THE STUDY MARCH 5, 2012
Tomorrow is Super Tuesday, when Republicans in ten states will cast their primary votes. Mitt Romney needs decisive wins to strengthen his tenuous frontrunner status, and he can’t be pleased about recent news that he definitely supported a federal mandate to purchase health insurance. As Romney’s damning (to conservatives, anyway) record becomes clearer, is he losing their support?
Somewhat surprisingly, a poll released by Gallup today doesn’t seem to bear out that idea. Romney’s national lead has now jumped to 16 points over Rick Santorum, which, according to Gallup, “suggests that he may do better than expected in the 10 Super Tuesday states.” Among the subgroups in the poll, Romney even leads Santorum among conservatives and weekly churchgoers. But while the poll has some good news for Romney, he’s not out of the woods yet. Yes, as a local figure, he’ll probably prevail in Massachusetts and Vermont, and he’ll probably take Virginia as well (Ron Paul is the only other candidate on the ballot in that state, and write-ins aren’t allowed). But Romney is expected to lose in Georgia, and he’ll face tough battles in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Ohio. Those are hardly the prospects of a strong frontrunner.