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Santorum's Narrow Coalition: A New Look Santorum's Narrow Coalition: A New Look

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Santorum's Narrow Coalition: A New Look

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Santorum talks to reporters at a bowling alley in La Crosse, Wis. on Wednesday.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

 

As Rick Santorum struggles to sustain his uphill challenge to Mitt Romney, the former Pennsylvania Senator is relying on an even narrower base of support than it has appeared so far, according to a new analysis of exit poll results.

Since Santorum revived his campaign with a trio of victories on February 7, exit polls consistently have found him running best among two groups of voters. In nine of the ten states with an exit poll that Santorum has seriously contested since February 7 he has carried at least a plurality of voters who identify as evangelical Christians. (The sole exception is Georgia where they broke for favorite son Newt Gingrich.) In eight of those ten states, Santorum has also carried at least a plurality of voters who identified as very conservative.

But an analysis of exit poll data released Wednesday by Gary Langer, the pollster for ABC News and president of Langer Research Associates, suggests that Santorum's strength is confined almost entirely to the overlap of those two groups: the evangelical Christians who also consider themselves very conservative.

 

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