Rasmussen: Santorum up 4 in Tennessee

posted at 11:00 am on March 5, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday morning, I discovered that few pollsters have bothered with the Tennessee primary.  Real Clear Politics only lists five polls taken this year, despite Tennessee having 58 delegates at stake in a proportional primary for tomorrow’s Super Tuesday contest.  Not too long after I checked, Rasmussen published its survey for Tennessee, showing Rick Santorum with a narrow four-point lead over Mitt Romney:

Just two days before Super Tuesday, the Republican primary race in Tennessee has become a two-man competition between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

The first Rasmussen Reports survey of Likely GOP Primary Voters in Tennessee shows Santorum attracting 34% of the vote, while Romney earns 30%. Polls from other firms have previously shown Santorum with a large lead in the state.

That trend would be consistent with Rasmussen Reports polling in other states. InOhio,  Santorum was up by 18 points two weeks ago, but the Buckeye State is now a tossup.  Nationally,  following his victories last Tuesday in the Michigan and Arizona GOP primaries, Romney has opened a 16-point lead over Santorum. Earlier, he had trailed by 12.

Actually, the RCP list shows a decidedly mixed and competitive race in Tennessee.  PPP put Santorum up by five points yesterday, while WeAskAmerica polled over a thousand likely TN voters and shows Romney up by one in a virtual tie.  However, Rasmussen is correct that earlier polls in February showed Santorum with large leads — eighteen points from a Vanderbilt poll of 815 registered (rather than likely) voters, and 21 points from a Middle Tennessee State University survey of just 196 adults.

This is another survey with some surprising results in the demographics.  Santorum has a four-point edge among both men and women in Tennessee, which negates the “gender gap” issue mentioned by the media, at least in the primaries.  The age demos are a mixed bag for Santorum.  Romney wins the youngest and oldest voters (30/25 among 18-39YOs, 34/28 among seniors) while Santorum wins middle-age voters in between, 39/28.  Santorum wins Republicans 37/29, while Romney wins independents by three, 30/27.

How will late-breaking voters decide?  Among voters who are basing their choice on matching values, Santorum wins 42/20 over Romney.  Those who prioritize beating Obama break 41/27 for Romney.  That’s close to a mirror image, but Santorum has a slight edge between those two positions.  However, beating Obama has a slight edge overall among the respondents over value matching, 48/43, which means that this is pretty much a wash.

Eric Ostermeier offers an analysis of previous contests to argue that Santorum may have an edge that polling misses:

A Smart Politics review of more than 40 polls leading up to the primaries and caucuses in 11 states thus far in the 2012 election cycle finds that Rick Santorum’s vote total has eclipsed his polling numbers by an average of +4.7 points per state – more than any other candidate.

Smart Politics examined the difference between the vote received on primary or caucus day and the average support measured by pollsters conducted within a week of the contests across the 11 states in which surveys were available: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Nevada, Minnesota, Colorado, Missouri, Michigan, Arizona, and Washington.

Overall, Santorum received an average of +4.7 points more on the day of the primary or caucus contest than what he registered in those states’ latest surveys.

Ron Paul was the only other candidate whose average vote in the contests was higher than his average polling numbers (+1.1 points), with voting percentages for Mitt Romney nearly even with the polls (-0.6 points) and votes for Newt Gingrich -2.3 points worse than survey averages.

Unlike in Ohio, it appears that Santorum will not have a problem getting his proportional allocation of delegates despite some issues with getting enough qualified delegates in place.  A narrow win in Tennessee will still be a win, and its 58 delegates make this a contest worth watching tomorrow.


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if santorum does not win Tennessee, he should drop out.

nathor on March 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM

if santorum does not win Tennessee, he should drop out.
nathor on March 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM

It’s a “must win” state for him.

whatcat on March 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Santorum should drop out even if he wins Tennessee!

lhuffman34 on March 5, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Only 4?

BobScuba on March 5, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Ed,

Your posts about Santorum always seem to accentuate the positives,and about Romney always seem to accentuate the negatives.

LOL

gerry=mittbot-just thinks ed is ‘misguided’

gerrym51 on March 5, 2012 at 11:06 AM

If Santorum loses Tennessee and Ohio, he’s done.

