Poll: Santorum holds onto edge in Pennsylvania
April 3rd, 2012
07:53 AM ET
3 years ago

Poll: Santorum holds onto edge in Pennsylvania

(CNN) – Rick Santorum held the edge in his home state of Pennsylvania three weeks before the state's primary, according to a new poll, but his advantage fell within the survey's sampling error.

According to the Quinnipiac University Poll released Tuesday, the former Pennsylvania senator led Mitt Romney, his chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination, 41% to 35% among likely GOP primary voters. Long shot candidates Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich followed with 10% and 7% support respectively.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

The new figures followed results last week that indicated a slightly tighter race between the top two candidates in the likely general election swing state.

Six percent of likely voters in Tuesday's poll said they were undecided over who to support in the April 24 contest, while 37% said they could still change their mind before heading to the polls.

Santorum led among men, evangelical Christians, tea party members and self-described conservatives. The female voting bloc was split between Santorum and Romney, and Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, garnered the top spot among self-described moderates.

Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said a win in the Keystone State, where 72 delegates are at stake, is "critical for Sen. Rick Santorum, the native son who must win to reasonably continue the race for the presidency."

Santorum has staked his presidential ambitions on a win in Pennsylvania, a state he represented for two terms in the U.S. Senate, and in southern elections next month.

While wins in Tuesday's three contests look increasingly unlikely, he has vowed to remain in the race until a candidate reaches 1,144 delegates, the necessary number needed to clinch the nomination. Fifty-seven percent of likely primary voters seemed to agree with his strategy, saying the Republican Party is better off if Santorum stays in the race. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed said it is better if he drops his bid.

Santorum's figures were aided by 52% of voters who said he has more honesty and integrity than most people in public life, while 25% said the same of Romney. Forty-nine percent said Santorum changes his positions on issues because of politics, while 74% said the same of Romney.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 647 likely Republican primary voters between March 27 and April 1 with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Pennsylvania • Polls • Rick Santorum
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    I wouldn't be confident with only a 6 poit lead. Let's not forget how much Santorum lost his reelection bid by.18 points is alot.

    April 3, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  2. ST

    Santorum is not my choice, not Romney either. Does anyone think that Romney can lead a country? Really!!! The man has proved is pretending to be a politician while he is not. Good thinkers know this. GOP needs to rethink and rethink multiple times. You send Romney out there, you are doomed to fail. As simple as that!

    April 3, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  3. rla

    He may be a very good person but he does not have the background or life experience to be president. We tried this with Obama and look how that turned out. Sorry nothing against you at all just please don't try to convince me you are presidential material when you have a base of evengelical christians??? Sorry but that is a nonstarter for a president of the United States just like a base of blacks and latinos is a non starter for Obama.

    April 3, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  4. GI Joe

    My God – is that state becoming as ignorant as Mississippi?

    April 3, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  5. JimfromBham

    If Santorum fails to win Wisconsin, the voters in Pennsylvania will drift away from him as more of them acknowledge the "inevitability" argument.

    April 3, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  6. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Rick Santorum must not only win (i.e. get more votes than any other candidate, which he could), but win by a clear majority in order to be considered viable. 41% to 37% is not a great margin, especially when 6% are undecided, and 37% could change their votes. A big win for Romney in Wisconsin, followed by a more positive endorsement by Gingrich (instead of "He will be the likely candidate") could tip the scales against Rick in his home state.

    April 3, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    According to Santorum, 5 out of 6 universities in the California state system don't teach a single course in American history, yet, if you go online to see their course offerings, they have multiple courses and multiple sections on American History. This is the leading alternative to Romney, folks, a man who is comfortable fabricating charges that can easily be disproven. He lives in as much of a fantasy world as Romney: do you want the rightie fantasy world, or do you want to solve real-world problems with the rest of us?

    April 3, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  8. Marie MD

    The only reason sanatorium would win in the state who threw him out on his butt would be that really and truly nobody likes ghe flip flopper.
    What's really hilarious is that, unlike mcnasty in 2008, who thought a complete unknown who turned outnto be beyond stupid there is nobody for vp!

    April 3, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |