Poll: Romney leads Santorum by seven in Wisconsin

posted at 11:10 am on March 30, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Mitt Romney remains favored to win next Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary, which is arguably Rick Santorum’s last chance to prove he’s competitive. A new NBC-Marist poll shows Romney with 40 percent support, Rick Santorum with 33 percent, Ron Paul with 11 percent and Newt Gingrich with just 8 percent.

It appears there just aren’t enough very conservative evangelical voters in Wisconsin to give Rick Santorum the advantage:

The Wisconsin race follows a familiar pattern: Romney holds the advantage over Santorum among liberal and moderate Republicans (43 percent to 24 percent), conservatives (42 percent to 33 percent), non-Tea Party supporters (42 percent to 31 percent), and those who earn $75,000 or more annually (47 percent to 32 percent).

Meanwhile, Santorum leads among very conservative primary voters (42 percent to 33 percent), strong Tea Party supporters (40 percent to 32 percent), and evangelical Christians (40 percent to 29 percent).

So far in all the GOP contests where there has been exit polling, Romney has won in every contest where evangelical voters have accounted for less than 50 percent of the electorate. And he has lost in every contest where that number has been higher than 50 percent.

The evangelical percentage among likely Wisconsin GOP primary voters, according to the NBC/Marist poll: 41 percent.

The phrasing in that excerpt serves to reinforce the idea that Rick Santorum wins evangelicals generally and that Mitt Romney continues to have some kind of “evangelical problem,” but, if what we’ve learned in recent exit polling holds true for Wisconsin, that’s not quite right. My introductory sentence is more accurate: It’s not that there aren’t enough evangelicals to give Santorum an advantage. It’s that there aren’t enough very conservative evangelicals to throw the primary to the former Pennsylvania senator. Ronald Brownstein explains:

In response to a National Journal request, Langer analyzed the cumulative results of the 18 state exit polls conducted so far to more precisely track the trends in the GOP race. In the exercise, he segmented both evangelicals and non-evangelicals based on whether they considered themselves very or somewhat conservative, moderate or liberal, and then analyzed the support in each group for Romney, Santorum, Gingrich and Ron Paul.

Among evangelical Christians who consider themselves very conservative, Santorum held a commanding 41 percent to 23 percent advantage over Romney, the analysis found. (Gingrich has also carried 29 percent of this group.) That’s a powerful asset for Santorum because evangelicals have cast a 53 percent majority of all votes in the exit polls so far, and fully 45 percent of them identify as very conservative.

But among every other segment of evangelicals, Romney led Santorum. Romney led Santorum by 36 percent to 29 percent among evangelicals who identify as somewhat conservative, and by 39 percent to 29 percent among evangelicals who identify as moderates. Romney also held a 10-percentage point edge among self-identified liberal evangelicals (a small group).

When I spoke to Rick Santorum early this year, he emphasized that he planned to reassemble the Reagan coalition. At the time, much of his messaging had as its target audience “the working man,” blue-collar workers who might or might not be socially conservative. Like the rest of the candidates, Santorum primarily talked about the economy, but his strong foreign and social policy stances convinced him that he was the only true three-legs-of-the-stool conservative in the race. Somewhere along the way, though, he was rebranded the social-issues-only guy. Perhaps it was the president’s contraception mandate — such a ripe invitation for a social conservative response — that did it. Whatever it was, it crippled Santorum and narrowed his slice of the GOP electorate. Whether it’s possible for him to broaden his base now is a matter of speculation, but he’ll have to if he wants to be able to make a case for himself at a contested convention, which is itself looking increasingly unlikely.


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I can’t wait for Romney to be the official Nominee. Months spent traveling from Southern city to Southern city, all the while yelling out in the worst fake Southern accent ever, “Vote fer me, I’m wanna ya’ll!”

Then he’ll hit the Midwest. I can see him now, circling St. Louis in his Cardinal red pickup truck, rally squirrel strapped to the roof…

Buckshot Bill on March 30, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Your posting made me laugh so hard!!!
But seriously, Santorum is an idiot (he even looks like one) and
Newt is done for. Therefore, we need to back Romney against
Obama and that should be easy for all repubs. The RINO repubs
should love Romney.

Besides the fact that Romney is too liberal for me, he makes me cringe because I think he wants to be president for the title,
power and prestige. I want him to be a workaholic and get the job
done (which was why I supported Palin – she actually did that in
Alaska). At any rate, Romney just may surprise some of us conservatives. He might not be as arrogant as Obama, therefore,
when conservatives bark at him he just might listen and react
accordingly. Obama just slides his middle finger on top of his nose! I get the sense that Romney needs to be liked.
If it makes him do the right things in office then I am all for him.

