NYT/CBS poll shows conservatives consolidating behind Santorum

posted at 9:15 am on February 14, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Consider this a corroboration of Gallup and Pew, both of which have recorded a surge for Rick Santorum that makes him the national frontrunner — if not in each state.  The CBS/New York Times poll shows Santorum gaining 14 points in a single month, eclipsing Mitt Romney by three points (still within the MOE), whose support stayed virtually unchanged from January.  Almost all of the gain comes at the expense of Newt Gingrich, who dropped to fourth place behind Ron Paul among Republican primary voters:

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.

Ron Paul is now in third, followed by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Among self-described conservative voters, the shift has been fairly dramatic.  A month ago in this poll series, conservatives were equally split between Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum at 25/25/24 respectively.  Now, however, Santorum’s support in this demo has risen to 38%, while Romney has remained steady at 24% and Gingrich dropped by about half to 12%.  The same thing has happened to Tea Party support and evangelicals.  The dynamic seems to be a movement away from Gingrich and a consolidation among conservative voters behind Santorum as the alternative to Romney, at least for now.

There are a few things to note about this poll, however.  This is a poll of registered voters, not likely voters, which is not as predictive a model and is a curious sampling choice in the middle of the actual primary voting.  These results come from a larger survey, most of whose results will be announced later.  The overall sample was 1,064 registered voters, but only 331 of those planned to vote in a Republican primary.  At least a few of those will be independents rather than Republicans, so the partisan split of the overall survey is likely to be highly skewed to Democrats.  That doesn’t matter for these results, but a sample of 331 registered voters for a national poll is on the small side.  Keep that in mind.

Now that Santorum has become a legitimate force in the race, he’s getting some attention from the usual suspects.  Member of Occupy Tacoma tried to crash a Santorum event, and Politico reports that Santorum responded by calling them agents of “true intolerance”:

Filling the front row at the Washington State History Museum where Santorum spoke, a group of Occupy protesters disrupted the event, forcing Santorum to engage them. Occupy Tacoma, the local branch of the Occupy Wall Street movement, is camped out right next to the museum, and advertised Santorum’s visit on its web site.

“I think it’s really important for you to understand what this radical element represents, because what they represent is true intolerance,” Santorum said, after two protesters were taken to the ground and placed in handcuffs by police.

The protesters, Santorum suggested, “instead of standing here unemployed, yelling at somebody” should instead “go out and get a job.”

Santorum’s supporters roared their approval, chanting “get a job” back at the Occupiers.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then


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JFS61 on February 14, 2012 at 6:08 PM
but at least they will have had a real choice

rik on February 14, 2012 at 6:11 PM

When Repulbicans stop attacking their own and unify behind him. When that happens, his numbers will go up, he will gain the Independents, and maybe some Democrats and pull even, or ahead of Obama.
milcus on February 14, 2012 at 1:22 PM

I’m sorry, I didn’t realize all the talk of Romney being electable meant some other time; but not now.

So once I get on board with Mandates being the “Conservative choice”, and banning “guns that are lethal to police officers”, and AGW being totally true an man-made and something we need to end, and minimum wage being something we need to see rise forever without ever voting on it… and all the rest; then Romney will be popular?

Then what? Then we have a liberal pushing liberal policies like this as a President… and that’s a win? I guess it’s a win for Republicans but not conservatives.

Which side did you think I was on? Did you think I was a Republican regardless where they go, or that I had actual principles regardless what the party does?

I think you’re going to be disappointed here.

gekkobear on February 14, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Conservatives consolidate finally! I think Romney is in a panic because he now realizes (too late) that he can’t win with a strategy of simply being the last person standing. He actually has to get conservative support to win and it’s probably too late for that now.

Dollayo on February 14, 2012 at 6:57 PM

If Romney is the nominee, most of the country is voting for Obama.

MoreTeaPlease on February 14, 2012 at 1:57 PM

And if Santorum is the nominee, all of the country is voting for Obama.

