Gallup Polls Indicate Santorum Leading for Nomination, Romney Most Electable

By

Home / Gallup Polls Indicate Santorum Leading for Nomination, Romney Most Electable

Is the Sample Significant?

Polling related to the GOP primary may be different than polling related to the general election. Photo credit: Tom Arthur

It is difficult to ascertain any solid theories by comparing these polls, since they are related to two separate elections: the GOP primary and the general election. Republican samples have been notoriously wishy-washy in most polls throughout this election cycle, often rapidly switching favorability to the candidate who secured the most recent win.

While Santorum is clearly on the rise, it is impossible to know whether his lead will be consistent, especially if national polls continue to suggest poor electability.  The national sample polled by USA Today included Republicans, Democrats and Independents. When asked whether Romney or Santorum has a better chance against Obama, a small percentage of respondents voluntarily answered either “both” or “neither,” but more than 50 percent of the remaining sample consistently answered “Romney” even when the sample was broken down to only include Republicans. This indicates that Santorum’s chances against Obama are not only questioned by the general electorate, but by Republican voters as well.

Interpreting the Results

While these two polls are not contradictory, since they asked two distinctly different questions to two different samples, many Republicans who read them will likely interpret them as conflicting. The comparison illustrates a divide between Republicans whose main goal is removing Obama from office, and Republicans who are more concerned with selecting a conservative candidate.

It would appear, based on these results from Gallup, that there is a percentage of the Republican electorate who would declare Santorum their preferred candidate, but admit that Romney stands the best chance of winning the general election. It remains to be seen who these voters will ultimately support for the nomination, and whether their enthusiasm to vote in the general election will be affected.

Sources

Gallup. Santorum Expands Lead but Romney Get Electability VoteAccessed February 23, 2012.

Click to Return to Page One: GOP Polls Show Santorum Leading for Nomination

Leave a Comment