Poll: Big lead for Santorum in Tennessee

Santorum took 40 percent of the support, followed by Mitt Romney at 19 percent, Newt Gingrich at 13 percent and Ron Paul at 11 percent.

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Tennessee is one of 10 states to vote in the March 6 Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses. The other contests on that day will take place in Oklahoma, Georgia, Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Vermont and Virginia.

The poll was conducted between Feb. 13 to 25 and has a four-point margin of error.

“Tennessee appears to be heading into Santorum’s Super Tuesday column,” said the university poll's associate director, Jason Reineke, in a statement.

Still, a lot could change in the next week. Santorum’s poll numbers have been declining, and he missed the opportunity to knock off front-runner Romney in Michigan on Tuesday.

Gingrich, who hopes to make another run as the conservative alternative to Romney, has pulled to within 9 points of Santorum nationally, according to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday.

Gingrich also leads in his home state of Georgia and is campaigning in Tennessee this week. The former House speaker has staked his bid on performing well in Southern states; his sole victory thus far was in South Carolina.