JFS61 on February 14, 2012 at 6:08 PM
That’s just what they want you to think.

wi farmgirl on February 14, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Ricko…!!!

Seven Percent Solution on February 14, 2012 at 6:59 PM

News flash, none of my lib, or even middle of the road moderates will vote for Romney. They will just vote for Obama. At least with Santorum we get a conservative.

wi farmgirl on February 14, 2012 at 7:02 PM

MoreTeaPlease on February 14, 2012 at 1:57 PM

And if Santorum is the nominee, all of the country is voting for Obama.
JFS61 on February 14, 2012 at 6:08 PM

(expletive)

Obama is NOT winning a second term against ANY of our candidates.

listens2glenn on February 14, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Broke 1000 posts before 7:00 PM EST !

listens2glenn on February 14, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Broke 1000 posts before 7:00 PM EST !

listens2glenn on February 14, 2012 at 7:08 PM

The six brain cells I’ve got left after the’70′s and 80′s hurt.

Tim_CA on February 14, 2012 at 7:14 PM

People who support Santorum aren’t conservatives, and there is a heck of a lot of cognitive dissonance going on among them.

Dante on February 14, 2012 at 8:25 PM

This election is going to come down to a choice between 4 more years of Obama with his record and voters taking a chance on the unknown with either Santorum or Romney or Gingrich. I hate to say it buy who our candidate is doesn’t really matter in the election. It does matter after the inauguration, but not in the election. I am going for someone who I feel like I can trust won’t be wobbly on judges or Iran or repealing ObamaCare.

txmomof6 on February 14, 2012 at 8:33 PM

People who support Santorum aren’t conservatives, and there is a heck of a lot of cognitive dissonance going on among them.

Dante on February 14, 2012 at 8:25 PM

People who support Romney aren’t Republicans, and there is a heck of a lot of progressive moderateness going on among them.

FIFY

Y314K on February 14, 2012 at 8:48 PM

People who support Romney aren’t Republicans, and there is a heck of a lot of progressive moderateness going on among them.

FIFY

Y314K on February 14, 2012 at 8:48 PM

You do realize that Republican is a party and not an ideology, right?

Regardless, my statement applies to both Romney and Gingrich as well. I take it you support Santorum but falsely believe you’re a conservative.

Dante on February 14, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Obama is NOT winning a second term against ANY of our candidates.

listens2glenn on February 14, 2012 at 7:06 PM

They don’t get that yet.

Amazing, I know……but they just don’t get it.

Let ‘em get it out of their systems.

Tim_CA on February 14, 2012 at 8:56 PM

You do realize that Republican is a party and not an ideology, right?

Regardless, my statement applies to both Romney and Gingrich as well. I take it you support Santorum but falsely believe you’re a conservative.

Dante on February 14, 2012 at 8:52 PM

I support the lest progressive of them all… Two of them are RINO’s & one is a whack… One is a self described progressive… And after seeing his MA record I agree with him… I can force myself to vote for the two crap RINO’s that are left… As for the whack & the progressive… No thanks…

Non of all 4 are conservatives… I am not even sure there was a single conservative in this race…

Go 25% RINO Santorum 2012!!!!

U bet… With all the RINO’s left in the race… Got to go with the least RINO of them all… I’ll take a 25% RINO over a self described “progressive & moderate” democrat any day…

Santorum – Social Conservative about 25% RINO but constant with his views… And would give Obama a great fight on ORomneyCare & Religious freedoms…

Gingrich – 50% RINO with to much baggage & ready to mimic liberal dogma if it helps him win…

Paul – Talks a great monetary game but has a blind spot the size of a 777 when it comes to keeping us safe at home… And now seems to be a shill for Romney… He will attack Newt & Santorum but Mitten’s is fine by him…

Romney – I don’t want to offend RINO’s by calling Romney one… Romney’s core values shift by location & by goal… He is build on the same mold as Kerry… He will wait for the dust to settle before he will give u his opinion on something… Just ask the House in 2011′s debt ceiling debate… The only thing he will severely support & protect to the death is MANDATES….

