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July 14, 2014, 8:42 am

Santorum poised to take Pa.

If a new poll is correct, Pennsylvania’s Republicans are poised to throw their support to Rick Santorum in the state’s April 24 primary. According to a poll released by Quinnipiac University, Santorum leads over all other Republican contenders for president.

The new data, released Tuesday, demonstrated how volatile the Republican primary has been.

“The last time we surveyed the Keystone State, during the [Newt] Gingrich boomlet in December, the former House Speaker led the GOP pack with 31 percent, followed by Mitt Romney with 17 percent and Santorum with 9 percent,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

But, Santorum now leads, with Romney being his closest contender.

Quinnipiac found that Santorum would beat Romney 36 to 22 percent if the primary election were held immediately. Paul ranked third in the numbers, with 12 percent support among state Republicans. Gingrich would net only 8 percent.

The same poll found that in a head to head match with Romney, Santorum would capture 52 percent of the vote to Romney’s 32 percent.

Malloy attributed that substantial lead to doubts about Romney’s religion and conservative credentials.

“Santorum’s lead among conservatives, tea party members and white evangelical Christians is what we have found in other states,” he said.

The state’s Republican women showed more enthusiasm for Santorum then men.

In the four-person Republican contest, Santorum would beat Romney 41 to 18 percent among women and 30 to 27 percent among men, 50 to 21 percent among tea party members, 44 to 20 percent among self-described conservatives and 46 to 17 percent among white evangelical Christians.

Quinnipiac also found that more state Republicans trust Santorum — by a 52 to 7 percent margin they said that Santorum has more honesty and integrity than most people in public life; that compared to 25 to 14 percent for Romney in response to the same question.

They also thought Santorum was more likely to stand by his word. Pollsters found 49 to 8 percent that Santorum changes his position less often than most public figures and 27 to 7 percent that Romney changes his position more than most public figures.

When Santorum did change his mind, more participants attributed it to principle – 49 to 41 percent responded that Santorum changes his position on issues because of politics rather than principle; 74 to 17 percent said that Romney changes his position on issues because of politics rather than principle.

A poll released last week by Quinnipiac found that among all Pennsylvania voters Obama held a slight edge. If Pennsylvania voters had to choose today between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, Obama would edge out Romney by a razor thin margin of 45 percent to 42 percent. The president would more easily win re-election over former Sen. Rick Santorum. Quinnipiac showed Obama winning a hypothetical contest with Santorum by 48 to 41 percent margin.

 

Contact staff writer Eric Mayes at (215) 893-5742 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .