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Poll: Romney Gaining on Santorum in Pennsylvania Poll: Romney Gaining on Santorum in Pennsylvania

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / Campaign 2012

Poll: Romney Gaining on Santorum in Pennsylvania

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Contrary his bullish predictions, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Rick Santorum could fall short of winning his home state’s Republican primary. 

A new Quinnipiac University poll of likely Republican voters in Pennsylvania shows the ex-U.S. senator leads rival Mitt Romney there by just 6 percentage points, 41 percent to 35 percent, three weeks before the Keystone State’s April 24 contest. It’s the second recent poll to show Santorum holding only a slim margin over Romney. A  survey from Franklin & Marshall College last week reported he led the Republican front-runner by only 2 points, 30 percent to 28 percent. 

Santorum dismissed the Franklin & Marshall poll during an appearance Sunday on Meet the Press, and  has said that he "absolutely" expects to win the state where he served as a senator for 12 years. But a second survey showing a close contest will be harder to ignore, particularly because it shows Santorum struggling to attract the same groups of voters who have been cool to him elsewhere.

 

Romney leads Santorum among voters with a college degree, 47 percent to 31 percent, and with self-described moderates in the Quinnipiac poll, 45 percent to 29 percent, a continuation of the strong support he's received from both types of GOP voters. The former Massachusetts governor also has a small edge among the party’s secular wing, winning with white, non-evangelical voters in the state 43 percent to 39 percent. 

Santorum, meanwhile, holds a big advantage with born-again Christians, 53 percent to 24 percent, and among self-described conservatives, 48 percent to 30 percent -- two groups that have been the key to his earlier successes in the primary season. 

Santorum himself acknowledged he must win his home state to continue his campaign. Even after he lost similar Rust Belt states like Ohio and Michigan, supporters have argued Santorum’s favorite-son status would push him to victory in Pennsylvania. He served as a congressman outside of Pittsburgh for four years from 1991 to 1995 and as a senator from 1995 to 2007.

But he suffered a humiliating reelection defeat in 2006, losing by nearly 20 points to Democratic challenger Bob Casey. And despite his extensive political ties there, many of the Keystone State Republican power brokers have lined up behind Romney, including former Gov. Tom Ridge.

The poll also casts doubt that the Romney campaign’s Etch A Sketch gaffe, in which a senior adviser compared the candidate’s political views to the children’s toy, has hindered his effort, at least among Republicans. Fifty-two percent of likely GOP voters in Pennsylvania said the criticism was unfair, compared to 37 percent who considered it fair. 

Still, the poll contains some good news for Santorum: Fifty-seven percent of repondents said it’s better for the GOP if he stays in the race, compared to 33 percent who think his exit would help the party. Many in the Republican Party have begun calling for him to leave the race, a chorus that will grow only louder if he loses Wisconsin on Tuesday. 

The survey also underscores the degree to which the primary has become a two-man race. Texas Rep. Ron Paul received only 10 percent support, while onetime House Speaker Newt Gingrich clocked in at just 7 percent. 

The Quinnipiac University poll surveyed 647 likely Republican voters from March 27 through April 1. It has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points. 

 

