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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Santorum Gaining Ground Among California GOP Voters

Posted By on Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 2:00 PM

The new hero of California GOP voters?
  • The new hero of California GOP voters?

Mitt Romney, the leading contender for the GOP presidential nomination, has to watch his back among voters in California's Republican primary, according to a new poll.

The poll from the Public Policy Institute of California shows that U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum is surging here, and is closing the distance behind Romney. The Institute found that 22 percent of likely Republican voters say they will support Santorum in the state's June 2 primary, compared to 28 percent for Romney.

That's still a lead -- but the disturbing news for the Romney campaign is that Santorum has gained 18 points in California polling since December.

The news comes in the wake of Romney's inconclusive showing on Super Tuesday, which has Republicans worried that their primary is going to be drawn out to the last minute, as the former Massachusetts governor repeatedly fails to outpace Santorum. Under these circumstances, California's late primary could be unusually significant for the contest.

Regardless of Santorum's surge, the poll found that California should remain firmly in the Democratic column come the general election. PPIC's polling indicates that President Obama has a 16-point lead over a GOP challenger.

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Peter Jamison

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