No one can say that Mittens is to the right of Santorum or Newt on anything… He has never been… They only way one can believe that is if u discard everything & anything he did in MA as Gov.

He is a car salesman trying to sell u a car that no one has ever seen…. I will severely vote for Sweet Asteroid of death before I vote for ORomneyCare Salesman…

Y314K on February 14, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Y314K on February 14, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Thank you for being such a willing example for my point.

Dante on February 14, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Thank you for being such a willing example for my point.

Dante on February 14, 2012 at 9:15 PM

So u’r point is Sweet Asteroid of Death 2012! LOL… Or as I like to call it… Plan B…

Y314K on February 14, 2012 at 9:18 PM

So u’r point is Sweet Asteroid of Death 2012! LOL… Or as I like to call it… Plan B…

Y314K on February 14, 2012 at 9:18 PM

No, my point is that there are people who consider themselves to be conservatives and who continually back non-conservatives. My plan is to cast a vote for the consistent, limited government, Constitutional candidate.

Dante on February 14, 2012 at 9:34 PM

No, my point is that there are people who consider themselves to be conservatives and who continually back non-conservatives. My plan is to cast a vote for the consistent, limited government, Constitutional candidate.

Dante on February 14, 2012 at 9:34 PM

U mean Romney’s BFF…. U mean the one that wants to bring all our military to our boarder & wait till we get attacked before lifting a finger… The one that thinks that Israel should be left alone to fend for itself against the rest of the lovable POS in the world… The times we tried that we got bushwhacked… No thanks…

According to Paul Iran is a misunderstood puppy… Just doing what they need to do… I do agree we need to cut their funding… But leaving the theater all together is whackaloops… Paul is not a conservative… He is a libertarian… Glad u think u can tell us who we are…lol

Y314K on February 14, 2012 at 9:58 PM

boarder border

Y314K on February 14, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Frothy has no chance. What swing states will he carry? Will he be the first repugnican to win without Ohio?

borntoraisehogs on February 14, 2012 at 10:30 PM

Psst, O’donnell endorsed Willard. She is all yours!

tom daschle concerned on February 14, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Hell, Willard endorsed HER.

cptacek on February 15, 2012 at 12:15 AM

Psst, O’donnell endorsed Willard. She is all yours!
tom daschle concerned on February 14, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Hell, Willard endorsed HER.
cptacek on February 15, 2012 at 12:15 AM

I supported Mitt four years ago.

Is she endorsing him now?

listens2glenn on February 15, 2012 at 12:26 AM

Y314K on February 14, 2012 at 9:58 PM

You continue to prove my point. You’re a fine example.

Dante on February 15, 2012 at 12:30 AM

You continue to prove my point. You’re a fine example.

Dante on February 15, 2012 at 12:30 AM

So out of the 4 left u think Paul is the most conservative… Not sure when isolationist became a core value of the conservative movement… lol

Y314K on February 15, 2012 at 1:14 AM

So out of the 4 left u think Paul is the most conservative… Not sure when isolationist became a core value of the conservative movement… lol

Y314K on February 15, 2012 at 1:14 AM

Maybe you can tell me when wealth redistribution became a conservative position.

Paul is not an isolationist; he is a non-interventionist, which IS the conservative position if you ever bothered to study conservatism.

Dante on February 15, 2012 at 8:17 AM

I supported Mitt four years ago.

Is she endorsing him now?

listens2glenn on February 15, 2012 at 12:26 AM

yes

cptacek on February 15, 2012 at 11:24 AM

(expletive)
Obama is NOT winning a second term against ANY of our candidates.
listens2glenn on February 14, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Glasses, rose colored. Turn the AM advertising salesman off.

Boomer_Sooner on February 15, 2012 at 4:17 PM

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