Santorum Ties Romney According to Nationwide Gallup Poll

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Can Santorum emerge as the new frontrunner going into Super Tuesday? Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

The GOP race may soon have a new frontrunner, as poll numbers released by Gallup February 13 are 32 percent for Romney and 30 percent for Santorum — a difference within the margin of error, so considered a statistical tie.

It seems as if Santorum may also be securing more delegates, as the most current polling, conducted by Public Policy Polling, has him with a 15 point lead over Romney in Michigan, which will hold its primary on February 28. This number is striking, since Michigan is Romney’s home state.

Gallup Polling Methodology

The nationwide polling numbers were gathered via Gallup daily tracking reports. Sampling analyzed for this data included 1162 self-identified Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents who are registered to vote. Interviewees were contacted via random dialing of cell phones and landlines, between February 8 and February 12. Gallup polls with live interviewers, and uses a minimum quota for 400 cell phone contacts and 600 landline contacts per 1000 interviews. The margin of error was +/-4 points.

A Surge-Following-Win Trend?

In its daily tracking report, Gallup identified what appears to be a trend in which a candidate experiences a surge immediately following primary or caucus wins. After the Iowa caucuses, which resulted in a virtual tie between Romney and Santorum, both candidates experienced increasing Gallup poll numbers — 6 points for Romney, and 12 points for Santorum, who had been considered a lower rung candidate up to that point. Romney’s New Hampshire win saw his numbers go up 7 points, and Gingrich experienced a new surge when his poll numbers increased by 9 points following his South Carolina win. Romney recovered his lead after winning Florida, surging by 10 points. His Nevada win, however, was out-shadowed by Santorum’s surprising three-state sweep three days later. The February 7 wins in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota apparently resulted in a 14 point surge for Santorum, enough to propel him into a tie with Romney for frontrunner.

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