Doughboy on March 5, 2012 at 11:07 AM

if santorum does not win Tennessee, he should drop out.

nathor on March 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM

I would argue that if he gets blown out in Ohio and does not win convincingly in Tennessee, that’s the end for him. He’s pitching himself as the candidate of the Rust Belt.

KingGold on March 5, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Looks like Romney will have a GREAT day tomorrow…

A week ago Tennessee was out of the question. If not for the early voting in favor of Santorum, Romney could pull it out in a squeaker.

A week ago the talk was about if Romney could even get close in Ohio. Now consensus is he will most likely win. The strong advantage for Romney in early voting in that state will put him over the top there.

Tennessee will come down to a strong “Volunteer” effort! :)

Midwesterner on March 5, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Clinging……

FlaMurph on March 5, 2012 at 11:10 AM

People will vote with their wallets too. When Newt squeeks by with nothing but his home state, and Ricky wins a couple southern states, compared to Romney’s pre-tuesday 5 state streak plus picking up 7 states across the board on Tuesday, it will be obvious. Even to Adelson.

Newt and Rick’s campaign are money pits with no ROI.

hanzblinx on March 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Reminder: Santorum’s campaign was too incompetent to get on the Virginia ballot.

RINO on March 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

gerrym51 on March 5, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Ed has endorsed Santorum. I would expect him to give Santorum a favorable slant.

I do give kudos to Ed though for fair treatment for Newt and Romney. Other conservative bloggers and pundits are not so objective.

Midwesterner on March 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

I was torn, but now I’m not. I can’t see throwing the baby out with the bath water. I said I would vote for the most conservative remaining governor when it came time to place my vote in Tennessee. Once again, willing or not, I feel compelled to place my vote for Romney.

Almost makes me feel dirty.

Tennman on March 5, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Go Santy!!!

MGardner on March 5, 2012 at 11:12 AM

I want Rick over Mitt who believes he will be a GOD when he dies.

BroncosRock on March 5, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Is it really Mittens Country? The Marlboro Man would be aghast.

platypus on March 5, 2012 at 11:15 AM

We shouldn’t be surprised. Tennessee went for Mike Huckabee in ’08, and Santorum is Huck-on-steroids, minus executive experience.

Look Polish on March 5, 2012 at 11:17 AM

So Romney will likely pick up MA, VT, VA, and maybe OH. If he adds TN to that, it’s lights out.

changer1701 on March 5, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Newt is SURGING in Tennessee…The latest poll has Newt within 1 point of Santorum.
What if Newt win GA, TN oreven perhaps OK (long shot but it’s the south, his turf)?

Newt, the comeback kid

jules on March 5, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Nice going, HA. Showing your biases again. Why no mention of the NEWTMENTUM in Tennesse?

WeAskAmerica Santorum 29, Romney 30, Gingrich 29, Paul 12

GO NEWT!!!

tkyang99 on March 5, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Don’t forget North Dakota, Idaho, and Alaska.

Rusty Allen on March 5, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Don’t forget North Dakota, Idaho, and Alaska.

Rusty Allen on March 5, 2012 at 11:25 AM

North Dakota will be very light turnout. Everybody’s working there. :)

platypus on March 5, 2012 at 11:26 AM

romneycare should drop out if he can’t win Ohio. With a money advantage, the entire establishment behind him, fixing the primary system for his benefit, etc.

Danielvito on March 5, 2012 at 11:30 AM

…Tennessee? What happened to Ohio?

I bet Santorum wins American Samoa too!

Marcus Traianus on March 5, 2012 at 11:30 AM

What is the polling like in ID, AK, and ND?

antisense on March 5, 2012 at 11:35 AM

I think Ohio should be the test for Santorum. The fact that it seems to be neck and neck with Romney in Tenn just shows how weak Santorum is. We don’t know how OK is right now, cause no one has bothered to Poll it. Coburn’s endorsement may push Romney up even further. The consensus is now in Romney’s court, and this thing should end tomorrow. I expect their to be calls from the conservative media and GOP leaders for everyone else to get out.

rubberneck on March 5, 2012 at 11:41 AM

I want Rick over Mitt who believes he will be a GOD when he dies.

