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.

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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. Independent from NH

    Christie would have to walk around with a Dr. monitoring his vitals everywhere he went should he choose to run. I'm sorry, but I don't think a guy of Christie's health can take 4 hours of sleep a night for about a year straight. He'll either have a stroke or a heart attack and that's even before he got into office, should that ever happen. Basically, the GOP is in a lot of trouble no matter what angle you look at it from.

    February 22, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  2. nolimits3333

    Santorum is Opus Dei....

    Rick Santorum sent two of his sons to a Washington, D.C. all-boys school affiliated with Opus Dei, the Catholic group whose members were portrayed as sinisterly weird in the sensationalistic Da Vinci Code but in reality only engage in some mild self-mutilation, "nothing traumatic," as the group's website says. Santorum went to Rome in 2002 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Opus Dei's founding, and he belongs to the St. Catherine of Siena Parish, a favorite of Opus Dei.

    February 22, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  3. Linda

    This man wants to do away with prenatal screening, which I believe is benifical for all expectant mothers to insure good health for her and the baby through her pregancy. What a woman decides to do if she finds out that her baby is going to be born serverly retarted or still born is her descision and her families alone, not according to the beliefs of Rick Santorum or the Tea Party or the GOP or anyone else. He wants all these tests stopped and let all children that might come into this world unable to live or function on their own to be born regardless of whether a family would be able to afford the care that this child will require......and still the Republicans want to do away with Medicare and Medicaid that will be the only help a lot of these famililies will be able to get to help them through the medical expenses for these children......you can't have it both ways......who will end up paying for all the medical expences for these families.....we will you and I through our Medical Premiums as they will continue to go up to cover all these tests and medical expenses that they can't afford to pay.......This man has some serious issue of dealing with reality, and what he and the Catholic Church believies in doesn't mean it is right ...... that's their belief but it doesn't mean the rest of us believe that way and it shouldn't be pushed down our thrroats........

    February 22, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  4. ...Rajinder Goyal

    Santorum is a religious fanatic and an extremist who belongs to the bygone era. Extremism of any kind, whether its right orleft or any other kind is fraught with grave consequences. His recent revelations about Satan ruling America should be enough to scare people off. Then he calls Obama having a different theology. His views on contraception are out of the mainstream. Supported by by the tea drinkers and religious extremists, people would be well advised to think again before voting for him. Calling other people names isn't the hallmark of a good candidate. Today's world is very different from that of santorum's. he should keep his anger bottled up within himself. It will do him a lot of good. In any case, if he has any dreams of winning the white house, it will be a dark day for America.

    February 22, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  5. JBoss

    UGH – this is a disaster for any fiscally conservative, socially moderate voters out there. Santorum will never win the presidency after every last independent voter runs from his puritanical perspective. Theocracy – NO THANK YOU!!

    February 22, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. kmac

    Why is this catholic got his underwear in a wad. If a woman has an abortion she just trips down to the priest does some hail marys and on her way. Big deal.

    February 22, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. james pfeiffer

    Santorum is one very very dangerous man. The fact that there are actually real people who think that he would somehow make us a better nation is unfathomable. It really speaks to the sad level of American sophistication and global wisdom. This guy lives in a real, paranoid burning-bush fantasy world. Beware women's rights, beware seperation of church and state, beware revisionist history, beware health care, beware environment, beware global warming, beware science. This guy is a dinosaur. For Santorum, satan lies behind every corner and has taken refuge in just about anything that this limited evangelical egotist is unable to intellectually process.

    February 22, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  8. James PDX

    If these un-American evangelicals want to live in a theocracy instead of a democracy, maybe they should move to Iran.

    February 22, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  9. jt_flyer

    Many generations of women have struggled for the rights taken for granted today. It’s unconscionable that the current wisdom is to willingly giveaway earned rights to a group of self-serving, old men.. Those before you gave their full measure of devotion for those rights! Please look carefully at the sisters of the Middle East and realize the only thing separating you from them are your rights.
    “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.” Thomas Jefferson (author of the Declaration of Independence, 3rd President of the United Stated and one of our nation’s founders)

    February 22, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  10. aaron

    this totatlly proves that republican men are repugnant.

    February 22, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  11. Someone in Columbus

    Hardly surprising.....

    February 22, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  12. aaron

    this also shows how out of it that the republican base is. they would vote for the FAT Christie and the moronic Palin before they would vote for the more qualified of the three in Jeb. republicans have no idea what they are doing.

    February 22, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  13. steve washington

    Supporting Santorum, the little Hitler. At least he is telling the American public how he will take away the rights of the people and women. So if people for him, your voting to destroy your life. Also the Virginia Governor, is worst than Santorum, taking away the rights of the people.
    People think they are free, but not under the Republicans. BTW, New Jersey, ruled by Christy, has the highest state taxes, and property taxes in this nation. Yes, Republivans say they don't tax, just look at New Jersey. Republicans will tell you anything to get your vote. BUT vote smart in November, its your life your saving.

    February 22, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. Rstlne

    Why is it no surprise that women are not supporting this man? What I want to know is why are so many men supporting him?

    February 22, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  15. tom

    Well, if right-wing Christian extremists were the majority in this country, then Santorum would be the next President. But they aren't, and he won't.

    February 22, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  16. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    And the devil can quote scripture for his own purposes.

    Evangelicals are not Christians. I had to go to an evangelical school when I was younger, so I know what I'm talking about. This belief is about as far from Christianity you can get and still be legally classified as a 'Christian' religion, even though that's not what they are.

    February 22, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  17. Don

    Does Ricky have a position of men paying for the babies of unwanted pregnancy? Me thinks that he may lose soem of thent male suppport when it comes out

    February 22, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. Josh

    Increasing support from men is a sign that the patriarchy in the United States is nowhere near dead. These men want to dominate women and control their bodies, so they choose the candidate that is most highly invested in controlling women. Parallels to Islam? I think so.

    February 22, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. BobNAlabama

    This guy is a self-righteous devil in sheep's clothing.

    February 22, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  20. Robert

    It's kind of sick of sick to know the amount of people that abide by all that religious non-sense.

    February 22, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  21. freelance

    and SUPER PACs boost Romney.. Guess who the winner will be? Don't bet against the money!! R Money all the way!!!

    February 22, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. Cindy

    It's that old "keep them barefoot and pregnant" crowd of men supporting Santorum. Women have had to fight this group of men for their rights since the 1900's.

    February 22, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. Do they want to lose

    Does the GOP want to lose the election to Obama? Santorum cannot win, I don't want to vote Obama and have not decide in full on Romney but I can say for sure I will vote against Santorum. He has way to much religion influencing him for my comfort. Watch any mega church preacher and hear them say that God spoke to them telling them how he will bless them if they send in $100 for a prayer cloth or some other trinket, they all say God or Jesus spoke to them and Mr Santorum may be getting the same transmissions from God ?

    February 22, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. Nick

    What the poll does not say is "Among educated, and well informed men, women and minorities, support for Santorum is 0". Does the GOP think only whites (that too mostly brainwashed and hate-filled) vote in the elections?

    February 22, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    So this poll pretty much shows that there are more attendees at the debates than are going to the primaries, and that all the candidates are providing the ennui needed to almost ensure the nomination of someone who will dig himself so deeply in a hole that the Republican Party will have the same level of national following it did in 1854.

    February 22, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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