Suffolk poll in OH: Santorum up 17 among early voters

posted at 12:45 pm on March 5, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier today, I ran through a number of polls in the critical battleground state of Ohio, showing a mix of results but for the most part indicating a virtual dead heat in the key Rust Belt state.  Suffolk University released its poll later in the morning, and it also shows a virtual tie, with Rick Santorum leading Mitt Romney by four points overall.  It differs, however, in one key aspect — its findings on early voters:

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (37 percent) leads former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (33 percent) by a narrow margin, according to a Suffolk University poll of likely Republican Primary voters in Ohio. Newt Gingrich (16 percent) was a distant third, and Ron Paul struggled (8 percent) in single digits with 6 percent undecided. The race is too close to call, as the top two candidates are within the statistical margin of error.

“The magic number in Ohio tomorrow night is thirty-nine,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “The candidate who gets to thirty-nine percent will win the state in what could be a rather late night of election returns. It’s now down to which candidate gets his supporters out to the polls.”

Santorum led 44 percent to Romney’s 27 percent among those who already have cast ballots, but among those who have yet to vote, Santorum’s margin was only 3 points, 36 percent to 33 percent.

According to the survey, 13% of likely voters have already cast their vote.  A seventeen-point advantage could be decisive, especially if turnout drops off tomorrow and that percentage of early voting ends up being larger than 13%.  However, that advantage is much different than what Marist found over the weekend.  They have Romney up three in early voting, which is a 20-point difference.

I’m inclined to put more stock into Suffolk’s independent poll than Marist’s NBC-partnered survey, but Marist had a larger sample (820 likely voters to Suffolk’s 500).  Also, the early vote in the Suffolk poll lines up better with polling in February for Ohio, when Santorum had double-digit leads over Romney.  A seventeen-point advantage might be a little on the large side, but it makes more sense than Romney getting a lead in early voting when he trailed so badly in polling before the February 22nd debate.

BuzzFeed picks up on a statement by Santorum over the personal cost of the presidential bid:

“I walked away from all of the jobs that I had and all the money,” Santorum said at the Dayton Christian School. He and his wife Karen have been “spending down our savings,” he said.

“That’s not necessarily the best thing to do when you have three kids entering college in the next three years, but our country is worth it,” he said.

The admission adds to Santorum’s underdog appeal, but it also underscores a reality that will bear on him more intensely if he fails to win Ohio on Super Tuesday and his path to victory narrows to almost nothing.

We didn’t need to know that to understand the importance of winning a large haul in delegates in tomorrow’s Super Tuesday races.  If he can’t close the deal in Ohio, it will be difficult for Santorum to keep donors on his team.


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Intrade says he will lose

liberal4life on March 5, 2012 at 12:45 PM

not buying

Philly on March 5, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Santorum gets out of the race by Thursday.

JPeterman on March 5, 2012 at 12:49 PM

“That’s not necessarily the best thing to do when you have three kids entering college in the next three years, but our country is worth it,” he said.

Sorry kids, Daddy spent all your college money on votes…

But that’s ok… only snobs go to college…

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on March 5, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Why would anyone vote for Santorum to be POTUS?

1) He has NO Executive experience. None.
2) His voting record on fiscal issues is downright liberal.
3) He is annoying and whiny and dull.

mitchellvii on March 5, 2012 at 12:51 PM

If he is leading, why did he tell people to ignore the polls at his rally?

galtani on March 5, 2012 at 12:52 PM

He’s not going to carry OH. All outlets on the right seem too eager for a cultural fight, but that’s not the concern of the average GOP voter.

If we go down this path, we now acquiesce the House because we’ve lost focus as to why we took it back. It looks like the GOP, just like Obama, have ulterior motivations beyond course-correcting the economy.

Financially, when this is over, he’s going to enter a whole new era, much like Palin. The guy will be in demand, no matter who wins.

budfox on March 5, 2012 at 12:54 PM

If u guys can wish a loss I can wish a win. Santorum takes Ohio by 2 and Tennessee by 5.

And don’t worry about the college money. Go get Obama’s guaranteed loans and don’t bother paying them back because no one else will.

gracie on March 5, 2012 at 12:55 PM

I’m inclined to put more stock into Suffolk’s independent poll than Marist’s NBC-partnered survey, but Marist had a larger sample (820 likely voters to Suffolk’s 500). Also, the early vote in the Suffolk poll lines up better with polling in February for Ohio, when Santorum had double-digit leads over Romney.

But of course you do. Better for your boy. Of course you’re assuming all this early voting was done in a span of 1 week. because that would be the only time it “lined up”.