BroncosRock on March 5, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Then go to church and pray for him, cause he ani’t got a chance in hell. Get that bigot?

rubberneck on March 5, 2012 at 11:45 AM

What??? Sweater Vest is up by 4 whole points in banjo-playing Tennessee???? What a shock!@!!!1!!!

Hilarious how Ed tries to keep pimping this angry clown who has ZERO chance at the nomination since he would be a sure loser in a general election.

Yes, its true, Romney doesnt do as well in the banjo-playing states. Those people are angry that Romney has all his teeth.

Jailbreak on March 5, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Why does HA always use this underbite picture of Santorum? Do they think it makes him looks good?

rndmusrnm on March 5, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Something about Romney is very bothersome. Vote Santorum in OH.

anotherJoe on March 5, 2012 at 11:53 AM

I want Rick over Mitt who believes he will be a GOD when he dies.

BroncosRock on March 5, 2012 at 11:14 AM

When all else fails, they go full bigot and pull out the religion card. To bad it doesn’t work. ;)

hanzblinx on March 5, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Yes, its true, Romney doesnt do as well in the banjo-playing states. Those people are angry that Romney has all his teeth.

Jailbreak on March 5, 2012 at 11:47 AM

I hope you like four more years of Obama. We toothless hicks are going to stay home so you get the government that you deserve.

What an a$$ you are? What are you 12?

fight like a girl on March 5, 2012 at 12:03 PM

What an a$$ you are? What are you 12?

fight like a girl on March 5, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Calm down. The guy is a paid Obama operative.

Archivarix on March 5, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Yes, its true, Romney doesnt do as well in the banjo-playing states. Those people are angry that Romney has all his teeth.

Jailbreak on March 5, 2012 at 11:47 AM

.
If Santorum can’t win Ohio- does Tenn even really matter ?

FlaMurph on March 5, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Why does HA always use this underbite picture of Santorum? Do they think it makes him looks good?

rndmusrnm on March 5, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Hate to break it to you but that’s just how he looks. It’s not HA’s fault he’s a complete doofus.

Buttercup on March 5, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Yes, its true, Romney doesnt do as well in the banjo-playing states. Those people are angry that Romney has all his teeth.

Jailbreak on March 5, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Bigoted freak.

Lightswitch on March 5, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Romney will win MA, AK, ID, VT, ND, OH and Newt Gingrich homestate of Virginia.

Falz on March 5, 2012 at 12:17 PM

I’m a long time Tennessee resident in the Memphis area and conservative in my political/fiscal opinions when it comes to government. I voted in the early voting period for Romney. As much as I like Santorum, I want more than anything to remove the current President from office. I don’t see Santorum as a candidate with the ability to appeal to a the less conservative amount us nor will he have the fundraising ability to compete nationally against the incumbent.

Lunker on March 5, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Romney will win 7 of 10 and finish second in the 3 he will lose. Nice little Tuesday.

Rusty Allen on March 5, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Jailbreak on March 5, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Come on down, putz. Nothing like a little bigot in big pond.

Tennman on March 5, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Newt is surging in Tennessee and he is picking up support that is moving from Santorum. Social issues as important as they are are not what is on the minds of conservative Americans. The massive debt, spending, regulations, energy, crony capitalism, the marxist czars that are killing this country and Newt is focusing on all of these areas. Go Newt!!

mrcasella on March 5, 2012 at 1:43 PM

The only surging going on with Newt could be attributed to brain swell.
Wish Adelson would pull the plug on his life support already as he can’t even breathe on his own.

Buttercup on March 5, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Come on down, putz. Nothing like a little bigot in big pond.

Tennman on March 5, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Hey dude, can you play dueling banjos? Which part do you take, the first part, da da da da da da da dum? Or the second part, da da da da da da dum?

Just messing w/ you dude. cool out.

Jailbreak on March 5, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Just messing w/ you dude. cool out.

Jailbreak on March 5, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Naw, you wazn’t. You thinks we hiks dont noe when wez insulted for bein from the South.

IOW, don’t apologize for being an uncouth, functionally literate, bigoted ass. You’re quite good at it.

Tennman on March 5, 2012 at 2:42 PM

I live in TN. I was at a Santorum rally 2 weeks ago in Chattanooga. While there, he said he was not worried about TN. I’m paraphrasing, but he basically said this state was already in the bag.

mfrantom on March 5, 2012 at 8:58 PM