Contrary his own bullish predictions, it’s becoming increasingly clear Rick Santorum isn’t guaranteed to win even his home state’s Republican primary. 
A Quinnipiac University poll of likely Republican voters reported Tuesday that the ex-U.S. senator from Pennsylvania leads rival Mitt Romney there by just six points, 41 percent to 35 percent, three weeks before the Keystone State’s GOP contest. It’s the second recent poll to show Santorum holding only a slim margin over Romney -- a survey from Franklin & Marshall College last week reported he led the Republican front-runner by only two points, 30 percent to 28 percent. 
Santorum dismissed the Franklin & Marshall poll during an appearance Sunday on Meet the Press, saying he would “absolutely” win the state where he served as a senator for 12 years. But a second survey showing a close contest will be harder to dismiss, particularly because it shows Santorum struggling to attract the same groups of voters who have been cool to him elsewhere.
Romney leads Santorum among voters with a college degree, 47 percent to 31 percent, and with self-described moderates, 45 percent to 29 percent. He also has a small edge among the party’s secular wing, winning with white, non-Evangelical voters 43 percent to 39 percent. 
Santorum, meanwhile, holds big advantages with Born Again Christians, whom he leads 53 percent to 24 percent, and among self-described conservatives, 48 percent to 30 percent – two groups who have fueled his support throughout the primary. 
Santorum himself acknowledged he must win his home state to continue his campaign, and even a victory there would likely do little more than prolong his seemingly inevitable defeat to Romney. Even after he lost similar Rust Belt states like Ohio and Michigan, supporters have argued Santorum’s favorite-son status would push him to victory in Pennsylvania. He served as a congressman outside of Pittsburgh for four years from 1991 to 1995 and as a senator from 1995 to 2007.
But he suffered a humiliating re-election defeat in 2006, losing by nearly 20 points to Democratic challenger Bob Casey. And despite his extensive political ties there, many of the Keystone State GOP’s power-brokers have lined up behind Romney, including former Gov. Tom Ridge.
The poll also casts doubt that a the Romney’s Etch A Sketch gaffe, in which a senior campaign adviser compared the candidate’s political views to the children’s toy, has hindered his effort, at least among Republicans. Fifty-two percent of likely GOP voters in Pennsylvania said the criticism was unfair, compared to 37 percent who considered it fair. 
Still, the poll contains some good news for Santorum: Fifty-seven percent of repondents said it’s better for the GOP if he stays in the race, compared to 33 percent who think his exit would help the party. Many in the Republican Party have begun calling for the ex-senator to leave the race, a chorus that will grow only louder if he loses Wisconsin later on Tuesday. 
The survey also underscores the degree to which the primary has become a two-man race. Texas Rep. Ron Paul received only 10 percent support, according to the poll, while onetime House Speaker Newt Gingrich clocked in at just 7 percent. 
The Quinnipiac University poll surveyed 647 likely Republican voters from March 27 through April 1. It has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points. 
Contrary his own bullish predictions, it’s becoming increasingly clear Rick Santorum isn’t guaranteed to win even his home state’s Republican primary. 
A Quinnipiac University poll of likely Republican voters reported Tuesday that the ex-U.S. senator from Pennsylvania leads rival Mitt Romney there by just six points, 41 percent to 35 percent, three weeks before the Keystone State’s GOP contest. It’s the second recent poll to show Santorum holding only a slim margin over Romney -- a survey from Franklin & Marshall College last week reported he led the Republican front-runner by only two points, 30 percent to 28 percent. 
Santorum dismissed the Franklin & Marshall poll during an appearance Sunday on Meet the Press, saying he would “absolutely” win the state where he served as a senator for 12 years. But a second survey showing a close contest will be harder to dismiss, particularly because it shows Santorum struggling to attract the same groups of voters who have been cool to him elsewhere.
Romney leads Santorum among voters with a college degree, 47 percent to 31 percent, and with self-described moderates, 45 percent to 29 percent. He also has a small edge among the party’s secular wing, winning with white, non-Evangelical voters 43 percent to 39 percent. 
Santorum, meanwhile, holds big advantages with Born Again Christians, whom he leads 53 percent to 24 percent, and among self-described conservatives, 48 percent to 30 percent – two groups who have fueled his support throughout the primary. 
