Romney a Virginia Shoo-In, but Few Like Him
Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich aren't on the state's ballot
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2012 9:54 AM CST
Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at Skyline High School on March 1, 2012 in Idaho Falls, Idaho.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Mitt Romney has a more than healthy lead in Virginia, despite the fact that not a whole lot of people there actually like him. Romney leads Ron Paul 56% to 21% in a new Roanoke College poll—Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich didn't manage to make it onto the ballot in the state. Even if Santorum and Gingrich were included, Romney would still be slightly ahead, with 31% to Santorum's 27%.

But Romney's favorability in the state is at just 36%—only nine percentage points above Obama's rating among GOP primary voters. Rick Santorum scored highest in that metric, with 47%, while Paul (29%) and Gingrich (25%) fared even worse than Romney. "You would expect at least one of them to top the 50% approval rating mark, but none of them did" said Roanoke's polling director. "Whichever candidate gets the GOP nomination, he will have a lot of work to do in Virginia."