Poll: Romney widens lead over Santorum
March 1st, 2012
02:09 PM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Romney widens lead over Santorum

(CNN) - A new national poll released Thursday indicates Mitt Romney has expanded his lead over Rick Santorum and now holds an 11 percentage point advantage over the former Pennsylvania senator.

Romney has the backing of 35% of registered Republicans nationwide, while Santorum comes in with 24%, according to results from Gallup's latest daily tracking poll.

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The new poll reflects a reversal in the top two spots from a week ago, when Santorum came in first place with 34% and Romney had 24%.

Romney retook the top spot on Sunday for the first time in 11 days with a narrow two-point margin over Santorum and has since seen rising poll numbers.

The latest poll was conducted Saturday through Wednesday, a time window that includes one day of polling after Romney pulled two much-needed wins in Michigan and Arizona on Tuesday.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich comes in third place with 15% in the new survey, while Texas Rep. Ron Paul takes fourth at 11%.

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 1,171 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents by telephone between February 25 and February 29. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Also see:

Romney stumbles over question about GOP contraception push

GOP spotlights president's 100th fundraiser

Poll: Republicans win enthusiasm contest

Crisscrossing the country in search of delegates


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Polls • Rick Santorum
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. HRPuckinfutz

    Republican voters can't make up their minds. I cannot blame them. It is like choosing between Jason Vorhees and Freddy Krueger....

    March 1, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. logicnLA

    Are Republican bandwagoners or simply fickle? I can't figure it out Four years ago as Hilary lost her hold the number varied slightly but never switched back and forht the way this race does. I don't get where their conviction is

    March 1, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens has 35% of registered republicans supporting him? Negative campaigning and being endorsed by the Kochs and Rove is finally paying off for flipper. Republicans have begun to see that he is just like any other upper .0001% wealthy American.

    March 1, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. George

    What is the level of success when anyone gains a lead over an all-time jerk like Santorum? Mitt, what year are you going to start giving the specifics on how YOU can help the economy? Does Mrs. Romney have any ideas you could put out there (as your own, of course)? LOL Mitt has a vision for American that he just won't talk about.

    March 1, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Obama's Snake Oil on Sale - Git yur lies and deceit here!!

    Dag nabbit!! All my preemptive attacks and lies aren't working!! What is WRONG with this country anyways? Now I'm going to have to increase the smoke, enlarge the mirrors and double up on the snake oil potentcy because if I have to face this guy in November, I'd better start taking those voice lessons and booking Chicago piano bars next February.

    March 1, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. V in Chicago

    So, Republicans – had enough of Sanctimonious Santorum? I will vote for President Obama, but if you want to be able to have any credibility after November 2012, then Santorum has to go. Romney (even though I firmly beleive he can not and will not beat the POTUS) is your only hope!!

    Unless of course, you want to live on the Moon and have the Bible as your Constitution.

    March 1, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I like clowns too, but would not vote for Mittens.

    March 1, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. V in Chicago

    So, Repulbicans, had enough of Sanctimonious Santorum? About Time!

    March 1, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Voltaire

    Given the amount of campaign money Willard had to shell out for his 22% to 40% victories, he might have to write his own check for that seat in the Oval Office. LOL he gave that sick little chuckle asking people to go to his web-site and contribute to him (just the way Sarah Palin always directs people to hers). Not surprised, after-all he never risked any of his own money at Bain.

    March 1, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Mike Johnson

    I was sure 3 months ago that I would vote republican ... but if this is the best they got then I will not. Romney is backed by establishment and that is enough for me to back off. Newt or Ron Paul I would vote for ... wish Herman Cain was still in the run.

    March 1, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. Laverne

    Santorum did himself in because he is CRAZZZZY! Mitt Romney will become the republican nominee by default, not because the repubs want him they just don't have another viable choice. Romney will be defeat Santorum, Obama will defeat Romney and that what's driving the repub party nuts!

