Poll: Gap shrinking between Romney and Santorum in Arizona
February 25th, 2012
11:15 AM ET
3 years ago

Poll: Gap shrinking between Romney and Santorum in Arizona

(CNN) – A poll of Arizona Republican primary voters released Saturday shows Mitt Romney with a slight advantage over his closest rival Rick Santorum, though the gap between the candidates is shrinking.

The survey from the American Research Group showed Romney with the backing of 39% of likely primary voters, compared to 35% who support Santorum. The poll was taken February 23-24, entirely after CNN's Arizona presidential debate, which took place Wednesday. Arizona voters go to the polls Tuesday.

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The gap between Santorum and Romney narrowed since the last time ARG polled Arizona voters. In a survey taken February 13-14, Romney led Santorum 38%-31%, meaning support for Santorum jumped 4 percentage points, while backing for Romney saw an increase of only 1 point.

Support for the candidates appears to be split along ideological lines. Santorum led Romney 43%-32% among tea party supporters, but among voters who said they did not support the tea party, or are undecided about the movement, Romney led 44%-25%.

The two other candidates in the race were far behind the two frontrunners. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich stood at 11% in the poll, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul was at 9%.

Gingrich's spot in third place represents a steep drop. In the last week of January, Gingrich stood at 32% in the ARG Arizona poll.

Early voting in Arizona already favors Romney, according to the poll. Fifty percent of Republicans who already voted said they cast ballots for Romney, compared to 29% who went for Santorum. But Santorum led Romney among voters who are waiting until primary day, 41% to 29%.

On Tuesday, officials in Maricopa County, Arizona, said 167,838 Republican ballots had been returned, out of over 388,000 early ballots that were requested. In neighboring Pima County, officials said 40,688 ballots have been returned, out of 85,041 that were mailed out. Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, and Pima County, which includes Tucson, account for about three-quarters of Arizona's population.

The ARG poll was taken by telephone February 23-24 of 600 likely Republican primary voters. The sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

CNN's Marlena Baldacci contributed to this report.

Also see:

Newly released Palin e-mails show frustration and discussion of her marital status

Obama and Republican trade blame on gas prices in weekly addresses

No laugh track needed: Romney in Kalamazoo

Gingrich ridicules Obama over bailouts, energy plan, Afghanistan


Filed under: 2012 • Arizona
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Namejkane fl

    When you have two losers it doesn't matter if one is higher in the polls than the other loser. Either of the teapublican clown so called conserve morons are going to lose in a Dem landslide in Nov.

    February 25, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. tony

    Not much difference between either's plan for America. One thousand Meg-rich Princes/Pastors and 400 million slaves with 2 hrs off on Sunday to listen to the mandatory sermon and mandatory shopping for the 4 child wives at China-Mart .

    February 25, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. PTBarnumboy

    I had no idea the Tea Party was in favor of a Theocratic form of government!!

    February 25, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If either of these morons gets elected, would that mean that the republican party will suddenly start working for the American people? I don't think so.

    February 25, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    This recent poll shows that more and more republican men are becoming interested in controlling women's private parts.

    February 25, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If we elect one of these white republicans whose economic plan will add to our national debt, will the teabaggers be happy and finally go home?

    February 25, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. jack878

    Rick people want to hear about the economy not birth control, all you are doing is making it easier for the diastar in the white house to get four more years.

    February 25, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. judy

    Mitt loves detroit he has 2 cadillacs and a pick up truck and a mustang to prove it. I have a 2002 ford. Gee I am so glad he understand the regular people. He keeps them at his two houses . I guess he can't keep them at the yacht. Rick he only has one house but his income is over a million a year, and his wife has no say because she is subordinant to him like a good christian girl is. They are just waiting for satan to come and the end of he world. Newt has a trophy wife who had better not get sick or bye bye. He will bomb Iran from the moon and talk in riddles . Like a bat man comic. Paul will just sit back and smoke a little grass and tell everyone to chill out. If none of these guys work we have rick perry and palin and Bachman in the wings. Oh Joy!

    February 25, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. T'sah from Virginia

    The battle to see who can be the furthest RIGHT is MITTens and Ricky's fantasy
    NOT much of a diverse race to the White House – it's ONLY their race towards "insanity!!!"

    Obama 2012

    February 25, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I watched as much Newt as I could on Greta last night, and I am convinced his hatred goes back to having to sit in the back of Air Force One when he was speaker. I also watched Gov. O'Malley make Gov. McDonnell look like a moron in a sit down Politico interview.

    February 25, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. Fred Riek

    Looking ahead 18 months, no one will give a hoot about these ex-candidates from the bankrupt Republican Party – Thank God. As they have repeatedly proven, none of them are of presidential quality and Obama's re-election is assured if people care enough to vote.

    February 25, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. IndeePendant

    To all you Ron Paul supporters out there – Ron is exploiting your emotions to do two things in this campaign. 1. To promote his Son for a similar future campaign or get him an administration seat in future Romney govt. (if Romney wins Presidency), and 2. To provide a shield for Romney during campaigning and debates by going after whoever is troubling Romney at the given moment (he went after Perry, then Gingrich and now Santorum). Have you guys seen, he never or hardly goes after Romney, even though he has been a flip-flopper on almost every conservative issue. In fact he went all the way supporting Romney, when Romney made 'Safetynet' comments. What's the 'deal' (made) between Ron and Romney? Is he Romney's scrooge in the campaign? Is this a fraud being payed on voters by Ron and Romney? Should it be investigated?

