GOP Presidential Race: Tag, You’re It! – Santorum Leads Poll

Rick Santorum - photo by Gage Skidmore

The ultra-conservative wing of the Republican party continues to exert its influence on the GOP presidential race. They have vaulted every candidate – other than Ron Paul – to temporary front-runner status in a search for their idea of the perfect candidate. This week it is Rick Santorum’s turn to enjoy a lead in a prominent national poll.

Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Rick Santorum leading Mitt Romney 38% to 23%. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul trail with 17% and 13%.

From PPP – Santorum surges into the national lead:

Part of the reason for Santorum’s surge is his own high level of popularity. 64% of voters see him favorably to only 22% with a negative one. But the other, and maybe more important, reason is that Republicans are significantly souring on both Romney and Gingrich. Romney’s favorability is barely above water at 44/43, representing a 23 point net decline from our December national poll when he was +24 (55/31). Gingrich has fallen even further. A 44% plurality of GOP voters now hold a negative opinion of him to only 42% with a positive one. That’s a 34 point drop from 2 months ago when he was at
+32 (60/28).

While I never imagined Santorum would ever lead a national poll, I still maintain he is unelectable. That is also my opinion of Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. The only Republican candidate that has any chance of being elected president is Mitt Romney, but with Republicans – and the general public – finding more reasons to dislike Romney in recent weeks, the chance of any Republican winning the White House appears diminished.

But there is still a lot of time between now and November. Liberals and progressives should not assume a second term is a lock for President Obama.

dks

photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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Election 2012Politics

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