In Missouri, where the next Republican primary will take place (next Tuesday), a new poll by PPP shows Rick Santorum leading Mitt Romney by 11 percentage points — 45 to 34 percent — while Ron Paul has 13 percent support. Newt Gingrich isn’t on the ballot in Missouri, so the Show Me State offers a prime opening for Santorum to build on his earlier victory in neighboring Iowa.

Perhaps even more encouraging for Santorum are the candidates’ respective favorability ratings among prospective primary voters in the state. Santorum’s net favorability rating is +42 percent (63 percent favorable to 21 percent unfavorable), compared to +10 percent for Romney (46 percent favorable to 36 percent unfavorable). (Paul’s net favorability rating is minus-29 percent — 28 percent favorable to 57 percent unfavorable.)

A tip for all three candidates: If you win in Missouri next Tuesday, celebrate at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard.

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