    February 25, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    Mittens is not a nutjob like Sanitorium, plus Mittens has proven he's willing to say and do anything to get elected, so of course he's the one the Repub establishment wants.

    All that's left is to convince all the Repubs who hate Mittens for his religion and flip-flopping to hold their noses and vote for him. The plan is to make up for the lack of Independents voting for Mittens by suppressing the vote overall.

    Grover Norquist is calling the shots; just google "Norquist digits" and watch the video/see what he said recently at CPAC regarding Mittens as the GOP nominee:

    "We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate."

    Grover Norquist confessed that he wants a weak-willed president, like Mitt Romney, in office so he can be forced to sign every bill sent from a Republican congress Norquist controls. To him, that person just needs "enough working digits to handle a pen."

    Obama/Biden 2012

    February 25, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. Claudia, Phoenix, AZ

    Newt is beginning to look like someone plastered a fake smile on his old face while lying about he didn't steal the cookie from the cookie jar, Santorum acts like he's in a school play sitting on a thorne and acting out the roll of king and Ron Paul is his jester and then there is Romney holding all the "kings" gold. The dumbing of the Republican party started with Sarah Palin.

    February 25, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    "Obama's re-election is assured if people care enough to vote."

    The operative phrase here is "if people care enough to vote." Democrats, Independents and thinking Republicans MUST turn out and vote for President Obama, not only to keep our country moving forward, but to ensure the next 2-3 Supreme Court nominees are NOT in the pockets of the GOP/Koch brothers.

    Don't be complacent. complacent! The GOP is doing everything they can to suppress the vote, from changing voter registration deadlines to exclude college students, to demanding photo ID where none were required in the past. It is absolutely necessary for every Independent, Democrat and thinking Republican to GET OUT AND VOTE FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA in November 2012.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    February 25, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. rsubber

    I don't watch TV because I can't stand the blather of the talking heads who want to predict the election, or get someone else to predict the ultimate winner right now.......everyone's trying to game the election.......let the electoral process continue, in due time we'll have candidates and then we'll have an election.
    More comments on my blog: Barley Literate by Rick Subber

    February 25, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. Ann

    Give Santorum something to chew maybe he will keep his mouth shut. He is so narrow-minded. The Paul-Romney conspiracy theory that this idiot is bragging about makes me have more respect for both Romney and Paul. What about these two are the only candidates in the race who actually did something other than Washington politics? Maybe they just respect each other. And who cares if they have a deal. They are the only ones who may have something to contribute to the discussion. Meanwhile Santorum's contribution to the debate is destructive. If nominated, he will never win in the general election, but he will poison the dialogue with his stupid ideas.

    February 25, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. Skitownrefugee

    And as these two vie to see who can go further right while offering nothing more than the reapeal of everhthing Obama has done during the past three years – while the President stears the ship of state back on the course it was on before Bush was elected. Do we really want to hand the helm over to the same kind of guys who got us off course in the first place? I think NOT!

    February 25, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. Larry L

    Big shoes and red noses... Orange hair and polka-dot shirts... The Republican Clown Car rolls on...

    February 25, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Fla Pete

    You know what's funny,the shrinking %of voters responding to their hypocritical crap.Mitt has gonads walking into the lions den(Michigan) after repeadedly saying let the Big 3 go into bankruptcy in both of his failing campaigns.He and that womenizer Santorum are falling like comets in the night skies.Their voters percentages have dropped and their debates are getting more boring.Newty and the old man Paul,are so slow in the gray matter department they don't know when to pounce on Mitts and Santorums mistakes..Maybe they need cue cards when to respond .It's an old show that should be canceled by fall,put in a light hearted comedy,that's the ticket...

    February 25, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. GI Joe.

    Republlcans are just too paranoid (and sometimes schizo) to suit me. What are they afraid of? that they will be found out?

    February 25, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. Tony

    Democrats should take a page out of Rush Limbaugh's playbook and vote for Santorum in states that have an open primary or caucus, including Michigan. This will prolong the Republican primary, force Romney to pander even more to the right, and make it impossible for Romney to move back to the center for the November election. We don't need to worry about Santorum moving back to the center. Santorum's whole selling point is that he is a hard-core conservative. Santorum can't move back to the center even if he wants to. If Santorum is the Republican nominee, the Tea Republican Party will die a horrible death in the November election, and a more moderate Republican Party can take its place.

    February 25, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Judy, I think Rmoney keeps a Ford Focus on his yacht. When he's ready for some daytripping he has the helicopter on his yacht drop the Focus onshore. You know, just the typical everyday run of the mill stuff middle class people do.

    February 25, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. Abus

    Paul is gonna win the election. Just do your research and it's clear.

    February 25, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  25. Bill

    Let's look at all the people that are "conspiring" against the GOP. Scientists, college professors (heck, all college educated people who didn't go to Oral Roberts U), every news outlets except the one owned by Rupert Murdoch and a Saudi Prince, history books, unions members, students, young people, people who live on either coast, non-white people, people who believe in evolution, non-Christians, the internet, and every non-oil energy company. Yep, it's not that the GOP is wrong, it's just that the rest of the world is crazy.

    February 25, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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