Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Santorum Dominates Missouri, Minnesota Polls

According to  Public Policy Polling press release, Rick Santorum could be headed for a big day in today's contests in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri. Missouri looks like a probable win for Santorum.

He's at 45% there to 32% for Mitt Romney and 19% for Paul. Minnesota provides an opportunity for a win as well. Currently he has a small advantage with 33% to 24% for Romney, 22% for Newt Gingrich, and 20% for Ron Paul. And Santorum should get a second place finish in Colorado, where Romney appears to be the likely winner. The standings there are Romney at 37%, Santorum at 27%, Gingrich at 21%, and Paul at 13%.

Santorum's personal popularity is the main reason for his sudden reemergence as a relevant player in the GOP race. In all 3 of these states his favorability is over 70% - 74/17 in Minnesota, 72/17 in Missouri, and 71/19 in Colorado. He's far better liked than his main opponents- Romney's favorability is 47-60% in those states and Gingrich's is 47-48%. While Romney and Gingrich have hammered each other in recents weeks Santorum's been largely left alone and he's benefiting from that now.

There are three groups Santorum's winning in all three of these states: Tea Partiers, Evangelicals, and those describing themselves as 'very conservative.' Those were groups that had previously been in Gingrich's column, but it appears right leaning Republican voters are shifting toward Santorum as their primary alternative to Romney. 

If Santorum does pick up two wins and a 2nd place finish tomorrow that trend is likely to be accelerated. “Rick Santorum has the potential to firmly establish himself as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney today,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “If he can pick up two wins and a second it will raise significant questions about both Romney’s inevitability and about the purpose for Newt Gingrich’s continued presence in the race.”

PPP surveyed 938 likely Republican caucus voters in Colorado with a margin of error of +/-3.2% and 864 likely Republican caucus voters in Minnesota with a margin of error of +/-3.3% on February 4th and 6th, as well as 958 likely primary voters in Missouri on February 6th with a margin of error of +/-3.2%. This poll was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization.  PPP surveys are conducted through automated.

Source: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/02/big-day-for-santorum.html