Zaggs on March 5, 2012 at 12:55 PM

While I wish this were true, I doubt it is. Mittens will win OH.

angryed on March 5, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Ed’s boy is going down in flames with or without Ed. It’s Rick’s own fault for delving into social issues when the economy is what’s going to win us back the Oval Office.

hanzblinx on March 5, 2012 at 12:57 PM

At least Rick will go after Barack, Mitt won’t go after Barack.

Mitt only “attack” on Barack will be Barack is over his head. If you don’t call Barack a nice guy Mitt will throw you off the bus and use bus to roll over you again and again.

Barack is a NICE GUY and is just over his head.

BroncosRock on March 5, 2012 at 12:59 PM

I knew HA was going to jump on this poll and run with it. It even deserved it’s own post, apparently…lol

Even if Rick were to defy the odds and win Ohio, like Rove said his campaign would be on life support. He’s not a competitive candidate. He’s still not even competitive in Georgia(lol), didn’t make the ballot in Virginia, will lose Mass, Idaho, etc.

1984 in real life on March 5, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Mittbama doesn’t have enough money to fight Obama in the general either.

The Ruling Class Republicans are in full panic mode because Mittbama can’t get to the magic number before Tampa.

Proof is all of the endorsements for Mittbama since last Wednesday and the Kool-Aid drinking Mittbamabot trolls out in droves.

Mittbama needs to conserve his money. It is costing him a fortune just to beat the rest of the dwarfs. LOL!

When even the Washington Compost is pulling for Mittbama you know that’s who they want to run against.

Wait until the left starts bashing the Mormons for funding the campaign against gay marriage in California.

Jayrae on March 5, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Ed is sooooooooo desperate for good news regarding Santorum, it’s pathetic.

rndmusrnm on March 5, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Jayrae on March 5, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Kos kids are out in force today trying desperately to prop up Sweatervest.

1984 in real life on March 5, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Ed’s last minute desperate attempt to find some sunlight for Santorum. Remember his famed PPP post, that Santorum was up 10 in last minute voters?

Stop selling snake oil Ed…you only depress the not-romney’s when he wins.

rubberneck on March 5, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Mittbama doesn’t have enough money to fight Obama in the general either.

Pretty sure that goes away once he gets in the general. New donation limits.

The Ruling Class Republicans are in full panic mode because Mittbama can’t get to the magic number before Tampa.

Jayrae

or they’re seeing the winner emerge. Before the last 2 primaries Mitt had 750k+ more votes than Santorum.

Zaggs on March 5, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Hang in there Newt…!!!

Seven Percent Solution on March 5, 2012 at 1:13 PM

If u guys can wish a loss I can wish a win. Santorum takes Ohio by 2 and Tennessee by 5.
gracie on March 5, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Fair enough. Everyone’s two cents is worth the same here.

whatcat on March 5, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Not to sound like Newt or an Occupier, but I’m sure the Santorum family finances will be just fine, so he’s not getting much sympathy from me there.

I also think Romney will win Ohio.

DRayRaven on March 5, 2012 at 1:17 PM

The early vote numbers are immaterial (for every pollster). Too small of a sample. Pollsters shouldn’t even mention those numbers when releasing the top-lines.

Santorum made more than $3 million just in the 4 years between leaving the senate and launching his presidential bid to add to the wealth he accumulated after decades as a congressman and a senator. He hasn’t been spending his own money to finance the campaign. Suggesting he may struggle to pay his kids college is pure demagoguery.

joana on March 5, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Romney better plan on spending a lot more of his money if he gets the nomination ’cause us folks who don’t matter out here in flyover country aren’t feeling it for ‘ole Mitt and will not open our wallets or donate our time for him. Hope Wall Street is loving him, ’cause they’ll own him.

KickandSwimMom on March 5, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Very sketchy number. Santorum up 17 in early voting is hard to believe. Up by 4 (higher than everyone else) overall seems sketchy as well.

As for money, the question has always been the same – why exactly is he running? This is a man who lost his last election, and got no traction for months before Iowa. Why exactly did he run, and why exactly did he stay in the race for as long as he did. If Rick Santorum, and his followers, are being honest, he never had any shot of being president. So, if money was an issue, he should have never ran.

milcus on March 5, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Go Rick and Newt!

I love the name Mittbama . . .it is so very appropos (it is so fitting that it’s French (a propos). . .)!

Go Rick and Newt!

Pragmatic on March 5, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Bye Bye Mitt!

Not so nice knowing you!

Pragmatic on March 5, 2012 at 1:24 PM

The early vote numbers are immaterial (for every pollster). Too small of a sample. Pollsters shouldn’t even mention those numbers when releasing the top-lines.
joana on March 5, 2012 at 1:19 PM

The misc groups/blocs seem to get out and vote at the same time. Err, I mean the individual subsets often seem to “flock” together.

whatcat on March 5, 2012 at 1:25 PM

I don’t know anyone (who is a real conservative) who has given $ to Mitt’s campaign (what’s that saying about a fool and his money)? I do know of many Democrats who like Mitt because they know he’s really ‘one of them’.

