Poll: Comments on homosexuality hurt Santorum in NH

Rick Santorum's surge in New Hampshire polls ended Saturday as a Suffolk University survey found his support plateauing.

The two-day tracking poll found Santorum battling Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman for third place in New Hampshire behind Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

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Romney, the longtime front-runner in New Hampshire, scored 39 percent support, according to Suffolk's survey of likely Republican primary voters. Paul is in second with 17 percent. 

Gingrich, who has opted for a more aggressive campaign message, earned 10 percent support, while Huntsman and Santorum are tied with 9 percent.

Coming off a virtual tie in the Iowa caucuses, the Suffolk poll found that Santorum's momentum may have been hurt by a contentious appearance at a college event in Concord, New Hampshire, on Thursday.

Amid boos and occasional cheers, Santorum defended his views on same-sex marriage and legalized marijuana, as he was peppered with questions by a crowd of college students.

Santorum's support among independents, who can vote in New Hampshire's Republican contest, dropped from 6 percent to 3 percent after the college event, according to Suffolk's findings. His support from 18 to 34 year olds dropped from 9 percent to 2 percent.


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