Santorum No. 1 in New Poll
He seems to have replaced Gingrich as the anti-Romney
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2012 10:02 AM CST
Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum arrives to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Friday, Feb. 10, 2012, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – More good news for Rick Santorum: A new Public Policy Polling national survey says he has surged into first place at 38%, ahead of Mitt Romney (23), Newt Gingrich (17), and Ron Paul (13). Maybe more telling is that his surge is fueled mainly by the most conservative respondents, including Tea Party supporters and evangelicals.

"It used to be that Gingrich was leading with all these groups and Romney was staying competitive enough with them to hold the overall lead," says PPP. "No more—a consensus conservative candidate finally seems to be emerging and it's Santorum." But does he really have a chance at the nomination? Nate Silver at the New York Times advises not to bet against him.