Amjean on March 30, 2012 at 5:18 PM

But seriously, Santorum is an idiot (he even looks like one) and
Newt is done for. Therefore, we need to back Romney against
Obama and that should be easy for all repubs. The RINO repubs
should love Romney.

Amjean on March 30, 2012 at 5:18 PM

I don’t “have to” do shit. I will vote against Obama of my own freewill come the first Tuesday of November, but win lose or draw, Mitt Romney is not getting so much as a single supportive word out of me, much less a single thin plugged penny.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2012 at 5:20 PM

NOPE! It says you aren’t very bright.

Gunlock Bill on March 30, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Brighter than you, Skippy.

kingsjester on March 30, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Really? Are you sure it wasn’t Daily Kos?

kingsjester on March 30, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Since you seem determined to prove that he’s a witch, why don’t you just throw him in the water and see if he floats? No wait, he turned you into a newt, didn’t he?

HTL on March 30, 2012 at 5:07 PM

LOL!!!

Just for him I found this as evidence of my townhall.com days.

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/carolplattliebau/2008/08/27/romney,_not_crist,_helps_mccain_in_florida

Notice the HT (Hat Tip).

Gunlock Bill on March 30, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Brighter than you, Skippy.

kingsjester on March 30, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Obviously NOT!

Gunlock Bill on March 30, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Gunlock Bill on March 30, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Calm down, Skippy. You started the ad hominems the moment you got here.

Insult everyone and call them Bigots, that will certainly win folks to your candidate. Great strategy. That’s intelligence?/

kingsjester on March 30, 2012 at 5:34 PM

gryphon202 on March 30, 2012 at 5:18 PM

You are missing the point.

I didn’t make the ratings nor did I make the statement.

I am not obligated to defend either nor any “perceived” inconsistencies between the two.

Gunlock Bill on March 30, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Mitt Romney remains favored to win next Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary, which is arguably Rick Santorum’s last chance to prove he’s competitive.

Not quite. Santo proved he was not competitive months (years for that matter) ago. Now he’s just run out of time.

MJBrutus on March 30, 2012 at 5:50 PM

gryphon202 on March 30, 2012 at 5:18 PM

You are missing the point.

I didn’t make the ratings nor did I make the statement.

I am not obligated to defend either nor any “perceived” inconsistencies between the two.

Gunlock Bill on March 30, 2012 at 5:35 PM

I didn’t ask you to defend anything, King Non-sequitur. I said that I don’t believe that a single interest group’s rating defines for me what is conservative, especially since “flawless” Mitt got a worse rating than EMILY’s Lister Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin. Wherein did you see me asking you a question there?

gryphon202 on March 30, 2012 at 5:52 PM

“I am not obligated to…”

Gunlock Bill on March 30, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Okay, okay. Of my own accord, I’ll admit that I may have asked a rhetorical question or two. But man-alive you sure got defensive awfully quick. That probably says more about you than it says about Grover Norquist or the NRA writ-large.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2012 at 5:55 PM

I guess Paul Ryan endorsing Romney is not big news to Hot Air. Oh, I forgot, Paul Ryan is an evil man who is part of the Establishment! Who knew?

mark cantu on March 30, 2012 at 5:56 PM

I guess Paul Ryan endorsing Romney is not big news to Hot Air. Oh, I forgot, Paul Ryan is an evil man who is part of the Establishment! Who knew?

mark cantu on March 30, 2012 at 5:56 PM

The rombots keep telling me it’s over and Mitt already has the nomination. No one endorsing at this point is doing anything except trying to remain visible and/or relevant if that’s really the case.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2012 at 5:59 PM

gryphon202 on March 30, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Yep. That’s the case.

MJBrutus on March 30, 2012 at 6:00 PM

BTW, Happy Palindrome Day!

(ducks the flying shoes)

MJBrutus on March 30, 2012 at 6:03 PM

gryphon202 on March 30, 2012 at 5:59 PM

By your measures, Reagan was not a Conservative and you would be Debbie Downer in the past, just like you are now.

mark cantu on March 30, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Such reforms would “disenfranchise” Republicans within our own country.

thuja on March 30, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Could you explain how my reforms would disenfranchise Republicans within their own country?

