In a GOP primary in which all four GOP candidates face the rare prospect of a home-state loss, Rick Santorum looks like he might be able to pull off a win in Pennsylvania, after all. Washington Wire calls attention to a new Franklin and Marshall College poll that has good news for the former senator from the Keystone State:

Mr. Santorum [now leads] former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 45 percent to 16 percent. The other two candidates are in single digits: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich comes it at 9 percent and Ron Paul at 7 percent.

Mr. Santorum’s victories in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri in early February could be prompting Pennsylvania Republicans to take another look. His favorability rating has soared to 63 percent from 46 percent in January. Mr. Romney’s favorability, meanwhile, has dipped slightly, to 40 percent from 46 percent.

Tellingly, Republicans in the state cite a strong moral character (36 percent) or the right experience (23 percent) as the most important qualifications for a presidential candidate to possess. Just 18 percent cite a candidate’s ability to beat Obama and an even smaller percentage — just 13 — say it’s most important that a candidate be a true conservative.

The poll was conducted from Feb. 14 to Feb. 20, though, so it doesn’t take into account reactions to last night’s debate, which probably hurt more than helped Santorum. Then again, just 13 percent of those polled cited the prior GOP debates as a reason for their choice of whom to support. Twelve percent said the debates made no difference at all.

Franklin and Marshall’s findings on the general election are less hopeful for Santorum — or the GOP, in general. Barack Obama leads all the GOP candidates in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups. Both Romney and Santorum — the president’s closest challengers — trail by eight points. Since January, Santorum’s chances against the president have improved in the state, but the president’s job performance and reelect ratings have improved, too. Pennsylvania will definitely be a state to watch in the general election; it was a hard win for Obama in 2008 and it will be again in 2012.

Update (Allahpundit): Speaking of losing on your home turf, I’m thinking this might finish Newt off if it happens:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich leads the pack in the first Rasmussen Reports survey of the Republican Primary race in his home state of Georgia. A new telephone survey of Likely Georgia Republican Primary Voters shows Gingrich with 33% support, followed by former Senator Rick Santorum at 28%. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney runs third with 20% of the vote, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul trails with nine percent (9%).

Georgia is one of three southern states scheduled for Super Tuesday, but Newt’s not on the ballot in one of the others (Virginia) so he needs to win at home and in Tennessee to prove that he’s still a regional force. If Santorum bumps him off in his home state, it’s hard to see why he’d go forward. All it would do is help Romney by siphoning off conservative votes from Sweater Vest and there’s no reason for Newt to want to do that.