PPP poll puts Santorum in the lead by 15 points nationally

posted at 9:30 am on February 11, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Allahpundit hinted at this last night, and this morning Public Policy Polling released its data.  Rick Santorum has ridden the wave of his Tuesday sweep to a strong national lead among Republican voters.  PPP calls Santorum the emerging “consensus candidate”:

Riding a wave of momentum from his trio of victories on Tuesday Rick Santorum has opened up a wide lead in PPP’s newest national poll. He’s at 38% to 23% for Mitt Romney, 17% for Newt Gingrich, and 13% for Ron Paul.

Part of the reason for Santorum’s surge is his own high level of popularity. 64% of voters see him favorably to only 22% with a negative one. But the other, and maybe more important, reason is that Republicans are significantly souring on both Romney and Gingrich. Romney’s favorability is barely above water at 44/43, representing a 23 point net decline from our December national poll when he was +24 (55/31). Gingrich has fallen even further. A 44% plurality of GOP voters now hold a negative opinion of him to only 42% with a positive one. That’s a 34 point drop from 2 months ago when he was at +32 (60/28).

Santorum is now completely dominating with several key segments of the electorate, especially the most right leaning parts of the party. With those describing themselves as ‘very conservative,’ he’s now winning a majority of voters at 53% to 20% for Gingrich and 15% for Romney.  Santorum gets a majority with Tea Party voters as well at 51% to 24% for Gingrich and 12% for Romney. And with Evangelicals he falls just short of a majority with 45% to 21% for Gingrich and 18% for Romney.

It used to be that Gingrich was leading with all these groups and Romney was staying competitive enough with them to hold the overall lead. No more- a consensus conservative candidate finally seems to be emerging and it’s Santorum.

That’s quite a shift over the last week, and it suggests that the Republican electorate was not satisfied with either Romney or Gingrich.  Santorum’s favorability is much higher than either at +38; Gingrich, who had been the alternative to a Romney nomination among conservatives and Tea Party activists has a -2, and Romney a +1.  That has to be part of the driving force behind Santorum’s rise.  To the extent that’s true, it’s a potential weakness for Santorum, who will now be the subject of attacks from both camps now that they have to take him seriously as a contender. His favorability could erode under a concerted attack, although at this point it might push both of his competitors further into negative territory as well.

Still, if conservative Republicans want a consolidation candidate, PPP shows that Santorum would be effective in that role.  Taking Gingrich out of the equation, Santorum beats Romney almost 2:1 at 50/28, with Paul getting just 15%.  Taking Paul out of the equation as well, Santorum tops Romney 56/32.

Gingrich has already begun to hit Santorum for being just like Mitt Romney. The Washington Times interviewed Gingrich at CPAC, and he tied the two together as lacking boldness and being too beholden to the establishment to bring real change to Washington. Will voters buy Gingrich as an anti-Beltway, anti-establishment candidate after spending the last 30 years in Washington DC, especially after Gingrich’s sojourn on the love seat with Nancy Pelosi? Possibly, and Gingrich certainly gives it his best sales pitch here:

Whether or not one agrees with Gingrich on the merits of this argument, this is the kind of attack he needs to use. It’s not nasty or personal, and it fits with his overall theme and the desires of the conservative base. Had he kept that kind of discipline against Romney, Santorum may never have gotten this surge in the first place.


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txmomof6 on February 11, 2012 at 6:12 PM

You failed to get the context within I mentioned Bauer? It was to explain I never supported Bush 43. I always found him a socialist who would talk a lot about God and he confirmed my expectations. Obviously, Bauer talked even more about God – but he isn’t an economic populist. I don’t care about endorsements.

joana on February 11, 2012 at 7:10 PM

But the non-religious freaks who couldn’t care about small government and conservative principles are ok, lol.

Maybe to you, but not to me. Every economic populist should be purged of the GOP – including the religious freaks.