Theophile on March 30, 2012 at 6:16 PM

I don’t “have to” do shit. I will vote against Obama of my own freewill come the first Tuesday of November, but win lose or draw, Mitt Romney is not getting so much as a single supportive word out of me, much less a single thin plugged penny.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Amen. I can’t vote for Obama. In the same vein, I can’t vote for Obama Jr. (Romney). If necessary, I will vote Libertarian this time around.

Theophile on March 30, 2012 at 6:28 PM

I guess Paul Ryan endorsing Romney is not big news to Hot Air. Oh, I forgot, Paul Ryan is an evil man who is part of the Establishment! Who knew?

mark cantu on March 30, 2012 at 5:56 PM

There was a thread on it yesterday.

Some of You Romney supporters sure are pissy, considering your guy has the nomination all wrapped up, according to you.

Reagan was plenty conservative for my tastes, but for some strange reason, Romney isn’t. I must be Debbie Downer, Too, because I won’t roll over for Mitt at your command. I have a mind of my own, and what Paul Ryan does or does not do doesn’t influence my vote.

Go pound sand, Mittwit.

JannyMae on March 30, 2012 at 6:37 PM

JannyMae on March 30, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Me, me, me, my vote, me, me, over here, it’s me, JannyMae, me, me, me.

Rusty Allen on March 30, 2012 at 6:49 PM

gryphon202 on March 30, 2012 at 5:59 PM

By your measures, Reagan was not a Conservative and you would be Debbie Downer in the past, just like you are now.

mark cantu on March 30, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Sorry, Butch. “You wouldn’t have liked Reagan either” isn’t a reason for me to vote for Romney. Classic non-sequitur.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2012 at 7:05 PM

I did like Reagan…very much. And I will hold my nose and vote for Romney…if he gets 1144, or the nomination at a brokered convention.

kingsjester on March 30, 2012 at 7:27 PM

I did like Reagan…very much. And I will hold my nose and vote for Romney…if he gets 1144, or the nomination at a brokered convention.

kingsjester on March 30, 2012 at 7:27 PM

My vote against Obama is the only support that Romney is getting, and may God save America — from itself.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Interesting question, and one that I was noodling around with recently. Any criteria would wind up being somewhat subjective, but for example, you could define swing states as ones where the average two-party vote over the last three to four election cycles is closer than 4%, or where the state has actually awarded its electoral votes to both parties over that period.

Using the percentage rules Indiana, Florida, North Carolina and Ohio would all be swing states. Using the split vote system, you could add Nevada, Colorado, and Virginia. So maybe we should do both.

Then the rule could be that swing states get the same bonus that red states do, i.e. 4.5 delegates + 60% of their electoral votes (rounding up). Red states would still carry some additional weight, because they would be likely to get more of the bonuses for governor, senator, majority House delegation, state legislatures, etc. But Ohio, for example, would have received an additional 15 delegates, Florida an extra 22 (well, 11 after the penalty), etc.

Anyway, that would be one way of looking at it.

HTL on March 30, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Here how I would award delegates to the states. Put the states in reverse order in terms of the weighted average of percentage Republican vote in the last three Presidential elections. The most recent election would get the greatest weight. I would then go down the list and sum electoral votes until the sum was sufficiently bigger than 270 (say 310). All states above the cutoff would receive the same bonus as each other. Such an approach would maximize our chance of winning the election. It would also be more favorable to Romney than the current system is.

thuja on March 30, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Here how I would award delegates to the states. Put the states in reverse order in terms of the weighted average of percentage Republican vote in the last three Presidential elections. The most recent election would get the greatest weight. I would then go down the list and sum electoral votes until the sum was sufficiently bigger than 270 (say 310). All states above the cutoff would receive the same bonus as each other. Such an approach would maximize our chance of winning the election. It would also be more favorable to Romney than the current system is.

thuja on March 30, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Sounds like even though Romney has it in the bag, some here are already planning for what happens if he loses. Heh.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Some of You Romney supporters sure are pissy, considering your guy has the nomination all wrapped up, according to you.

yes we are.

lol

gerry-mittbot-rombot-pissbot

gerrym51 on March 30, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Reagan was plenty conservative for my tastes, but for some strange reason, Romney isn’t. I must be Debbie Downer, Too, because I won’t roll over for Mitt at your command. I have a mind of my own, and what Paul Ryan does or does not do doesn’t influence my vote.

Go pound sand, Mittwit.

