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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

rick santorum news

rick santorum news

rick santorum news CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.



Rick Santorum has pulled slightly ahead of Mitt Romney in Republican primary voters' preference for the presidential nomination, a national CBS News/New York Times Poll shows.Santorum has the support of 30 percent of GOP primary voters in the poll, following by Romney at 27 percent. Ron Paul is now in third at 12 percent, followed by Newt Gingrich at 10 percent.
Just three points over Romney, Santorum's lead in the national survey is within the poll's margin of error.

Rick Santorum: No longer such a long-shot
Full coverage: Campaign 2012

The socially conservative former Pennsylvania senator received the backing of just 16 percent of Republican primary voters in a similarly worded question last month, leaving him in third place behind Gingrich.

Romney, who won the Maine caucuses on Saturday, has held fairly steady since January, while Gingrich's support has fallen by 11 points.

In the poll, Santorum receives strong backing from conservatives, tea party supporters and white evangelicals.Self-identified conservatives divided their support among the candidates in January, but in this poll they appear to be coalescing solidly behind Santorum. He receives far more support from this group than Romney does, and conservative support for Santorum has increased since last month. (see the chart at left)
Support for Gingrich among conservatives is now half of what it was in January, just before his victory in the South Carolina primary.

Santorum also leads the Republican field among tea party supporters, who make up more than four in 10 Republican primary voters, as well as evangelical Christians. Evangelicals were key to Santorum's narrow win in Iowa last month.

In January's national poll, tea party supporters divided their support between Romney (with 29 percent) and Gingrich (28 percent), while Santorum trailed with just 18 percent. Now, 36 percent of Tea Party supporters back Santorum, and 24 percent back Romney. In the January poll, 23 percent of white evangelicals backed Santorum. That support has now jumped to 39 percent.

Still, 60 percent of Republican primary voters nationwide say they could still change their minds about whom to support - so the race remains fluid.
There's been a lot of attention on Michigan. It was a state supposedly safe for Mitt Romney, the state where his father once ran as governor. Yet as the numbers above demonstrate, it's become prime real estate for Santorum, with a conservative electorate more interested in knee-capping the Romneybot than in playing favorite son. Both the Romney campaign and his Super PAC will be spending heavily in the state, trying to drag Santorum back to earth. Because if Santorum wins, the media narrative will turn heavily against Romney. That state should be an easy win for him.
Forgotten in the Michigan commotion is Arizona, which on paper should be favorable to Santorum—insanely conservative with a populist edge. Yet Santorum is short on cash, and appears to be more interested in handing Romney a Michigan embarrassment than in scoring points in the southwest. And given that Super Tuesday is just a week later, Santorum has to spend his limited dollars wisely.

Of course, Santorum hasn't won anything because of money. And the national tide may be enough to make Santorum competitive down in the desert. But as of now, it's clear the eye of the storm will be in Michigan. And if Santorum can win that one, he'll be 4-0 in midwestern states, and Romney will look even weaker than he does now.
OLYMPIA, Wash.- Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says Washington state's new gay marriage law is not the final word in the debate.

Santorum said Monday that he is encouraging opponents of same-sex marriage to continue to fight. He held a private meeting in Olympia with a group of gay marriage opponents who are now exploring a referendum to block the new law.

The former Pennsylvania senator's visit to the state capital came within an hour of Gov. Chris Gregoire signing the gay marriage bill. Santorum said the law waters down marriage at a time when divorce rates are already up.

He says the consequences of failing to have strong traditional marriages include more people going to prison, more dropouts from school, higher poverty rates and higher government spending.

But same-sex marriage was not the only item on his agenda as he spoke with local lawmakers.

"We've been talking about a lot of issues… how to get the economy growing?" he said. "Education's been an issue we've been talking about… talked about the importance of getting programs out of Washington, D.C. and back to the state level."

Santorum then went up to Tacoma to hold a rally at the Washington State History Museum to drum up further support for his presidential campaign. His campaign moves on to Idaho on Tuesday.

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