Poll: Santorum builds big, if brief, lead in GOP race

It may be fleeting, but Rick Santorum is riding a wave of enthusiasm about victories in presidential contests in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado earlier in the week to a big lead for the Republican Party nomination in a new national poll.

A Public Policy Polling survey released on Saturday has Santorum with the support of 38 percent among Republican voters, with Mitt Romney at 23 percent, Newt Gingrich at 17 percent and Ron Paul at 13 percent.

Santorum is benefitting from high net favorability among GOP voters (64 percent rate him favorably, 22 percent unfavorably) and the for-the-moment cratering of both Romney and Gingrich. Romney has a +1 net favorability rating (44 percent favorable, 43 percent unfavorable), and Gingrich has a -1 net favorability among Republicans (43 percent favorable, 44 percent unfavorable).

Santorum is also getting majority support from voters who identify themselves as “very conservative” (with 53 percent of that subset supporting Santorum) and Tea Party voters (51 percent support there).

One other interesting tidbit from the numbers: Santorum is the second choice of 58 percent of Gingrich supporters.

More online: www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/02/santorum-surges-into-the-lead.html


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