JannyMae on March 30, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Pretty darn nasty there, Jannymae. Nobody is commanding you to vote for Mitt. Nobody is attempting to convince you that Mitt is Conservative enough for your taste. Nobody is compelling you to accept Paul Ryan’s endorsement of Mitt. You vociferously insist that you have your own mind and refuse to roll over when nobody has asked you to do so. You also spend your time lobbing nasty aspersions at people who haven’t even addressed you, because in your mind, they’re all “Mittwits” who are somehow pressuring you to do something you don’t want to do. Sure sounds like somebody may have Paranoid Personality Disorder, but it’s not Mitt or his supporters. Can you guess who it is?

Slainte on March 30, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Sounds like even though Romney has it in the bag, some here are already planning for what happens if he loses. Heh.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2012 at 9:07 PM

One reason I am a Republican is that I think our society is too nice to morons. gryphon, you’re an imbecile.

thuja on March 30, 2012 at 9:50 PM

thuja on March 30, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Right on, truja!

Slainte on March 30, 2012 at 9:56 PM

BTW, Happy Palindrome Day!

(ducks the flying shoes)

MJBrutus on March 30, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Rise to vote sir. :) :) :)

Theophile on March 30, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Sounds like even though Romney has it in the bag, some here are already planning for what happens if he loses. Heh.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2012 at 9:07 PM

You really are a knucklehead. What some of us are doing is honestly discussing the current RNC delegate assignment system, not from the standpoint of whining or trying to gerrymander it for a particular candidate, but from the purely theoretical perspective of what would work best for the GOP in the long term.

Not everything has to be viewed, or discussed, in the context of the current contest.

HTL on March 30, 2012 at 10:06 PM

But seriously, Santorum is an idiot (he even looks like one) and
Newt is done for. Therefore, we need to back Romney against
Obama and that should be easy for all repubs. The RINO repubs
should love Romney.

Amjean on March 30, 2012 at 5:18 PM

I don’t “have to” do shit. I will vote against Obama of my own freewill come the first Tuesday of November, but win lose or draw, Mitt Romney is not getting so much as a single supportive word out of me, much less a single thin plugged penny.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2012 at 5:20 PM

No one suggested that you “have to” shit. Put a cork in it.

Amjean on March 30, 2012 at 10:47 PM

What I found interesting was this comment by Newt:

Even so, the former House Speaker refuses to leave the race, saying Friday and he has said before that he’ll continue his campaign until Romney gets enough delegates.

This might have some validity if Newt’s being in the race mattered. I mean, if Newt were picking up any delegates from these races he is in, then he might have a point. If he is collecting 0 delegates in these races, his remaining in the race does nothing. It is absolutely pointless.

Newt, you have become a silly old man.

crosspatch on March 31, 2012 at 12:07 AM

No one suggested that you “have to” shit. Put a cork in it.

Amjean on March 30, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Oh, I’m sorry. But you did say…

Therefore, we need to back Romney against
Obama and that should be easy for all repubs.

Amjean on March 30, 2012 at 5:18 PM

I dunno who you mean by “we,” but I don’t NEED TO do shit either. As far as Romney is inevitable, I am going to do everything in my power to keep him honest.

gryphon202 on March 31, 2012 at 12:54 AM

One reason I am a Republican is that I think our society is too nice to morons. gryphon, you’re an imbecile.

thuja on March 30, 2012 at 9:50 PM

A person isn’t free if they aren’t free to be stupid. But since I think the rombots are willfully stupid, right back atcha, Butch.

gryphon202 on March 31, 2012 at 12:56 AM

Sure sounds like somebody may have Paranoid Personality Disorder, but it’s not Mitt or his supporters. Can you guess who it is?

Slainte on March 30, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Yeah, that type of trash-talking is sure going to unite the base… :P

Myron Falwell on March 31, 2012 at 2:15 AM

Romney’s lead is now up to 10 points according to Rasmussen. Romney is pulling away.

crosspatch on March 31, 2012 at 2:26 AM

Widening his lead in Maryland, too:

Maryland GOP: Romney 45%, Santorum 28%

Rasmussen.

It’s over. Someone email MM and tell her it’s time.

crosspatch on March 31, 2012 at 2:38 AM

Hey, looks like it got to page four after all!

Buckshot Bill on March 31, 2012 at 2:42 AM

Widening his lead in Maryland, too:

Maryland GOP: Romney 45%, Santorum 28%

Rasmussen.

It’s over. Someone email MM and tell her it’s time.

crosspatch on March 31, 2012 at 2:38 AM

A pity he won’t win Maryland in the General.

Buckshot Bill on March 31, 2012 at 2:44 AM

Hang in there Newt.

Rusty Allen on March 31, 2012 at 3:58 AM

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