Poll Confirms Santorum Surge to Second Behind Gingrich; 35% Gingrich, 26% Santorum, 16% Romney

(Atlanta)–A poll of 1,475 Georgia Republican voters released Friday morning by Landmark Communications and Rosetta Stone Communications confirms a surge to second place by former Senator Rick Santorum in the Georgia Presidential Preference election.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who represented a Georgia district in Congress, leads the field with 35%. Santorum has moved to second place with 26% in Georgia in the wake of his resounding “hat trick” series of three wins this week in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado.

“Gingrich leads, and the fight seems for now to have become a battle for second place,” said Mark Rountree, President of Landmark Communications, Inc.  “The race remains volatile.”

“Voter preferences continue to be fluid,” said John Garst, President of Rosetta Stone Communications, LLC. “The question is whether Santorum’s surge can hold until Super Tuesday, or whether it’s just reflecting the news week.”

Landmark Communications and Rosetta Stone Communications are political firms based in Atlanta, Georgia. The firms regularly conduct and release public opinion surveys regarding politics.

Landmark Communications and Rosetta Stone Communications jointly sponsored, conducted and paid for the poll.

Landmark Communications can be found at http://landmarkcommunications.net

Rosetta Stone Communications can be found at www.politicalecalling.com

METHODOLOGY

The poll was conducted Thursday, February 9, 2012 of 1,475 voters who voted in either the 2008 Republican Presidential Preference Primary, or the 2010 Republican General Primary Election. The poll results reflect only those respondents who stated that they intend to vote in the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary. The poll was conducted by telephone using IVR technology. The margin of error on the survey is 2.55%.

The sample was randomly drawn from Republican Primary voters originally made available from the Office of the Secretary of State of Georgia. To be consistent with previous and projected voter turnout, the sample is stratified based on race, age, and gender.

37 comments

  1. kyleinatl says:

    If there was ever a way to insure re-election for President Obama, it would be the nomination of Rick Santorum.

  2. KD_fiscal conservative says:

    I said the Gingrich “surge” would eliminated after Florida, and it was. The same will happened to Ricky. He will be bombarded by the Romney surrogates(his supporters in Congress, his superPAC, friends in the media…etc.) and I guarantee any remnants of the Santorum surge will be cleaned up. Santorum was a Big Government “conservative” during his time in congress(No Child Left Behind, earmarks, Medicare Part D, union support….etc.) and Romney has the money to make sure every single voter in the upcoming primaries knows it. As I said a long, long time ago, Romney will be the nominee, but I do admit, I didn’t think his negatives would be so high already. Romney already has the Big Government and moderate Republican support, which Santorum won’t get, and he will lose his conservative support once enough of them find out about his big spending ways.

  3. Santorum presents the clearest contrast to Obama because he’s the only candidate left (not named Ron Paul) who opposed TARP, never supported an individual mandate, and hasn’t flip-flopped on a plethora of important issues. He can also attract blue collar workers, something Republicans haven’t done since Reagan, and he’s likable. Pair Santorum with a VP choice like Bobby Jindal and we absolutely can win.

    Y’all need to relax, put on a sweater vest and join Team Santorum.

    • CobbGOPer says:

      As I’ve said earlier, Santorum is a big-government conservative. He’s great on all the (in my opinion) unimportant social issues, but when it comes to fiscal governance, the guy hasn’t met an earmark he didn’t like. His spending policies will be no better than President Obama’s are now.

      • Three Jack says:

        Don’t forget Santorum’s over reaching involvement in the Terry Schiavo case as well. That in particular should cause alarms to go off for anybody who fears big government meddling around in local affairs at the behest of a single over zealous, theocratic senator.

    • You say tomato, I say tomato.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2012/02/09/rick-santorums-1994-alternative-to-the-individual-mandate/

      Quote Forbes on Santorum’s then plan: “It’s certainly the kind of subtle distinction that could get lost on a journalist.” Santorum’s plan would have set up a federally funded and run high risk pool for people who couldn’t get insurance. And if you were above 200% of the poverty line you wouldn’t be allowed to file for bankruptcy or get into the high risk pool until you spent down all of your medical bills.

      So basically, if you chose not to get insurance and then racked up $20k in medical bills and you clearly COULD have afforded to have insurance, before you can file for bankruptcy and get into the new high risk pool (or get any government subsidies to buy health insurance) you have to use your own hard earned money to pay down your bills that you ran up.

      KIND OF LIKE A MANDATE. I mean seriously conservatives, take some advice from me. You can’t run an entire political movement/election on a WORD. We get it – you don’t like the word “mandate”. But every alternative proposal even from people like Santorum who are allegedly “clean” on this issue basically boils down to a mandate. That’s why it’s such a loser issue.

