Rasmussen: Three-way tie in Alabama

posted at 11:00 am on March 9, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Rasmussen has conducted the first post-Super Tuesday poll in the key primary state of Alabama, where voters will decide on Tuesday which Republican to back for the nomination.  They found a three-way virtual tie for the lead, with Newt Gingrich up one point over Rick Santorum and two points over Mitt Romney:

Alabama Republicans are up to bat next, and right now it’s a near three-way tie going into next Tuesday’s primary.

The first Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters in Alabama finds Newt Gingrich barely ahead with 30% support to 29% for Rick Santorum and 28% for Mitt Romney. Texas Congressman Ron Paul trails with seven percent (7%) of the vote. One percent (1%) prefers some other candidate, and six percent (6%) remain undecided.

The big surprise here is Romney’s standing.  Romney supposedly doesn’t play well in the South, and yet here he is within the margin of error for the lead.  That changes, though, if Gingrich drops out of the race.  Santorum would beat Romney 50/39 — but Rasmussen didn’t poll for a Gingrich-Romney matchup, either.

The internals are all over the place, as one might imagine a three-way tie.  Santorum and Gingrich tie for the “very conservative” vote, 34/34 with just 21% for Romney.  Romney wins both the “somewhat conservative” and “other” votes; 34/30/25 over Ginrich then Santorum in the former, and 36/20/17 over Santorum then Gingrich in the latter.  Favorability ratings are very close:

  • Gingrich: 66/32
  • Santorum: 71/27
  • Romney: 62/35

However, Romney has a double-digit lead on relative strength against Obama, 40/27 over Gingrich, with Santorum at 20%.  That will be very important as late-breaking voters make their decisions, because 55% of respondents believe that their priority is to choose the candidate who can best beat Barack Obama, while only 39% will base their decision on “Republican values.”  If Romney is this close, that may be enough to put him over the top.

It’s been conventional wisdom that Gingrich has to win both Alabama and Mississippi in order to continue in the race.  If Romney wins Alabama, though, it might be enough to make a case that neither Santorum or Gingrich has much reason to continue.

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Republicans are rejecting the unelectable, whiney bigot Rick Santorum.

A Vote for the Unelectable Extreme Social Conservative Rick Santorum in the Primary = A Vote for Barack Obama’s Reelection

No wonder the liberal Dems are cheering on Rick Santorum!

The only people who want Santorum are idiots, bigots and liberal Democrats. Although Santorum is doing his best to secure those voter groups, he is still sinking in the polls!

bluegill on March 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Major story here: Romney very competitive in the South. I wonder how much Newt would beat Santorum by if it was a 1 on 1 between the two…

1984 in real life on March 9, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Santorum thought people in the South were a bunch of idiot bigots whose votes he could easily win.

Turns out that southerners are smart and are supporting the best guy BY FAR, Mitt Romney, who actually CAN AND WILL defeat Obama.

Go Mitt!!

bluegill on March 9, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Rasmussen 3/9 poll: Obama 45, Romney 47

Rasmussen 3/8 poll: Obama 50, Santorum 42

Despite the fact that the liberal media AND the conservative media have been piling on Mitt, Mitt STILL continues to poll well.

Santorum, who has been cheered on by the liberal media and the conservative media for the last few weeks, continues to struggle… and this is even before most voters know about his extreme social positions. Santorum is an unelectable loser, and the sooner he goes away, the better our chances of defeating Obama.

It’s time to unite as a party and focus our attention and resources to taking out Obama. Enough with the in-fighting and the pointless attention given to unelectable also-ran losers like Rick Santorum.

bluegill on March 9, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Alabama – Ala. Education Assoc. Poll:
Romney 31
Gingrich 21
Santorum 22
Paul 7
Romney +9

California – PPIC Poll
Romney 28
Santorum 22
Gingrich 17
Paul 8
Romney +6

New York – Siena Poll
Romney 38
Santorum 23
Gingrich 13
Paul 11
Romney +15

Mississippi – Rasmussen
Romney 35
Santorum 27
Gingrich 27
Paul 6
Romney +8

Gallup National, Fri. Mar 9, 2012
Romney 35
Santorum 24
Gingrich 13
Paul 11
Romney +11

bluegill on March 9, 2012 at 9:07 PM

A lot of former Rick Santorum supporters have become embarrassed to admit that they were supporting an unelectable bigot like Rick Santorum, so they are changing their votes to Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

Word is that Rick Santorum is losing a significant amount of support by the day.

bluegill on March 9, 2012 at 9:09 PM

Well, I shouldn’t say that everyone supporting Santorum is an idiot or a liberal Dem… but a good number of them are.

bluegill on March 9, 2012 at 9:23 PM


Moron says what?

xblade on March 10, 2012 at 2:05 AM

Gingrich won’t drop out for several reasons. First of all, he entered the race to sell books and increase his speaking fees, and the longer he stays in, the more he realizes that goal. Secondly, he is egotistical enough that once he got a taste of being a contender, he honestly believes he is the best man for the job.

Finally, he’s seen that he can draw some support even without campaigning, which will earn him a few delegates while he spends his time replenishing his campaign funds. This reinforces the first two.

Santorum is the one who badly needs victories in Kansas, Alabama, and Mississippi to convince more conservatives he is the only alternative to Romney. He can’t force Newt out, but he might be able to marginalize him.

For Romney, a win in either Southern state almost clinches the nomination. He already has a big lead, is better placed in nearly all the remaining winner-take-all states, and the proportional states which vote after this aren’t unfavorable to him or his math either.

Well, I shouldn’t say that everyone supporting Santorum is an idiot or a liberal Dem… but a good number of them are.

bluegill on March 9, 2012 at 9:23 PM

That’s just ridiculous. Many of them are willfully ignoring his spending philosophy and his solidarity with Lott, Frist, and McConnell – whom most Santorum supporters revile as RINOs – as part of the leadership team, but they are conservatives.

And liberal Democrats? Come on! That’s just foolishness.

Adjoran on March 10, 2012 at 2:59 AM

A pic of Newt and headline that reads “3 way”?

Ed is naughty

faraway on March 10, 2012 at 10:09 AM

And liberal Democrats? Come on! That’s just foolishness.

Adjoran on March 10, 2012 at 2:59 AM

If you can’t see at this point how he would be their dream opponent, I really don’t know what to tell you.

MelonCollie on March 11, 2012 at 11:35 PM