(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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The lesson is clear. Romney has billions to spend on this thing and will play as dirty (or have his people play as dirty) as necessary. Obama needs to get a metric ton of cash and go on the offensive early to keep this monster out of the white house. Defend our country!
The retarded party just cannot stick to not stick to one loser
Andy, he's a NUT!
Typical GOP candidate, the ignorant love them when they know anything about them. Once people hear what the guy stands for (like keeping women barefoot and pregnant), then newness wears off and people resent them. No wonder Ricky lost his own district by 18 points when he was up for re-election. Huntsman should have stayed in the race. It's his turn to be the "Anybody but Mitt" frontrunner.
Gee, what a surprise.... Golly Moses I thought this country wanted to go backwards...OOPs...
obama will lose 40 states in november.
Does anyone really care who's up and who's down it's the money that's up that will determine which one of these turkeys including Obama who will sit on the throne.
Did you have any problem with the Kennedys being extremely rich, or John Kerry being rich and paying even less in taxes than Mitt?
People should not go around counting Romney out and saying this or that is a do or die. The man has staying power or he would have been out of the hunt a long time ago.
You guys are so biased against Ron Paul. Not one word, Photo on your main Politics page. What are you so afraid of? Your out of touch with the people and you don't understand what it means to be a good journalist.
31 percent is a lead ? its only a lead to the other 30 percent, 69 percent see it as a tail
The Ron Paul supporters are in for a big surprise. Ron is the smartest man in the race and knows he could never get enough votes to win. He sets back and collects delegates while the three nutters fight each other. Ron knows money man Mitt is the nominee and money buys people and votes. Ron will offer his delegates to Mitt if his son is selected the VP choice. Ron will be able to get his policies and in 2016 his son Senator Rand Paul can run for President. Everyone has something their willing to bargain. Rick wants a job that will pay him enough for his life style and large family. Newt is just tooking to get big money and fine a younger wife.
Let everyone be honest – not one of the GOP contenders should ever be picked for any election !!!! They are really really bad !!!!!!
ron paul is in 2nd fools. the delegates are all that matters.
Most Americans like their president sane. Ron Paul doesn't fit that description.
How many months will it take the Republicans to figure out that they don't have a decent or viable candidate.?
the november election wont even be close. these people are not even in the same league as barack. these guys are wierd and crazy.
Not surprising. Romney is going to be the nominee, not because his party likes him best, but because he has the most money and organization.
But he'll taste defeat once and for all come November. ;-)
The country is now finding out what the people of Pennsylvania found out about Santorum a few years back and kicked him out of office. This guy is a born loser that will not learn from the lessons the public taught him over the years.His backers are learning the hard way about who this loser really is and does.
Funny how telling (slightly more than) half the population that you want them to have far fewer rights than the other (slightly less than) half the population will do that.
Santorum can't go the distance. Whether it is someone other than Romney, someone NOT in the race as of now, Santorum is NOT what this country needs at the moment. He has baggage that hasn't come out yet because he hasn't been considered a 'real' candidate. I don't think he can win over Obama and he doesn't have the experience, skills, knowledge or business respect needed to turn things around. Newt can't win it and especially so with Callista by his side. She looks and acts like a grown-up Barbie. Sorry, that is just my opinion. Ron Paul has some good ideas and believes in some solid policies but he can't beat Obama and he isn't what we need, either. We just may have to accept Obama a second term or trust Romney to pull us through. Romney can't be worse than Obama!
this happens a lot, first rick perry, then Cain, gingrich, and now santorum. they all had gained a temporary lead of Romney, but Mitt the ripper won out in the end
Santorum needs to endorse Mit Romney.
Of course he is sinking in the polls. With him it is a case of open mouth, insert anchor.
Just shows us that God aint no dummy! He/she convinced this moron (along with fellow morons Perry and Bachmann) that 'god told me to run' and they did. Thereby confirming that President Obama (the only one without the overreaching hubris to think God's talking to him) will be re-elected. Way to go God!