And you have the nerve to imply that Santorum is pro-union, lol.
Thank you for removing all doubt as to how clueless you truly are.

xblade on February 11, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Are you really going to claim Santorum isn’t pro-union? I tore apart the silly states-rights excuse and now we have come to this?

Voted against National Right to Work Act
Voted against Real of Davis-Bacon Prevailing union wages
Voted for Alexis Herman to be Secretary of Labor
Voted for mandatory Federal child care funding
Voted for Trade Adjustment Assistance.
Voted for Job Corps funding
Voted twice in support of Fedex Unionization
Voted against allowing a waiver of Davis-Bacon in emergency situations.
Voted for minimum wage increases six times here here here here here and here
Voted to require a union representative on an IRS oversight board.
Voted to exempt IRS union representative from criminal ethics laws.

Implying Santorum is pro-union? He was one of the most ardent union stooges in DC for years. Heck, I remember conservatives talking about primarying Santorum because of his pro-union stances.

In fact, had Santorum been re-elected in 2006, I bet he’d be the primary target of Tea Party and DeMint’s PAC this cycle in a primary, like Lisa Murkowski was two years ago.

joana on February 11, 2012 at 7:17 PM

He was one of the most ardent union stooges in DC for years. Heck, I remember conservatives talking about primarying Santorum because of his pro-union stances.

joana on February 11, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Wow! More magical memories from joana! Please, please do point out the link! Or else backpedal like crazy, whichever suits you.

In the meantime, we get that you think Santorum is pro-union. We got it the first 27 times you and mountainman posted it. Now, how about anything else?

Like Romney’s horrible judicial picks.
Romney’s redoubled support of healthcare mandates.
Romney’s support of cap and trade.

I ask again, why should the Republicans select the one candidate who negates the strongest argument against Obama – Obamacare – and also is on record supporting (and implementing!) the worst economy-killing concept the planet has ever known, carbon taxes.

I mean, even if he beats Obama, he still wants to implement Obama’s scary view of the future. Why is this a good idea?

AJsDaddie on February 11, 2012 at 7:52 PM

In the meantime, we get that you think Santorum is pro-union.
AJsDaddie on February 11, 2012 at 7:52 PM

You get that I think? Meaning that you don’t think Santorum is pro-union and anti employees freedom? Can you elaborate on that please?

ps – who are the “we” you keep talking about?

joana on February 11, 2012 at 8:34 PM

The meltdown in Mitt Nation continues.

As those contemporary philosophers..Bill and Ted say.

Excellent!

Actually, after thinking some about it, I still don’t understand why Romney did not switch parties some years ago.

He’d be a …most excellent Dem!

(airguitars a cacaphony of killer notes)

KirknBurker on February 11, 2012 at 8:34 PM

You get that I think? Meaning that you don’t think Santorum is pro-union and anti employees freedom? Can you elaborate on that please?

I think Santorum’s record is more pro-union than many. I also think his recent statements on record identify he will temper that position, especially with regard to right-to-work.

More importantly, though, I think that even if he continued to be a 100% pro-union president, I’d still prefer him over someone who unapologetically pushes a healthcare mandate and brags about his state being the first to pass carbon tax laws.

ps – who are the “we” you keep talking about?

joana on February 11, 2012 at 8:34 PM

DEFLECT! DEFLECT! DEFLECT!

I don’t “keep” talking about it. I used it as a literary technique meant to indicate that your constant repetition of the same old talking points has been heard by everyone on the thread.

But please, by all means nitpick my use of pronouns rather than explain why Mitt Romney wants to take over the healthcare system and simultaneously shut down the American energy infrastructure and keep us entirely reliant on foreign power.

Please. It really makes your my point.

AJsDaddie on February 11, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Isn’t PPP Polling a DEMOCRAT polling organization? Thought so….

BabysCatz on February 11, 2012 at 11:40 PM

Funny, the DEMS would love to run against Santorum rather than Mitt….just saying…..

