Support from men and evangelicals boosts Santorum nationally
February 22nd, 2012
06:00 AM ET
2 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. Mike

    Gov. Christie has done a lousy job in NJ and his approval rate here is in the low 40's and wouldn't even win relection in two years.

    February 22, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. Sarah

    I am shocked! Shocked! Women had better turn out, en masse, in November, or they will see Taliban America at work for the next four years.

    February 22, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. Willie James

    This proves the decline and hard, hard right turn of the GOP. My old party no longer represents the values of average middle class Americans. I'm now an "I". The snake handling evangelists scare me.

    February 22, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. David Ouellette

    As a Canadian viewer, who can be more objective, I can tell you that Rick Santorum is very bad news for America. He's something left over from the 10th century. American people, wake up!!!!!!!!!!

    February 22, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  5. Mark

    I am a man. I respect women, a woman's right to health care, and a woman's right to choose. These so called men who support Santorum may as well be practicing Islamists for how they view the treatment of women.

    There is one thing that no candidate and no rhetoric can change, the sanctity of the voting booth.!!!!!!! There will be many many "good little christian wives" that will go into the voting booth, telling their husbands, (whom Santorum, the bible and church say they should obey) that they will vote for these archaic ideas, and then vote for Obama. These women want things better for their daughters than they have had it. The Republicans only care about these so-called moral issues, not the economy, (which they wrecked), not the well-being of the country or its citizens, not anything that could be of importance in this election. I've always been for Obama, and it's a pleasure to see the Republican party shooting itself in BOTH feet.!!!!!!!! Religion poisons everything, and it has completely poisoned any chance the Republicans have in 2012.

    February 22, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. i_know_everything

    Santorum literally rising from behind, who'd have guessed???

    February 22, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. Russ

    So ladies listen up. What does this tell you? Men still want to suppress you, plain and simple. They know this guy will work to suppress women's rights. So if you don't want to go back to the middle ages vote Democratic. Republican men hate women that want to be equals. Please show me you ladies are really not that stupid. Please!

    February 22, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. Phil Viel

    would Santorum support christian churches that have female bishops, gay marrages, gay clergy, allow contercetion, abortion in certain cercumstances or will it be RC values only?

    February 22, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  9. KC

    This is not surprising at all. Evangelicals hate Mormons and many religious old men favor the bible's treatment of women.

    February 22, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. Charlie from the North

    I guess you are only asking Republicans, but I am a middle aged gun owning hunting white guy and I would not vote for Sanatorium or Romney if you offered me a million dollars (and Mitt just might).

    Sanatorium"s popularity is ten miles deep an an inch wide. I understand elections enough to know that a low voter turnout couple with some third party nonsense could result in a President Gingrich, Paul, Romney or even Sanatorium. But I say to those thinking of sitting this one out because Obama is not perfect An administration run by any of these clowns will make you nostalgic for the "Bush Error".

    February 22, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  11. Thomas

    I want to live in a world where everybody wears a Rick Santorum's sweater .

    Don't you ?

    February 22, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. Carolyn in SD

    It will take more than that to win a national election.

    February 22, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. Kris

    The GOP has finally arrived...They are now officially CRAZY on every level.

    February 22, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. king

    Hey now you know why they call themselves conservatives. They can't seem to get out of the dark ages and progress as other countries are progressing and leaving us behind. Look at our crumbling infrastructures that the repubs keep blocking to rebuild and put Americans back to work.

    February 22, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  15. Larry L

    Santorum will get votes from the "crazies" on the far-right fringe but he'll totally lose the moderates and independents in the general election. We're now seeing an implosion of the Republican Party attributable to the pandering to Tea Party radicals. Peopl with more common sense and less hatred will vote for President Obama.

    February 22, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. Arthur Paliden

    This is great. Hopefully Santorum will get elected President. This will cause all the educated Americans along with their businesses and investment capital to move to Canada creating a huge quantity of new jobs thus solving our unemployment problem. For 2012 Santorum/Tebow Go Go Go !!

    February 22, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. PJC

    i love my job, i love the home i bought, i love my life AS A WOMAN not a stepford wife, i don't want to go back to the kitchen wearing a frilly apron, which is where Santorum wants us.

    February 22, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. j mann

    I dunno, I'm a man and when I see a guy wearing a shirt with his own name on it, I cringe, not vote.

    February 22, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. David

    Franklin Graham and Rick Santorum are so mistaken. The Bible does not take any stance what-so-ever on abortion, other than to say that 'one shalt not kill,' and Christians are always among the first to support war and the death penalty. Amen.

    February 22, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. Anonymous

    Wouldnt Santorum and his male audience love to turn back the clock where the white man ruled...they're dreaming...their rein of dominance and making All the decisions for everyone is over!

    February 22, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. Carol

    Any man who votes for Santorum would not have my vote!

    February 22, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. Hoping

    I just hope those Christians are the virtuous giving Christians who take care of God's people (all people) and all that God has given. I am afraid they are the hypocritical self serving Christians that believe that all God has given is for man to take at the expense of others and the future as much as they can in Jesus name which to me looks like it is the work of Satan.

    February 22, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. Patti in Dallas

    Where are the women?

    February 22, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  24. Jimbob

    God bless thee blessed, for thee blessed always seem to think they know everything about everything...for thee especially think they always know what is best for all the rest.

    February 22, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  25. D

    He's popular with men? This is my "shocked face" O.O

    February 22, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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