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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Poll: Santorum Opens up Double-Digit Lead Nationally

Rick Santorum leads his next closest GOP presidential rival, Mitt Romney, by 12 points, according to the latest national survey from conservative polling outlet Rasmussen.

Santorum took 39 percent support from likely GOP-primary voters, followed by Romney at 27 percent, Newt Gingrich at 15 percent and Ron Paul 10 percent.

Santorum was scarcely in the picture just over a week ago, sitting in third place in the same poll and trailing Romney by 16 percent. The former Pennsylvania senator swept a trio of nominating contests in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri last week and has been rising in the polls ever since.

The latest data from Gallup confirms the Santorum surge but shows a much closer race, with Romney leading 33 percent to 31 percent over Santorum. On Feb. 6, Santorum trailed Romney 37 percent to 16 percent, according to Gallup.

Perhaps the most shocking finding in the Rasmussen poll was in the head-to-head match-up between Romney and Santorum, in which Santorum wallops the former Massachusetts governor 55 percent to 34 percent nationally.

It’s the first time a GOP candidate has topped Romney in a one-on-one match-up, according to Rasmussen, and is further indication that GOP primary voters remain hungry for an alternative to Romney.

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