    March 1, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. cali girl

    and this is important why?

    March 1, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    Romney has the softest support of any frontrunner I've ever seen. He's reminiscent of a combination of Mondale, Dukakis and Kerry: Mondale's talent for self-inflicted wounds, Dukakis' inability to inspire any real passion, and Kerry's image of an aristocratic snob. Add to that his own brand of desperation and you have Mitt, the new Tom Dewey.

    March 1, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. JackBeHumble

    I think Santorum screwed up big-time when he begged Michigan Democrats to vote for him. He would have done better for himself if he had said something like "I know that I need every vote I can get, but I won't support this kind of underhanded approach. Republicans are better than that." But maybe saying that would have made him sick to his stomach.

    March 1, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Claudia, Phoenix, AZ

    Now we can clearly see why the Republican congress is such a failure, they can't lead and they can't follow.

    March 1, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. GonzoinHouston

    Narrowly beating an ultra-extremist like Santorum is not what I would call a major accomplishment.

    Romney has been winning with a better organization, more money, and lots of negative ads. He won't have those advantages in the fall. Obama's organization is as good or better, and he'll have as much or more money. And those negative ads will alienate more independents than they will attract.

    March 1, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  17. angel611

    Watching Romeny and Santorum smile and rejoice and say they will be President, is like watching two trains going towards each other, head on, at full speed. We all know what the final result will be, but we can't stop it. All we can do is watch in horror and pity.
    Like McCain/Plalin.

    March 1, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  18. John Williams

    The only problem with this poll is that, unlike the Michigan primary, it was not distorted by liberal Democrats voting for Santorum in order to saddle the Republican Party with a much weaker candidate for the general election.

    Santorum is the current "flavor of the month." He's a nice enough person, and his policies are far preferable to Obama's, but he faces a much tougher time in the general election as his management record only marginally better than Obama's was when he first ran for the Presidency.

    March 1, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. v_mag

    Nice touch, wearing the blue jeans, Rom-money. It's almost got me fooled into believing you know something about the 99% of Americans that you aren't a part of. The 99% who are luke-warm or less about your candidacy. If it weren't for the hard-core bigots in your party, you wouldn't have a Mormon's prayer of unseating the president.

    March 1, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. Wendy

    With his campaign money drying up to get those leads, he looks more worryied about having to use his own–don't think he relishes taking any out of the Caymans and Switzerland. Maybe Ann could sell a few of her horses or a couple of those Cadallacs to secure future campain ads for her man.

    March 1, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  21. mchughmi

    Oh darn, I thought the repubs might be dumb enough to nominate Santorum, then Obama would have a cake walk

    March 1, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    That is why Santorum is counting on Democrats to support him in the open primaries. Democrats like me would love to vote for Ricko. Watch him win the nomination, lose the election and cause the breakup of the Republican party to the Moderate and Know-nothing wings. The Moderates can go back to calling themselves Whigs and do absolutely nothing about the problems facing the country, just like in the 1830s to 1850s. The Know-Nothings can proudly proclaim their ignorance about things and rant against feminism, immigration, and New World Order Conspiracies.

    March 1, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. Lamanzo23

    I saw on the news the other night a guy in Michigan. He says "Am I disappointed in Romney for his view on the auto industry, yeah, but I'm going to vote for him". It wasn't what he said here but his tone. It was like "Sigh, I don't like him, but he's the least crazy so yeah I'm going to give him my vote by default". Everytime I hear someone who says they are voting for him it's the same. There is zero enthusiasm about it. If there's zero enthusiasm toward Romney now I just can't imagine it being any better in the general election.

    March 1, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  24. Jimm

    Yeah, yeah, yeah...and if Santorum wins in Ohio, the polls will switch again.

    March 1, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. SMH

    As much as Mittens flip-flop on every issue, he should of been the host Olympic gymnastics!!!

    March 1, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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