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. c

    45-19% white evangelicals who say they speak for God as long as He is white. Never mind that more than a few of them gay & straight cheat on their wives, hide income taxes in foreign banks ; engage in shady business deals and war mongering. Yet somehow they think it's their job to assert their moral authority on the rest of us free willing sinners.

    February 22, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. Doug Ericson

    Christians will be Christians.

    February 22, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. xxlv

    Who was it that said"AMERICA IS NO LONGER A CHRISTIAN NATION??????

    February 22, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Thomas

    Gotta keep dem wimmins barefoot and pregnant....
    Makes more time for the mistress too....

    February 22, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. gravis

    You are casting a bad light on all men. The article failed to mention that the average IQ of the men, evangelicals, and tea partiers that support Santorum was about 50.

    February 22, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. TBWII

    Are Catholics Evangelicas? I haven't seen a catholic evangelize before...

    February 22, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. ALPHA

    Polls Polls Polls....I saw a different poll just this morning that said Santorum had gained tons and tons of female support.

    Guess it doesn't make much difference who is supporting whom, as long as Obama and his crew of far left liberal cronies are sent packing in November!!

    February 22, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
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