Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is now the clear frontrunner when it comes to which candidate GOP primary voters would like to see emerge as their nominee. In this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll (Week of 2/18/2012), he holds a nine point lead over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Congressman Ron Paul trailing.
Santorum gets particular support from Tea Party identifiers, 52% of whom choose him as their preferred nominee. Romney narrowly leads with non-Tea Party identifiers. Men favor Santorum over Romney by 14 points; women GOP voters by just four points.
Among GOP voters, Santorum appears to be both liked and respected more than his chief competitor. 75% of Republican primary voters have a favorable view of Santorum, compared with the 63% with a favorable view of Romney. More than one in three GOP voters don’t like Romney.
And a third aren’t sure Romney likes them. Although 61% say Romney cares about people like themselves, 39% don’t. 79% believe Santorum cares about them. Moreover, while 85% say Santorum takes positions and sticks to them, more than half believe Romney does not.
So when it comes to choosing between the two men, Republican voter favor Santo-rum by a large margin.
Photo source: Press Association