Rick Santorum: GOP Underdog Frontrunner

The Atlantic Wire
Rick Santorum: GOP Underdog Frontrunner
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Rick Santorum: GOP Underdog Frontrunner

The good news for Rick Santorum is that the latest poll numbers from Gallup have him leading Mitt Romney by 10 points; the bad news is that respondents also think Romney, not Santorum, is the GOP's best shot at beating Barack Obama.

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According to February 15-19 polling data from Gallup, Santorum is polling ahead of Romney 36 percent to 26 percent among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. Newt Gingrich has 13 percent support while Ron Paul has 11 percent. This is Santorum's first lead against Romney in a Gallup poll, and with a 10-point margin it's a quite large one at that. The meager 2- and 3-point leads from CNN and CBS News/The New York Times earlier in February are now being replaced by double-digit ones like today's from Gallup.

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But despite that good news for Santorum, he didn't do so well on the also-important question of "Which Republican candidate do you think has the better chance of beating Barack Obama in November?" 54 percent of Americans asked in a separate Gallup poll said named Romney is more electable one-on-one against Obama, while only 32 percent said the same of Santorum.  Per Gallup, "Overall, almost 3 in 10 Republicans in the USA Today/Gallup survey who believe that Romney has the best chance of beating Obama still say they would vote for Santorum over Romney."

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