Santorum himself acknowledged he must win his home state to continue his campaign, and even a victory there would likely do little more than prolong his seemingly inevitable defeat to Romney. Even after he lost similar Rust Belt states like Ohio and Michigan, supporters have argued Santorum’s favorite-son status would push him to victory in Pennsylvania. He served as a congressman outside of Pittsburgh for four years from 1991 to 1995 and as a senator from 1995 to 2007.
But he suffered a humiliating re-election defeat in 2006, losing by nearly 20 points to Democratic challenger Bob Casey. And despite his extensive political ties there, many of the Keystone State GOP’s power-brokers have lined up behind Romney, including former Gov. Tom Ridge.
The poll also casts doubt that a the Romney’s Etch A Sketch gaffe, in which a senior campaign adviser compared the candidate’s political views to the children’s toy, has hindered his effort, at least among Republicans. Fifty-two percent of likely GOP voters in Pennsylvania said the criticism was unfair, compared to 37 percent who considered it fair. 
Still, the poll contains some good news for Santorum: Fifty-seven percent of repondents said it’s better for the GOP if he stays in the race, compared to 33 percent who think his exit would help the party. Many in the Republican Party have begun calling for the ex-senator to leave the race, a chorus that will grow only louder if he loses Wisconsin later on Tuesday. 
The survey also underscores the degree to which the primary has become a two-man race. Texas Rep. Ron Paul received only 10 percent support, according to the poll, while onetime House Speaker Newt Gingrich clocked in at just 7 percent. 
The Quinnipiac University poll surveyed 647 likely Republican voters from March 27 through April 1. It has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points. Contrary his own bullish predictions, it’s becoming increasingly clear Rick Santorum isn’t guaranteed to win even his home state’s Republican primary. A Quinnipiac University poll of likely Republican voters reported Tuesday that the ex-U.S. senator from Pennsylvania leads rival Mitt Romney there by just six points, 41 percent to 35 percent, three weeks before the Keystone State’s GOP contest. It’s the second recent poll to show Santorum holding only a slim margin over Romney -- a survey from Franklin & Marshall College last week reported he led the Republican front-runner by only two points, 30 percent to 28 percent. Santorum dismissed the Franklin & Marshall poll during an appearance Sunday on Meet the Press, saying he would “absolutely” win the state where he served as a senator for 12 years. But a second survey showing a close contest will be harder to dismiss, particularly because it shows Santorum struggling to attract the same groups of voters who have been cool to him elsewhere.Romney leads Santorum among voters with a college degree, 47 percent to 31 percent, and with self-described moderates, 45 percent to 29 percent. He also has a small edge among the party’s secular wing, winning with white, non-Evangelical voters 43 percent to 39 percent. Santorum, meanwhile, holds big advantages with Born Again Christians, whom he leads 53 percent to 24 percent, and among self-described conservatives, 48 percent to 30 percent – two groups who have fueled his support throughout the primary. Santorum himself acknowledged he must win his home state to continue his campaign, and even a victory there would likely do little more than prolong his seemingly inevitable defeat to Romney. Even after he lost similar Rust Belt states like Ohio and Michigan, supporters have argued Santorum’s favorite-son status would push him to victory in Pennsylvania. He served as a congressman outside of Pittsburgh for four years from 1991 to 1995 and as a senator from 1995 to 2007.But he suffered a humiliating re-election defeat in 2006, losing by nearly 20 points to Democratic challenger Bob Casey. And despite his extensive political ties there, many of the Keystone State GOP’s power-brokers have lined up behind Romney, including former Gov. Tom Ridge.The poll also casts doubt that a the Romney’s Etch A Sketch gaffe, in which a senior campaign adviser compared the candidate’s political views to the children’s toy, has hindered his effort, at least among Republicans. Fifty-two percent of likely GOP voters in Pennsylvania said the criticism was unfair, compared to 37 percent who considered it fair. Still, the poll contains some good news for Santorum: Fifty-seven percent of repondents said it’s better for the GOP if he stays in the race, compared to 33 percent who think his exit would help the party. Many in the Republican Party have begun calling for the ex-senator to leave the race, a chorus that will grow only louder if he loses Wisconsin later on Tuesday. The survey also underscores the degree to which the primary has become a two-man race. Texas Rep. Ron Paul received only 10 percent support, according to the poll, while onetime House Speaker Newt Gingrich clocked in at just 7 percent. The Quinnipiac University poll surveyed 647 likely Republican voters from March 27 through April 1. It has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points. 

 

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