Gallup poll shows Santorum with 8-point lead over Romney

Gallup's daily tracking poll shows Rick Santorum continuing to gain momentum among national Republican voters, with the former senator now holding an 8 percentage point lead over Mitt Romney.


Santorum earned the support of 36 percent of voters, up one percent from Saturday. Romney fell by one percent to 28 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) held steady at 13 percent and 11 percent respectively.

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Mitt Romney did make up some ground in a hypothetical one-on-one matchup with President Obama, however; Gallup shows the pair now tied at 48 percent each. In the last iteration of the poll, Obama broke 50 percent for the first time, while Romney still earned the support of 48 percent of voters.

The president, meanwhile, looks well-poised if Newt Gingrich can muscle his way back into the Republican race. Obama would be the choice of 53 percent of voters in a hypothetical matchup with the former speaker, while Gingrich would only earn support from 41 percent of voters. That's a drop of seven percentage points for Gingrich, and a gain of three percent for the president.

Gallup did not release a trial heat figure for a hypothetical Santorum-Obama matchup.

Santorum has surged to the front of the GOP field after a trio of surprise wins in Colorado, Missouri, and Minnesota. In a positive sign for the former Pennsylvania senator, a string of controversial remarks - including comments from a major fundraiser joking about birth control, a remark that was interpreted as a challenge of President Obama's Christian values, and remarks decrying women being permitted to serve on the front lines of combat - seem to have done little to dent his popularity among the Republican electorate. Nor have Mitt Romney's recent campaign ads criticizing Santorum for seeking earmarks while serving in Congress slowed his rise.

Santorum and Romney will both be campaigning in the Midwest on President's Day.