April 3, 2012 - Santorum Leads Romney In Pennsylvania GOP Primary, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; 'Etch A Sketch' Rap Unfair To Romney, Republicans Say

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Favorite Son Rick Santorum leads former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 41 - 35 percent among likely voters in Pennsylvania's Republican presidential primary, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul has 10 percent, with 7 percent for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

With three weeks before the primary, 6 percent of likely voters remain undecided and 37 percent of those who name a candidate say they still could change their mind, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. This is the first look at likely voters and cannot be compared with earlier surveys of registered voters.

Santorum tops Romney 43 - 33 percent among men, while women split 39 - 38 percent. Santorum also leads 53 - 24 percent among white evangelical Christians, 50 - 32 percent among Tea Party members and 48 - 30 percent among self-described conservatives. Romney is ahead 45 - 29 percent among self-described moderates.

"The Keystone State is critical for Sen. Rick Santorum, the native son who must win to reasonably continue the race for the presidency," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Can Santorum hold on against Gov. Mitt Romney's money machine which has turned the tide in other states, washing away Santorum's early leads?

"Pennsylvania is a critical swing state, so the Republican primary winner wants to make a good showing in April to bolster chances for success in November."

By a 59 - 22 percent margin, Pennsylvania likely Republican primary voters have a favorable opinion of Romney, compared to 64 - 24 percent favorable for Santorum, a slightly negative 33 - 36 percent for Paul and a positive 44 - 39 percent favorable for Gingrich.

It's better for the Republican Party if Santorum stays in the race, 57 percent of likely primary voters say, while 33 percent say it's better for the party if Santorum drops out.

Pennsylvania likely Republican primary voters also see native son Santorum as more principled than Romney, saying:
  • 52 - 7 percent that Santorum has more honesty and integrity than most people in public life, with 36 percent saying about the same;
  • 25 - 14 percent that Romney has more honesty and integrity than most people in public life, with 55 percent saying about the same;
  • 49 - 8 percent that Santorum changes his position less often than most public figures, with 38 percent saying about the same;
  • 27 - 7 percent that Romney changes his position more than most public figures, with 60 percent saying about the same;
  • 49 - 41 percent that Santorum changes his position on issues because of politics rather than principle;
  • 74 - 17 percent that Romney changes his position on issues because of politics rather than principle.
Likely Republican primary voters say 52 - 37 percent that the "Etch A Sketch" criticism of Romney is an unfair attack.

"It looks like the Etch A Sketch gaffe was a one week wonder and has run its course as far as damaging Romney, if it damaged him at all," Malloy said.

"Rick Santorum can take some solace in knowing Republican voters, at least in Pennsylvania, believe he flip flops with less frequency than Mitt Romney."

From March 27 - April 1, Quinnipiac University surveyed 647 likely Repub1ican primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. If the Republican primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were: Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Gingrich, Romney, Santorum or Paul? (Table includes leaners and early voters)
                     LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS..........................
                                                        WhtBrnAgnEv   TEA PARTY
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Con    Mod    Yes    No     Yes    No
 
Gingrich              7%     8%     5%     6%     9%     8%     6%     9%     6%
Romney               35     33     38     30     45     24     43     32     37
Santorum             41     43     39     48     29     53     39     50     37
Paul                 10     12      9     11      8      7     10      7     12
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 6      4      9      4      8      8      3      2      7
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+
 
Gingrich              6%     7%     8%    10%     8%     4%     7%     6%     8%
Romney               47     29     31     26     34     44     31     33     44
Santorum             31     46     37     44     46     39     41     47     36
Paul                 12     10      9     13     10     12     15      9      5
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 4      8     14      7      3      1      5      4      7
 
 
1a. (Candidate choice given q1) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS
                            CAND CHOICE Q1
                     Tot    MR     RS
 
Mind made up         61%    63%    64%
Might change         37     35     34
DK/NA                 2      1      3
 
 
2. Is your opinion of Mitt Romney favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS..........................
                                                        WhtBrnAgnEv   TEA PARTY
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Con    Mod    Yes    No     Yes    No
 
Favorable            59%    60%    58%    61%    58%    59%    63%    63%    58%
Unfavorable          22     24     19     23     20     22     23     22     23
Hvn't hrd enough     16     13     20     14     18     16     13     15     16
REFUSED               3      2      3      2      4      3      1      -      3
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+
 