Pragmatic on March 5, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Hopefully, Mitt gets out of the race ASAP . . . .we DON’T WANT HIM. He should run as the Democrat that he is.

Go Rick Or Newt or Anyone but Romney or Paul!

Pragmatic on March 5, 2012 at 1:28 PM

“President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob,” Santorum said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” ”There are good decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor to try to indoctrinate them. Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college he wants to remake you in his image.”

“That’s not necessarily the best thing to do when you have three kids entering college in the next three years, but our country is worth it,” [Santorum] said.

Either Santy is a huge hypocrite, or he wants his kids to be remade in Obama’s image. Either way, he’s contemptible.

captn2fat on March 5, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Sorry kids, Daddy spent all your college money on votes…

But that’s ok… only snobs go to college…

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on March 5, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Good one.

HTL on March 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM

I know the media is stressing the ‘vote tally’ however, in the primary race it is all about the delegates. No matter how many votes come in, Santorum does not get 18 delegates out of the 66 here in OH. Any delegates down for Romney in OH he regains in VA.

Delegates, delegates that is what counts. After today, Santorum will begin to tread water on delegate count while Romney climbs. Newt will win GA delegates and once again tread water on delegate count going forward. Romney will continue gaining on delegates.

Those folks voting in the counties where Santorum did not get the appropriate paperwork or requirements are wasting their votes. Sad, but true as in the Primary it is all about delegate count not the popularity vote.

uhangtight on March 5, 2012 at 1:43 PM

“I walked away from all of the jobs that I had and all the money,” Santorum said at the Dayton Christian School. He and his wife Karen have been “spending down our savings,” he said.

“That’s not necessarily the best thing to do when you have three kids entering college in the next three years, but our country is worth it,” he said.

Screw the kids, I have an ego to feed.

rogaineguy on March 5, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Ed forgot to mention that PPP has Romney up 41-34 for 15% of early voters. Looks like that backs up NBC poll….

Midwesterner on March 5, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Hot Air – ’cause one can never have enough italics!

captn2fat on March 5, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Some of you say that Santorum is not a fiscal conservative, COMPARED TO WHOM? Rick is to the right of Romney and Gingrich on almost every fiscal issue of our time.

Rick has never supported Cap and Trade, Government mandated health care coverage, amnesty for illegals or bailouts. Both Mitt and Newt have supported all of these things. So, who the hell are you comparing him to?

fight like a girl on March 5, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Romney’s in luck because Newt, whom he obliterated, is still in.

Rick and Newt need to make a pact, alas.

Stubborn will destroy them both, and the land. None love the land more than themselves, incl. Mitt and Baraka.

Schadenfreude on March 5, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Ed, you could be right or you could be wrong, but if you are wrong you;ll never hear the end of it.

gerrym51 on March 5, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Why is this thread sinking in positioning on the page and the one showing Romney leading is on top of the page? Ed does not believe in the validity of this poll?

galtani on March 5, 2012 at 2:58 PM

let me get this straight Ed. the nbc/wsj poll is useless but the suffolk which seems to be an outlier is great.

lol

gerrym51 on March 5, 2012 at 3:07 PM

I just rec’d a ROBO call from Santorum. It used his voice and was aimed only at The One, telling me that when I see a zero on the gas pump, I should think of Obama. It proceeds to tell me all the things The One has failed to do to resist higher gas prices.

But he missed the fact that Obama has actually said he seeks higher energy prices. He also concluded the call asking me “to vote for us“. As most voters don’t know who “us” is, he’d be better off asking us to vote for him.

But overall, good for Rick. He did not attack any GOP opponent in this call.

EconomicNeocon on March 5, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Why would anyone vote for Santorum to be POTUS?

1) He has NO Executive experience. None.
2) His voting record on fiscal issues is downright liberal.
3) He is annoying and whiny and dull.

mitchellvii on March 5, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Well, the only other choices are Gingrich and Romney. And Romney has two out of three of those problems himself. His one claim to executive experience as a governor was not exactly a success.

Since we have to pick one of the available choices, Santorum looks less bad than the others.

tom on March 5, 2012 at 7:09 PM

RINO Romney (aka Obastard-Lite) remains the worst of the worst!!! Anybody ever remember seeing ANY Willard (from the RAT movie of the same name) ad that actually talked about Willard’s record??? Nothing, huh??? The RNC’s new lead attack bitch, RINO Romney!!! “Record?? Record?? I, Willard, don’t need no stinkin’ record!?!”

Colatteral Damage on March 6, 2012 at 5:44 PM