Poll: All tied up in Tennessee
Rick Santorum address tea party supporters in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on February 25.
March 4th, 2012
03:28 PM ET
3 years ago

Poll: All tied up in Tennessee

(CNN) - With two days to go until Super Tuesday, it's all knotted up in Tennessee's Republican presidential primary, according to a new poll.

An American Research Group survey released Sunday indicates that 35% of likely GOP primary voters in the state are backing former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, with 31% supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 20% backing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and 9% supporting Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Santorum's four point advantage is within the poll's sampling error, which means it's basically all tied up.

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Two polls conducted in the state late last month, from Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State University, both indicated Santorum with a double digit lead over his rivals for the GOP nomination.

Fifty-five delegates are up for grabs Tuesday in Tennessee, one of 10 states to hold contests on Super Tuesday.

Tennessee allows early voting, and the ARG survey indicates that Santorum has a 47%-35% lead over Romney among those who've said they've already cast a ballot in Tuesday's contest, with Gingrich at 11% and Paul at 7%.

Among those yet to vote, Santorum has a 32%-30% margin over Romney, with Gingrich at 23% and Paul at 9%.

"Although the 12 percentage-point early-vote lead for Santorum gives him a cushion, Romney is gaining among voters saying they will vote on Tuesday and Santorum's early vote may not be enough to hold off Romney because Gingrich has gained strength at Santorum's expense," says a press release by ARG.

Tennessee holds an open primary, which means Republicans, Independents and even Democrats can vote in the GOP presidential contest. According to the poll, Santorum has a seven-point margin over Romney among self-identified Republicans, with Romney holding a six-point margin over Santorum among self-identified independents and Democrats.

The survey indicates that Santorum has a 43%-30% lead over Gingrich among people who say they are supporters of the tea party movement, with Romney at 17% and Paul at 5%. Among non-tea party supporters, Romney leads with 49%, followed by Santorum at 24%, Paul at 14% and Gingrich at 8%.

Santorum has a nine point advantage over Romney among men, with Romney holding a two point margin over Santorum among women.

The ARG poll was conducted March 1-3, with 600 likely GOP primary voters in Tennessee questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

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Filed under: 2012 • Polls • Tennessee
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. diridi

    No one in Republicans are really trusted by this nation.....all are just Clowns of the Circus.

    March 5, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  2. T'sah from Virginia

    Who cares – We have a snow day today in VA so I will be blogging all day...LOL

    As time goes on, the Republicans will realize that their ONLY hope is to elect Romney and then Romney will go on to lose in November – Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    March 5, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  3. sbssue1

    Hey people, Santorum got voted out of office in 2006 in PA because he was "Too Preachy". You better get your act together. He's acting like a dictator and trying to tell the world how wonderful he is. You had better open your eyes. He's against women's rights and he will be telling you what to say and think if he gets in office. If you all vote for Santorum, I will have to vote for Obama in the fall.

    March 5, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  4. DT Johnson

    Santorum and Gingrich are preaching to the choir. Each need a victory to make it to the convention with an inkling of a chance to grab the nomination. Romney is demonstrating he can "out crazy" almost anyone, and he clearly has shown a propensity to shoot himself in the foot verbally. But his biggest and most difficult problem is his religion. The "good old boys" in the volunteer state like their Jesus straight up and undiluted. Most see Mormon's as a cult. Toss a little Joseph Smith into a Jesus cocktail and those southern boys will take a walk.

    March 5, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  5. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    It doesn't matter who wins the republican clown primary, its going to be Obama and Dem landslide in Nov.

    March 5, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  6. Wake up people

    Very well said Charlie from the north! VWS! And if I may add, to my fellow black people, please get out and vote. Our ancestors died for us to have this right. Along side some amazing whites that jeopardized their lives also. Please people get out and support our President and elect him a Congress that cares about our country and not just the rich and powerful. I also agree with Wire Palladin, if Rmoney loses they will simply cheat because he is their candidate of choice.

    March 5, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  7. Bubba

    Santorum's all tied up in Tennessee? I always knew that boy was weird.

    March 5, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    What demographic is mostly backing one candidate or the other?

    Mitt Romney – The Haves. The folks who have got it made, financially.
    Newt Gingrich – The Have Mores – The folks who have a little more than most, and the wannabes.
    Ron Paul – The Have Nots – The folks who have not one brain cell connected to another brain cell.
    Rick Santorum – The Hope Nots – The folks who have not a clue what reality is, want to control all of us, and we hope not.

    March 5, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  9. GRAHAME RHODES

    I am confused because all these people, these wannabeez seem to think that the United States of America only exists in the Good old Boy Southern States. It gives rise to a huge Bronx cheer when they really believe that people in Vegas or any Northern states will vote for them. OK Maybe Washington State but then they are alined mentally with Georgia anyway. Obviously this is a huge waste of time and money when Obama will win hands down come November. Do you really think Romney can fix anything? Can you imagine this GW Bush clone representing the population of the USA. The rest of the world will split their collective sides laughing at us one more just as they did with Bush.

    March 5, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. texan

    The true "backbone" of the Tea Party are those 1%ers who want the Bush tax cuts to be extended and will fight tooth and nail for their loopholes and lowering their taxes further. --- All the "bailing out" of our present economic collapse shall be born largely by whatever is left of the middle class. -- And they have the gall to blame Democrats of starting class warfare they themselves have been waging for years now.

    March 5, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. The REAL Truth

    And so the "circus" continues. Only now the media are saying its a dead heat in the polls. Vote Ron Paul folks... that way he'll have enough delegates to get front-center stage at the RNC in Aug. They will hate having a loose cannon up there. Jeezz.. and to think we've got to endure another EIGHT months of this folly.

    March 5, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  12. Fla Pete

    The title says something,both Romney,Santorum are tied.Hopefully to a big rock that's going in a nearby lake,tired of their hypocritical crap,get rid of them all,game over.The true adult in the room,Barack Obama,POTUS,2012.....

    March 5, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. brian in denver

    And the Chatanooga Choo Choo rolls on... This has been entertaining, but Obama's win in Nov. can't come soon enough!

    March 5, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. Ace

    Why not, they are equally nuts.

    March 5, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
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