Rasmussen national poll puts Santorum up 12 over Romney

posted at 12:45 pm on February 15, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Once again, the Republican primary race has a new national frontrunner, and once again, his name is not Mitt Romney … or perhaps Not Romney, depending on your point of view.  Rasmussen’s new national poll puts Rick Santorum ahead of Romney by twelve points in a four-man race — and by 21 points in a two-man race:

Follow the bouncing ball. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum has now bounced to a 12-point lead over Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters finds Santorum with 39% support to the former Massachusetts governor’s 27%. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich follows from a distance with 15% of the vote, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul runs last with 10%. Three percent (3%) like some other candidate in the race, and six percent (6%) are undecided.

Just over a week ago, it was Romney leading the pack with 34% after his win in the Florida Primary, followed by Gingrich 27%, Santorum 18% and Paul 11%.  But then last week Santorum swept GOP caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota and a non-binding primary in Missouri as Gingrich continues to stumble in the race to be the conservative alternative to Romney.

Perhaps more tellingly, Santorum now trounces Romney 55% to 34% in a one-on-one matchup among likely GOP primary voters. This is the first time any challenger has led Romney nationally in a head-to-head match-up. Santorum also leads Romney head-to-head in  Michigan.

Nationally, Romney still wins 47% to 38% paired against Gingrich and 47% to 42% running against only Paul.

Some have suggested that Santorum is suffering from a gender gap with Romney.  That could be true in polling overall in comparing head-to-head matchups against Barack Obama (and Democrats usually win among women anyway), but it’s not true in Rasmussen’s crosstabs.  Santorum beats Romney by eleven among women, almost exactly the same margin as his overall lead.  He beats Romney by twelve among men.  Santorum also does surprisingly well among younger voters (18-39), almost doubling up on Romney 37/19 with Ron Paul second at 20%.  Romney does better with seniors, but still falls six points behind Santorum, who leads 39/33.

Ideologically, Santorum gets a majority of “very conservative” voters (53%), with Romney and Newt Gingrich tying at 17%.  Santorum barely edges Romney with “somewhat conservative” voters at 37/34, but Romney easily wins “others,” 30% to a tie between Santorum and Paul at 22%.  But most fascinating of all, Santorum leads Romney among both Republicans (38/28) and independents — by 17 points, 42/25.  He wins more narrowly among those certain of their vote at 38/32, which is a point to watch in the next two weeks as Arizona and Michigan hold their primaries.

In the head-to-head battle between Romney and Santorum, the disparity grows even more.  Santorum wins Republicans by 19 (54/35) and independents by 26 (58/32); he wins very conservative voters by 48 points, 70/22, and somewhat conservative by a majority, 51/37.  Santorum also wins the favorability battle over Romney, but not by a lot, having a +51 (75/24) to Romney’s +36 (66/30).  Santorum does better among independents on this measure, too, with a 72/26 to Romney’s 64/35.

Santorum has indeed arrived.  The real test will be whether he can hold up to the scrutiny.

Update: Radley Balko tweeted this link with the description, “Things I didn’t expect to read today.”  Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine has endorsed Santorum:

Looking at the Republican candidates, I’ve got to tell you, I was floored the other day to see that Mitt Romney’s five boys have a $100 million trust fund. Where does a guy make that much money? So there’s some questions there. And watching Newt Gingrich, I was pretty excited for a while, but now he’s just gone back to being that person that everybody said he was – that angry little man. I still like him, but I don’t think I’d vote for him.

Ron Paul… you know, I heard somebody say he was like insecticide – 98 percent of it’s inert gases, but it’s the two percent that’s left that will kill you. What that means is that he’ll make total sense for a while, and then he’ll say something so way out that it negates everything else. I like the guy because he knows how to excite the youth of America and fill them in on some things. But when he says that we’re like the Taliban… I’m sorry, Congressman Paul, but I’m nothing like the Taliban.

Earlier in the election, I was completely oblivious as to who Rick Santorum was, but when the dude went home to be with his daughter when she was sick, that was very commendable. Also, just watching how he hasn’t gotten into doing these horrible, horrible attack ads like Mitt Romney’s done against Newt Gingrich, and then the volume at which Newt has gone back at Romney… You know, I think Santorum has some presidential qualities, and I’m hoping that if it does come down to it, we’ll see a Republican in the White House… and that it’s Rick Santorum.