Favorable            73%    53%    42%    54%    62%    70%    55%    59%    65%
Unfavorable          15     26     20     29     24     19     26     24     16
Hvn't hrd enough     10     19     33     16     12     10     19     14     14
REFUSED               3      3      6      2      2      1      1      2      5
 
 
3. Is your opinion of Newt Gingrich favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS..........................
                                                        WhtBrnAgnEv   TEA PARTY
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Con    Mod    Yes    No     Yes    No
 
Favorable            44%    51%    36%    53%    32%    44%    47%    65%    39%
Unfavorable          39     38     41     33     49     35     43     28     44
Hvn't hrd enough     14      9     20     11     17     17      9      6     14
REFUSED               3      2      4      3      3      4      2      1      3
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+
 
Favorable            44%    45%    34%    49%    51%    46%    47%    44%    43%
Unfavorable          43     38     39     36     38     42     34     42     43
Hvn't hrd enough      9     16     24     15      8      9     17     13     10
REFUSED               4      2      3      1      2      3      2      1      4
 
 
4. Is your opinion of Rick Santorum favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS..........................
                                                        WhtBrnAgnEv   TEA PARTY
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Con    Mod    Yes    No     Yes    No
 
Favorable            64%    65%    62%    74%    48%    74%    65%    78%    59%
Unfavorable          24     25     22     20     32     15     27     16     27
Hvn't hrd enough     10      8     12      5     16      7      8      6     11
REFUSED               2      1      4      1      4      5      1      1      2
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+
 
Favorable            58%    67%    60%    70%    66%    62%    66%    67%    61%
Unfavorable          35     18     14     22     24     32     23     22     25
Hvn't hrd enough      6     12     21      4      8      6     10     11      8
REFUSED               1      3      4      4      2      -      1      -      6
 
 
5. Is your opinion of Ron Paul favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS..........................
                                                        WhtBrnAgnEv   TEA PARTY
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Con    Mod    Yes    No     Yes    No
 
Favorable            33%    36%    30%    36%    30%    33%    34%    32%    35%
Unfavorable          36     41     29     40     31     32     41     46     33
Hvn't hrd enough     28     20     39     23     36     32     24     18     30
REFUSED               2      2      2      2      3      2      1      3      2
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+
 
Favorable            39%    31%    27%    31%    35%    40%    39%    32%    27%
Unfavorable          43     33     27     42     39     37     30     41     38
Hvn't hrd enough     16     34     44     22     25     21     30     26     30
REFUSED               3      2      2      5      1      2      1      1      5
 
 
6. Do you think it would be better for the Republican party if Rick Santorum stayed in the Presidential race, or dropped out of the Presidential race?
                     LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS..........................
                                                        WhtBrnAgnEv   TEA PARTY
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Con    Mod    Yes    No     Yes    No
 
Stayed in race       57%    56%    57%    60%    49%    67%    56%    64%    54%
Dropped out of race  33     36     30     31     39     24     36     31     36
DK/NA                10      8     13      8     12     10      8      5     11
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+
 
Stayed in race       45%    62%    57%    62%    61%    49%    60%    61%    49%
Dropped out of race  44     28     28     28     34     42     32     31     37
DK/NA                11     10     16     10      5      9      7      7     14
 
 
7. Compared to most people in public life, do you think - Mitt Romney has more honesty and integrity, less honesty and integrity, or about the same amount?
                     LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS..........................
                                                        WhtBrnAgnEv   TEA PARTY
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Con    Mod    Yes    No     Yes    No
 
More honesty/integ   25%    24%    27%    29%    20%    23%    30%    34%    24%
Less honesty/integ   14     14     14     14     12     14     14     16     13
About the same       55     57     53     53     61     59     54     49     58
DK/NA                 6      5      6      4      6      5      3      2      6
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+
 
More honesty/integ   32%    22%    23%    24%    22%    32%    20%    21%    37%
Less honesty/integ    8     16     11     15     14     14     14     16     10
About the same       56     55     55     56     61     52     64     58     45
DK/NA                 4      6     12      5      3      2      3      5      8
 
 
8. Compared to most people in public life, do you think - Rick Santorum has more honesty and integrity, less honesty and integrity, or about the same amount?
                     LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS..........................
                                                        WhtBrnAgnEv   TEA PARTY
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Con    Mod    Yes    No     Yes    No
 
More honesty/integ   52%    54%    50%    66%    31%    59%    53%    72%    46%
Less honesty/integ    7      7      7      5     11      6      6      5      8
About the same       36     35     37     26     51     31     39     22     41
DK/NA                 5      4      6      3      7      4      2      1      5
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+
 