BabysCatz on February 11, 2012 at 11:45 PM

So, the new Republican darling is a man with no military or private business experience. He is another lawyer who went to Washington seeking fame and fortune…Not a bad guy in my estimation but woefully inexperienced in doing anything other than casting votes from the saftey of his seat in Congress. Not a leader in any respect…Get over it America. Couldn’t win re-election in his home state. Campaigned for Arlen Specter who was one of three Republicans in Congress to vote for Obama’s biggest heist in history, stimulus…Get it? Only three Republican’s voted for stimulus from both houses of Congress. Santorum endorsed one of them…He is that desperate to stay in Washington…

Nozzle on February 12, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Funny, the DEMS would love to run against Santorum rather than Mitt….just saying…..
BabysCatz on February 11, 2012 at 11:45 PM

And I . . . think the DEMS would rather run against Mitt rather than Santorum.
Just saying…..

listens2glenn on February 12, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Rick Santorum has no business experience, no management experience, no investment experience, no experience as a venture capitalist, and no real understanding how the market, let alone the free market works.

Total net worth: $1 million to $3 million

One of the poorest 2012 candidates, Rick Santorum is still a millionaire. From relatively modest means, Santorum served as a congressman and senator, but has since found more lucrative compensation in the private sector.

All of Rick Santorum’s wealth comes from government or from those who do business with government.

Since leaving Congress Santorum has worked for at least seven different employers simultaneously, with several paying him a six-figure fee

Those employers are LOBBYING ORGANIZATIONS.

mountainaires on February 12, 2012 at 11:18 AM

The National Right to Work Act–and Santorum’s disingenuous argument about voting against it:

http://drscoundrels.com/2011/01/25/rand-paul-national-right-to-work-act/

Americans for Tax Reform has a good site on Davis Bacon–a pro-UNION act–which Rick Santorum SUPPORTED.

About Davis-Bacon Act

http://workerfreedom.org/davis-bacon-research

In the 104th Congress Sen. Santorum joined all Democrats and a minority of Republicans in voting to filibuster the bill S. 1788, the National Right to Work Act of 1995. (“On the Cloture Motion (motion to invoke cloture on motion to proceed to consider S.1788),” Senate Bill Clerk, Vote Number: 188, http://www.senate.gov, 7/10/1996)

During that same congressional session, Santorum also voted to retain the 1930s-era Davis-Bacon Act that forces taxpayers to pay union wages in government-funded construction and gives Big Labor an unfair advantage over non-union companies and workers (“On the Motion to Table (motion to table Kennedy Amendment No. 4031 to S. Amdt. 4000 to S.Con.Res. 57),” Senate Bill Clerk, Vote Number: 134, http://www.senate.gov, 5/22/1996)

Now, he’s just another lobbyist running for President:

Rick Santorum, ‘Stealth Lobbyist’ (ABC News 5 Jan, 2012 )

“He has been, essentially, a stealth lobbyist,” said Bill Allison, editorial director for the Sunlight Foundation, a watchdog group. “He has been hired to try to influence policy on behalf of his clients without crossing the thresholds that would require him to report what he’s doing

mountainaires on February 12, 2012 at 11:37 AM

mountainaires on February 12, 2012 at 11:37 AM

I will still vote for a pro-union President over one who pushes healthcare mandates and cap and trade.

Seriously, Romney is a train wreck.

AJsDaddie on February 12, 2012 at 3:43 PM

I couldn’t care less about Romney. Unlike Santorum, I never endorsed him for anything.

joana on February 11, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Romney was my 7th favorite candidate 4 years ago, but this time around I settled for him the day Chris Christie announced he was out because there was nobody in this field who could even come close to win the nomination over him.
joana on January 16, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Yep, couldnt care less.

Sultanofsham on February 12, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Commenters on this site have turned it into a joke. If Obama wins, credit yourselves.

hawkdriver on February 14, 2012 at 10:11 AM

joana on February 11, 2012 at 7:17 PM

How many times can we be expected to suffer the spam of this post. You have left this exact point on every Santorum related thread? You’ve posted it. Say something new now.

hawkdriver on February 14, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Comment pages: 1 6 7 8