Santorum Surges in Polls
GOP starting to worry about lackluster Mitt Romney
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2012 2:38 AM CST
Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum jogs on stage for a rally yesterday in Oklahoma City.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(Newser) – Rick Santorum was gaining support nationwide even before Tuesday's triple win, newly released polls reveal. Gallup's 5-day tracker has him tied with Newt Gingrich for second place nationwide, with 20% to Mitt Romney's 36%. In Pennsylvania, the former senator's home state, a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review poll conducted before Tuesday's vote found that Santorum's support had more than doubled over six weeks to 30%, leaving him in a dead heat with Romney in the swing state.

Republicans are starting to get anxious about Romney's failure to improve his performance and connect with conservatives, the Washington Post finds, although most believe he will still win the nomination. The real loser on Tuesday, Republican insiders say, was Gingrich. Romney's campaign is "playing Santorum and Gingrich off each other,” a GOP strategist says. “They’re basically like whack-a-mole. This week, they’re whacking Santorum; last week, it was Gingrich. The goal is to keep the anti-Romney vote 100% split."