More honesty/integ   50%    53%    48%    49%    52%    59%    46%    61%    49%
Less honesty/integ   11      5      7      4      6     11      8      6      8
About the same       37     35     36     44     39     27     44     28     35
DK/NA                 2      7      9      4      3      3      2      6      7
 
 
9. Compared to most people in public life, do you think - Mitt Romney changes his positions more often, changes his positions less often, or about the same amount?
                     LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS..........................
                                                        WhtBrnAgnEv   TEA PARTY
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Con    Mod    Yes    No     Yes    No
 
More often           27%    33%    20%    32%    19%    27%    28%    41%    23%
Less often            7      6      9      9      3      8      7      8      7
About the same       60     57     64     55     72     60     61     48     64
DK/NA                 6      4      8      4      6      5      4      4      5
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+
 
More often           23%    30%    30%    35%    29%    23%    23%    33%    26%
Less often            7      7      6      7     10      6      6      8      8
About the same       65     57     50     55     60     68     68     54     56
DK/NA                 5      6     14      3      1      3      3      4      9
 
 
10. Compared to most people in public life, do you think - Rick Santorum changes his positions more often, changes his positions less often, or about the same amount?
                     LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS..........................
                                                        WhtBrnAgnEv   TEA PARTY
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Con    Mod    Yes    No     Yes    No
 
More often            8%     7%     8%     8%     7%     7%     7%     6%     9%
Less often           49     53     44     57     39     56     48     64     44
About the same       38     36     41     32     47     34     42     28     42
DK/NA                 5      3      6      3      6      4      2      2      5
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+
 
More often            6%     8%    14%    11%     4%     4%     6%     9%     9%
Less often           51     49     33     47     56     61     50     56     42
About the same       38     38     41     39     39     33     40     33     43
DK/NA                 5      5     12      3      1      3      4      3      7
 
 
11. Do you think most people in public life change their positions usually because of politics or principle?
                     LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS..........................
                                                        WhtBrnAgnEv   TEA PARTY
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Con    Mod    Yes    No     Yes    No
 
Politics             76%    77%    75%    77%    77%    71%    83%    78%    75%
Principle            20     19     21     20     18     26     14     20     20
DK/NA                 4      4      4      3      5      3      3      2      4
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+
 
Politics             85%    72%    63%    70%    83%    82%    72%    84%    74%
Principle            12     24     28     27     17     14     26     14     19
DK/NA                 3      4      9      3      -      3      2      2      8
 
 
12. When - Mitt Romney changes his position on an issue, do you think it is usually because of politics or principle?
                     LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS..........................
                                                        WhtBrnAgnEv   TEA PARTY
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Con    Mod    Yes    No     Yes    No
 
Politics             74%    76%    73%    74%    77%    73%    73%    74%    76%
Principle            17     17     17     18     16     20     18     21     17
DK/NA                 8      7     10      8      7      7      8      5      8
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+
 
Politics             77%    73%    70%    79%    80%    72%    79%    77%    67%
Principle            16     18     24     14     12     22     15     13     24
DK/NA                 7      9      6      7      8      6      5      9      9
 
 
13. When - Rick Santorum changes his position on an issue, do you think it is usually because of politics or principle?
                     LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS..........................
                                                        WhtBrnAgnEv   TEA PARTY
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Con    Mod    Yes    No     Yes    No
 
Politics             49%    51%    48%    44%    62%    40%    53%    44%    52%
Principle            41     40     42     47     30     49     40     49     39
DK/NA                10      9     11      9      8     10      7      8      9
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+
 
Politics             55%    47%    46%    51%    55%    47%    54%    50%    48%
Principle            37     43     44     40     39     45     41     40     40
DK/NA                 8     11     10      8      6      8      5     11     13
 
 
14. Some of Mitt Romney's critics have called him an Etch A Sketch candidate who changes his positions too easily. Do you think this is a fair criticism of Mitt Romney or an unfair attack?
                     LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS..........................
                                                        WhtBrnAgnEv   TEA PARTY
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Con    Mod    Yes    No     Yes    No
 
Fair criticism       37%    41%    33%    41%    31%    43%    34%    40%    37%
Unfair attack        52     53     51     50     57     43     59     54     52
DK/NA                11      7     17      9     12     14      7      6     11
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+
 
Fair criticism       30%    41%    39%    45%    36%    35%    44%    39%    27%
Unfair attack        58     48     45     46     54     58     45     51     61
DK/NA                11     11     16      9     10      7     11      9     12