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Pew Poll: Santorum 30, Romney 28 (Updated)

A two-person race emerging?

3:11 PM, Feb 13, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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A new Pew poll of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters finds Rick Santorum with a slight lead over Mitt Romney in the GOP presidential race, 30 percent to 28 percent. Seventeen percent support Newt Gingrich, and 12 percent support Ron Paul. The poll was conducted between February 8 and February 12, after Santorum's sweep in the Missouri primary and the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses last Tuesday.

Santorum and Romney

Santorum has improved from his position in two previous Pew polls in early and mid-January, where he only received 16 percent and 14 percent support, respectively. Romney, on the other hand, is slightly down from the mid-January Pew poll, when he had 31 percent support. 

Pew also found that Santorum has an advantage among Tea Party supporters, conservatives, and white evangelical voters within the Republican party. Forty-two percent of Tea Party supporters favor Santorum (compared with 23 percent for Romney), while 36 percent of conservatives, and 41 percent of white evangelicals favor Santorum (25 percent and 23 percent for Romney, respectively).

In hypothetical general election match-ups, Romney and Santorum both lose to Barack Obama, according to Pew. Romney does slightly better against Obama, losing 52 percent to 44 percent, than Santorum does, losing 53 percent to 43 percent.

Update: Gallup's daily tracking poll of the Republican primary race shows Santorum surging to statistically tie Romney. Santorum has 30 percent support, 2 points behind Romney's 32 percent.

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