Romney, Santorum: It's a Tie

Two candidates are basically sharing first place at this point

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 14, 2012 7:19 AM CST | Updated Feb 14, 2012 7:50 AM CST

(Newser) – Three polls, three declarations about Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum: virtual tie, statistical tie, and essential tie. According to Pew, Gallup, and the New York Times/CBS News, Romney officially has some company at the top following Santorum's wins in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri:

  • Pew's poll, released yesterday, puts Santorum at 30% to Romney's 28% among Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters. Santorum easily captures the top spot among Tea Party Republican voters (42% to 23%) and evangelical Republican voters (41% to 23%). One bright spot for Romney: 70% of his supporters believe the GOP would back him if he becomes the nominee; only 54% of Santorum's supporters feel the same.

  • Gallup's poll, also released yesterday, found that 32% of Republican registered voters preferred Romney, and 30% favor Santorum. That's a 14-point jump for Santorum in recent days, and Gallup notes that his rise came at the expense of every candidate: He grabbed five points from Romney, six from Newt Gingrich, and three from Ron Paul. Side note: Paul's support hit a 2012 low: 8%.
  • The New York Times/CBS poll out today shows that 30% of GOP primary voters support Santorum, to Romney's 27%. But it's still anyone's game: Last month, 74% of voters who backed a candidate said they might still change their pick; that has dropped, but only to 60%.

Volunteers supporting Republican presidential hopefuls Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney vie for attention as America's political right gathers for the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Volunteers supporting Republican presidential hopefuls Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney vie for attention as America's political right gathers for the Conservative Political Action Conference.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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