      Let’s say Santorum’s idea from 1994 replaced the Obamacare mandate – then what? Once everyone over 200% of the poverty line found out that there would be no more medical bankruptcies they’d pretty much have to buy insurance – and everyone below 200% would probably end up on Medicaid or something similar anyway if they’re not already there (or employed).

      You do realize that all this mandate business is essentially the difference between telling someone you can only have 1 cookie vs telling someone to take as many cookies as they want from a jar that’s only got 1 cookie in it, don’t you? The basic principle is fairness and access to healthcare, and whether you do it like Obama, Romney, Santorum or some other way the end result is identical. The sooner the conservative movement gets over their boneheaded allergy to the word mandate, the better for them. As a Democrat I hope they don’t get that prescription filled until after November.

    • KD_fiscal conservative says:

      Seriously, Buzz??

      You’re defending someone who openly wants to distort the market by favoring specific sectors( manufactoring). He also strongly supported top down education policy(No Child) and even supported the expansion of socialized gov’t insurance(medicare part D). This guy is NOT a conservative.

      Simply opposing TARP when he wasn’t in position to vote on the matter, doesn’t qualify for him office..and the only “plethora of important issues” that come to mind are social in nature.

    • Calypso says:

      Yeah, seriously Buzz? If you are riding on Santorum’s bus now, well, I’m sorry to learn that about you.

  4. Three Jack says:

    The more I watch the GOP 2012 Final Four, the more I wish there was some secret, backroom contest going on i.e. Top Chef Texas where a former candidate re-emerges to join the campaign again. Or even better, a previously unannounced candidate jumps in fully aware of the likelihood of a brokered convention.

    The CPAC speeches of Paul, Santorum and Romney are so dull, repetitive and void of bold solutions, it is no wonder most conservatives like myself are disappointed with our remaining choices. Newt takes the stage later with a real opportunity to steal the show, but he has proven over the past few months to be just as volatile as the reputation that precedes him. How does the GOP with four years to prepare and no restrictions on who can join the field end up with a final four so disliked by the majority of those they seek to impress?

    Ultimately the GOP ends up in this position almost every election cycle because socons have an inordinate amount of influence over the nominating process. The Tea Party has worked to change this imbalance, but unfortunately most in TP leadership positions are ficons in name only (FINOs I guess) having spent previous elections advocating social issues. Eventually the GOP will be forced to put criminalizing abortions behind fiscal issues if it hopes to have broad based enthusiastic support from the ficon faction.

  5. bowersville says:

    Romney has to be the one in a quandary coming to Georgia based on these numbers. Look at SC and the panhandle of FL that went for Gingrich. Both similar to GA. Romney blasts Gingrich, Santorum’s numbers go up. Romney blasts Santorum, Gingrich goes up. Romney blasts Gingrich and Santorum and both their numbers go down. But where does that leave room for Romney to build himself up while firing both barrels at Santorum and Gingrich?

  6. Mark – any guesses on how people who didn’t meet the screen requirements might vote – first time voters or Hillary/Barnes Democrats from ’08/’10 who don’t have anything to show up for on our side? For example: DeKalb unincorporated votes on Sunday sales – some of those people might look at the sample ballot and decide to weigh in.

    Not trying to criticise the poll here, just curious what your thoughts are.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      That’s a good point. Polls typically including ‘likely republican voters’ may not be as applicable/accurate as past years. Young people are essentially excluded by default with that criteria, but I wonder how many disappointed Obama voters from ’08 might decide to weigh in on the republican side.

    • Jane says:

      This is not possible to measure scientifically. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Guessing on the number, behavior and demographic of first time voters is not a scientific measure.

  7. NoTeabagging says:

    Landmark Communications and Rosetta Stone Communications also relentlessly robocalls voters, many times in the wrong districts, on behalf of political campaigns. They will not maintain or use a ‘Do Not Call’ list.

  8. CadeThacker says:

    Last I checked there are 4 people running for office. But I only see three names in the title and body of the article. The forth guy is the one with two first names. Rhymes with Don Fall.

    I assume this was an “honest mistake” (it seems to be something that spreads like a virus as this youtube clips of all the major MSM programs show)

    It is sad to me that sometimes I think Jon Stewart is more accurate than other news sources:

    Jon Stewart — 13th Floor of Hotel

    John and Mark — I highly respect both of your companies. I have even sent business to both of you, I’m highly disappointed in this. I’m not asking that you give him special treatment, just equal treatment. If he only got 1% then fine, just mention it. All I’m asking.

    • Cade, all candidates were listed as options. But with Ron Paul at 5% of the vote, candidly he just didn’t constitute press release headline material. The relevant news as we see it is that Gingrich still leads (as of Thursday evening), and Santorum has moved to second place over Romney. If Ron Paul was either making news or in the hunt, we would have happily included him in the headline. But as of Thursday evening, he was neither. So Ron Paul’s result was included in the body of the text.

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