Now Reading
Poll: Santorum leads GOP contenders
nationworld

From the archive: This story is more than 10 years old.

Poll: Santorum leads GOP contenders

Mitt Romney trailing by 16 percent in survey

  • Rick Santorum
    Gage Skidmore/FlickrRick Santorum

If these numbers hold up to scrutiny, Rick Santorum may have benefited more than anyone else from Republican dislike of Mitt Romney.

According a new poll released Saturday, Santorum for the first time has taken the nationwide lead in the GOP race for the presidential nomination, opening a 15-point gulf between himself and former Massachusetts governor. The survey by Public Policy Polling (aligned with the governing Democratic Party) puts Santorum at 38 percent and Romney 23 percent.

Santorum last week swept three states, Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, taking the shine off of Mitt Romney’s commanding win in Florida’s primary on Jan 31.

A Fox News poll released Friday had Romney at 33 percent and Santorum at 23 percent, according to Sunshine State News.

The results of ongoing caucuses in Maine were to be announced Saturday evening, according to the Associated Press, which said the contest was likely down to Romney and libertarian contender Ron Paul. Reliable polling in the state, which usually sees relatively tiny levels of participation, does not exist but anecdotal evidence suggests victory is “by no means assured” for Romney, according to the AP.

A defeat in Maine would be the fourth straight primary campaign defeat for Romney, once the presumptive nominee.

Maine has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate in a general election in 24 years.

The New York Times reported that a Romney event in Maine, his first in the state this election cycle, was well attended yesterday but that Romney faced pointed questions about his recent statements on the poor and his efforts to avoid taxation on his vast wealth. He was also interrupted by a heckler angered by policies on hydraulic fracking, or “fracking,” an environmentally risky process for extracting natural gas from underground shale.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

— 30 —

Best in Internet Exploder