Santorum is that if you are nominated on the backs of white men and evangelicals, your chances in the general election are like ZERO. Good going again my Republican friends, good going.

    February 22, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    No good choices here... Santorum and Romney look like they are going to a show down. Who knows who will win it. As for the others that were mentioned, I hope that they aren't serious about Christie. He just proposed his budget that has a tax cut which isn't responsible. It is the property tax that is hurting more people here in NJ rather than the income tax. It just shows that Christie is out of touch.

    February 22, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Go Rick go! Fire up those teavangelicals!

    February 22, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  11. Sage Sophos

    Genuine! authentic just two words

    February 22, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  12. Jules

    The best thing for the GOP would be to lose big and get rid of that pull to the far right so they can have candidates that actually give you a choice.

    February 22, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  13. Al-NY,NY

    More good news for anyone who wants common sense in the POTUS. Not a "finger in the wind" changeling who has more differing opinions on issues than anyone ever and a religious zealot who would be the new Torquemada watching over the new inquisition

    February 22, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  14. GROVER NORQUIST IS AN ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Surpreme Leader Ayatollah Santorum stands by his convictions despite how off the wall they may be. But it least he stands by his word unlike others.......Willard.

    February 22, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  15. Butter My Butt And Call Me a Biscuit

    New AP/GFK Poll out today: Obama tops 50% over all GOP contenders – He leads Romney by 8%. GO OBAMA and this is coming from an old Southern white woman..........

    February 22, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  16. GI Joe.

    He's even offended Christians that don't go around shoving their particular religion down other people's throats (the majority of christians in this country allow others to believe the way they believe - he will try to sell us strict catholocism, which I will NEVER adhere to).

    February 22, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  17. v_mag

    Sanctimonious is the perfect Repugnant candidate. He represents exactly what the Greedy One Percenters are all about: More money for the rich, scorn for the poor, the Inquisition for all, and health care only for those with the big bucks.

    February 22, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  18. glorydays

    There are more reasonable women in the country than Neanderthal men.

    February 22, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  19. Brenda

    It is very disheartening that so many Republican men would see women's freedoms taken away in supporting Santorum. As a pro-lifer and conservative woman, I find his beliefs very scary.

    February 22, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. Killdeer

    Just goes to show how utterly bigoted some people calling themselves "christians" can be. Look out 13th century, here we come again!

    February 22, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  21. Whonose

    Of course some men will support this blathering, anti-women zealot. Thank god he hasn't a chance in hell of being elected. He needs to take his slimey self back back and shut up. Instead, he's trying to take us back to the 15th century.

    February 22, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  22. Puddin

    I am not at all surprised that men are throwing their support behind Santorum. Who wants a rich man who uses loopholes and only pays fifteen per cent of his income to support the US government and has the rest of his money off-shore so he doesn't have to pay taxes on it, as their president? This guy is no role model for the US of A. The government is no different than a church. If everyone did as Mitt Romney, refusing to support the church, there would be no church. Some people gripe about too much government, but I suspect when all those things "our" government makes possible for us to have a little better life suddenly disappear, the griping will continue. We take things so for granted that we don't miss it until we lose it.

    February 22, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  23. PissedofRep.

    These religious nuts are sinking the GOP ship and hammering the last nail in the Republican party. After this the party will have to reinvent itself if it ever wants some political relevance outside of the traditional Red States.

    February 22, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  24. darryl

    Will people in the GOP wake up and realize Santorum is the text book example of an Anti-Intellectual and should not be cleaning the floors of the White House, much living in it.i

    February 22, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  25. Tom

    Rick Santorum is the bottom of the barrel–enough said.

    February 22, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
1 2 3 4