NYT/CBS Poll Shows Conservatives Consolidating Behind Santorum

HotairEd Morrissey

Consider this a corroboration of Gallup and Pew, both of which have recorded a surge for Rick Santorum that makes him the national frontrunner — if not in each state. The CBS/New York Times poll shows Santorum gaining 14 points in a single month, eclipsing Mitt Romney by three points (still within the MOE), whose support stayed virtually unchanged from January. Almost all of the gain comes at the expense of Newt Gingrich, who dropped to fourth place behind Ron Paul among Republican primary voters:

Rick Santorum has pulled slightly ahead of Mitt Romney in Republican primary voters’ preference for the presidential nomination, a national CBS News/New York Times Poll shows.

Ron Paul is now in third, followed by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Among self-described conservative voters, the shift has been fairly dramatic. A month ago in this poll series, conservatives were equally split between Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum at 25/25/24 respectively. Now, however, Santorum’s support in this demo has risen to 38%, while Romney has remained steady at 24% and Gingrich dropped by about half to 12%. The same thing has happened to Tea Party support and evangelicals. The dynamic seems to be a movement away from Gingrich and a consolidation among conservative voters behind Santorum as the alternative to Romney, at least for now.

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