(Week of 3/31/2012) Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has a large lead in delegates, but most Republican voters don’t believe the race needs to end quite yet. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, only 26% want all the other contenders to drop out now, leaving Romney free to concentrate on the fall campaign against President Obama.
There is some consensus about one particular candidate leaving the race: an additional 32% think former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, trailing badly in recent polls, and occasionally performing no better than Texas Congressman Ron Paul, should quit. That would leave former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum as Romney’s sole conservative challenger. More than four in ten GOP voters want the competition to continue until one person clinches the nomination, something that may not happen until June.
Romney’s position has improved only marginally in the last week in this poll. Then, he and Santorum were tied at 31% each. This week, Romney has a three-point edge.
As has been the case in exit polls thus far in the primary season, Romney does better with college-educated voters than he does with those who have not attended college. He has even made inroads with Tea Party identifiers. Romney and Santorum are tied when they are matched head-to-head. Romney trails narrowly in the fall matchup against President Obama, who leads the GOP frontrunner by three points among all registered voters. Santorum would lose to the President by seven points if the election were being held today.
Photo source: Press Association