Poll: Santorum opens up double-digit national lead over Romney

Rick Santorum has opened up a double-digit lead over rival Mitt Romney in Gallup's latest daily tracking poll

The survey finds Santorum with support from 36 percent of registered Republicans nationally, topping Romney at 26 percent.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) follows at 13 percent, with Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 11 percent support.

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The margin is a boost from Sunday's numbers, which showed Santorum ahead of Romney by 8 percentage points with 36 percent support to 28 percent.

Romney has slid in the Gallup poll since Santorum's victories in the Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri GOP contests on Feb. 7.

Last Monday's Gallup numbers, the first since Santorum's upset victories, had shown Santorum and Romney in a virtual dead heat, with Romney edging Santorum 32 percent to 30 percent, a lead within the poll's margin of error.

Santorum and Romney are locked in tight races in Arizona and Michigan, the next two GOP primary contests.

A Public Policy Polling survey released Monday shows Romney leading Santorum in Arizona 36 percent to 33 percent, an edge within the 4.8 percent margin of error.

In Michigan, Monday's Public Policy Polling survey showed Santorum ahead of Romney 37 percent to 33 percent. But Romney appears to have the momentum in that state with Santorum's 15-point lead in a PPP poll last week being whittled down to 4 points.

Romney, who was raised in Michigan and whose father served as governor there, was expected to coast to victory in the state. Many political watchers believe a loss in his home state could send the Romney campaign into turmoil.

The Gallup poll was conducted over five days, from Feb. 15 to Feb. 19 and has a four-point margin of error.