That’s a little counterintuitive, isn’t it?  Also, Matt Lewis has one word of advice for Santorum as the scrutiny increases: abstinence.


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Comment pages: 1 6 7 8

Dukecitygirl, the point is that Santorum wants to impose his religious beliefs on everyone else. That sets him apart from the rest.

bluegill on February 15, 2012 at 5:57 PM

This is patently untrue. Unlike a whole lot of Leftists, Santorum understands the difference between personal opinion and political opinion. He voted for the Abortion Clinic Access bill, which protects people involved in what he considers to be the most heinous of sins.

To then say he’s going to control your life is ludicrous. The folks who want to control your life are the ones mandating that you pay for health care, and that you pay for other people’s decisions that you find reprehensible. Leftists want every person to be under the thumb of unelected bureaucrats who can dole out favors to their friends. To see this in actio, simply refer to nearly every decision this administration has made, from green tech payola to contraception mandates. Conservatives believe in the law of the land, which amounts to this: the Federal government has limited, enumerated powers (and not “penumbras” or “emanations”) and the states can write whatever laws they want – you can then vote either at the ballot box or with your feet.

It’s simple, really, and Santorum gets it. Nobody else does, including Crazy Uncle Doctor Ron who is Libertarian, which means that nobody gets to pass any laws and we can all sit around in a dope-induced haze as long as we don’t hurt anyone else.

AJsDaddie on February 16, 2012 at 8:32 AM

But they’ll have their “ideological” purity. Thats all that matters to the Santy supporters.

Zaggs on February 15, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Not at all. As time goes on, it’s becoming very obvious that Romney has two big problems, one having to do with communication skills and one with character. He has set speeches; he cannot zig when he’s in the middle of zagging; he doesn’t have a deep understanding of the issues; he stutters when flustered; he has a total disconnect with the average American and he’s proving to be a gaf machine (severe conservative? I like fireing people? I’m not worried about the poor? Yes. I KNOW those are out of context, BUT he doesn’t seem to understand how the cut and run videos work..which is strange since he uses that technique himself.)

His character seems to have no core. He honestly believes that he is a “better” person than everyone else, thus he can lie, distort and try to destroy another human being (I’m one of those folks who believes this is a very serious character flaw—his attacks have been deeply, sickeningly personal; he’s like the rich, popular kid who controls his court by bullying and hellacious gossip.) His followers on the internet do not debate issues. They call names, mock the deeply held religious beliefs of great segments of the population, and if you don’t agree with Romney, you’re classified as a bigot or an idiot. Been there, done that with Obama’s supporters, and to paraphrase Romney, I don’t expect that from fellow Republicans.

Oh, and he has a distressing ability to look straight at the camera, without blinking and tell an outright lie. I’ve learned a pretty consistent truth in my lifetime: a person who will look you in the eye and lie, will do almost anything. An example was just yesterday morning on Fox and Friends. “My campaign hasn’t run any negative ads.” Right.

Rick Santorum’s greatest sin seems to be his belief that abortion is taking a human life. His vote for an appropriations bill or an authorization bill which contained things he didn’t like? I guess he could be Obama and just vote “present” but he was a legislator who accepted his responsibility to govern. BTW, someone needs to ask Mitt if he’ll veto the first resolution to raise the debt limit. Just ask him….and review how the public reacted when the Tea Party tried to do that. Mr. finger in the wind Romney, couldn’t stand for a nanosecond in the wind that would blow then.

Portia46 on February 16, 2012 at 9:14 AM

You say I don’t know how to read the constitution because I agree with Griswold, 50 year of subsequent Supreme Court decisions and the vast majority of constitutional scholars and the American public.

cool breeze on February 15, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Is 50 years some sort of magical number that makes bad rulings OK? If so, why don’t we still have segregation in this country?

Awesome subsequent decisions like Roe v. Wade? Are you saying you find that to ruling to be a legitimate reading as well?

You polled constitutional scholars? Could you link it? But more importantly, since when does popularity trump law?

How about you stop with the populist nonsense and actually explain to us how the Constitution actually guarantees a right to privacy? I must keep overlooking that particular clause or amendment.

NotCoach on February 16, 2012 at 9:37 AM

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