Poll Digest – What We Are Being Told About What We Think (This Week, at Least)

By Jack Palmer 02-15-2012

Two new polls have been released this week that have caught the eye – one from The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the second from Rasmussen. Both show shifts in the number of people supporting GOP Presidential Candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, and some rather large shifts at that.

Published today, Rasmussen’s national survey gave former Pennsylvania Senator Santorum a 12-point lead over Mitt Romney, who served as Governor of Massachusetts 2003-2007. Santorum is shown to be polling at 39 percent (of likely Republican voters) and Romney coming in second with 27 precent.

In a head-to-head match-up between this week’s frontrunners, Rick Santorum is shown to be performing even better. 55 percent of likely GOP primary voters said that they would vote for him if Mitt Romney was the alternative – 34 percent said that they would vote for Romney. For the full report, visit Rasmussen’s report here.

According to Pew’s polling, there is now clear distance between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney in the race to win the coveted support of White Evangelical voters. The latest poll shows that 41% of White Evangelical Republicans registered to vote support the former Senator, while 23 percent support Mitt Romney, just ahead of the 20 percent who support former front-runner (and former House Speaker) Newt Gingrich. Santorum also leads the field amongst White Catholic Republicans, while Romney is favored by White mainline Protestants who identify as Republicans.

Looking towards November’s General Election, Pew’s polling identifies leads of 8 percent and 10 percent for President Obama over Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum respectively. However, the Republican candidates still have strong support from White Evangelicals – with 76 percent supporting Romney over Obama and 74 percent supporting Santorum in a similar match-up. Around one in five white evangelicals support President Obama over potential Republican candidates. A full examination of Pew’s polling can be viewed here.

With two weeks before the next round of primary contests, expect to see more polls trying to predict who will be leading the GOP into the Presidential election in November.

Jack Palmer is a communications assistant at Sojourners. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackPalmer88.

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