(CNN) – Rick Santorum, who last week enjoyed a 10-point nationwide lead over Mitt Romney, is now within one point of his chief GOP rival after dropping several points in Gallup's daily tracking poll.
The survey taken February 22-24 showed Santorum with the backing of 31% of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, down two points from Friday and down five points from his peak on Wednesday.
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Support for Romney rose to 30%, a much-needed boost for the candidate who stood at 25% on Wednesday.
For the ongoing poll, Gallup surveys more than 1,000 registered Republican voters on a daily basis. The poll drops the oldest of five days each day and adds results from the most recent day of polling.
In the latest survey, Gallup questioned 1,153 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents by telephone between February 20 and February 24. The survey has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
The results Saturday include two days of polling after CNN's Republican presidential debate in Arizona, the final time the four candidates squared off before key contests in Michigan and Arizona next week, as well as the votes in 10 states on Super Tuesday, March 6.
The two other candidates in the race, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, were both well behind the two front-runners. Gingrich stood at 16% and Paul was at 11%. Neither Gingrich nor Paul has seen a change in his numbers since Thursday.
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If Rick could have a do-over, I'll bet he would not condemn the Pope's position on climate change, and maybe not endorsed a big government agency to oversee women's reproductive rights. As for lying against the president, that did not hurt him because all republicans and foreign owned media with a hint of Saudi, Fox, do it 24/7.
He is just as crazy as moon Newton, and cannot compete with the millions of dollars in the corporate coffers for Mittens.
And he's surprised? I knew if that fool kept on talking he would sink himself. Ricky Baby, women do NOT like being dictated to by men. Well, maybe Mrs. Santorum does. but NOT the rest of us who can still think for ourselves.
I imagine Americans are not buying into Satan Santo.
Santorum, Gingrich, Romney, Obama are warmongering chickenhawks – never served in the military but are all about wanting another war – this one with Iran.
Ron Paul is the only one that served, is pro-peace, pro-freedom, pro-life and anti-bailouts.
President Obama will be re-elected.
Rick Santorum is the anti-gay, anti-abortion anti-womyn, anti-science.
Who is running on these social issues. Never mind health reform or jobs.
Or anything important or non-discriminatory, for that matter.
This GOP car circus can only ensure President Obama's re-election.
One if them is so rich he cannot even fathom what it might be like to have to struggle to care for your family and the other one wants to be the sanctimonious moral watchdog for women. How did the GOP ever end up with these choices – they used to be better than this.
I am voting for Obama, he is the only Statesman.
Now that Ricko has been in the lead, people are actually listening to what he is saying and has said. Just like everyone has been pointing out to look at Romney's past to get an idea of his current thoughts, now the guy who got thrown out of office by an 18 point margin is getting close scrutiny, too. And he comes up wanting.
He's insane – it comes along with being a rigt-wing radical.
thats what happens when RON PAUL kicks your teeth in on a debate stage.
All it takes is a little sunshine on any of these Republican candidates and they'll melt before your eyes. And it's not really their fault, it's the members of the party who have made being their candidate virtually impossible. Too many tests, too many pledges and oaths. The party painted itself into an untenable corner. It's their own fault.
Let’s face reality. Santorum does not have the leadership experience or the skills required to run the nation. He has no experience bringing people together. If you really think about it, you know this to be true.
None of the anti-Romneys can withstand close scrutiny. Republican voters don't like Romney, know that he is a moderate masquerading as a conservative, are trying desperately to find an alternative, but are coming to the realization that the alternatives suck even more than Romney.
Ohhhhh, the wingers have had another crush turn into a pumpkin. Poor little emotionally backwards children. Boo hoo hoo.
To me Santorum has always acted like a teenage religious fanatic. Romney has always been our best bet. BUT these Repub candidates have beat themselves to a pulp and spent well over a hundred million just fighting among themselves. AND the primary season is just getting under way. What will be left for the general election ??? There must be a better way.
I support Romney but as far leading in the Polls goes, I don't think it carries much weight. You could do a poll on Monday, and another on Tuesday and end up with completely different results.
Public support keeps lurching from one GOP candidate to the next and back again in a desperate attempt to find one that a) isn't crazy, b)isn't ridiculously poorly informed, c)doesn't radically change political positions to match campaign trends, and d)displays at least a moderate capacity for rational and intelligent thought. Good luck with that, Republicans!
Nice to see Romney's attack ad money isn't all going to waste.
Wow, what a surprise! A Republican bump evaporated! That sure didn't happen a dozen times during this campaign!
The more that people get to know Ricky and his extreme far right views of things, the more people see that this nutjob shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the White House. All he can talk about is hate and fear and of course how women should not be allowed basic health services. Even more, that women should be seen and not heard,
Gosh come on give Sanitarium the GOP node. That way we will have a great President. Of course his name will be spelled OBOMA.
Who wants a president that takes a dead baby home from the hospital so his kids can play with it? Nut job of the worse kind.