MTSU Poll Finds Sizeable Santorum Lead in Tennessee

A poll out from MTSU finds former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum more than 20 points ahead of Mitt Romney in Tennessee. Pollsters are cautioning that their results reflect opinions from last week, prior to Romney’s wins in Michigan and Arizona.

Other recent polls show Santorum with a sizeable lead in the state, but Dr. Ken Blake from MTSU notes that Super Tuesday is several days away.

“A lot can happen in a week. We’ve seen a lot of volatility in this campaign so far. We’ve seen candidates’ fortunes rise and fall in the space of just a couple of weeks.”

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney would have lots of ground to make up. According to the MTSU poll, only 19 percent of Tennessee Republicans choose Romney compared to 40 percent for Santorum. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are polling at 13 and 11 percent, respectively.

The race between President Obama and any one of the Republican candidates is tightening. However, the frontrunners would still beat the President statewide, says Blake.

“We are seeing some rebounding, though, in Obama’s approval numbers in Tennessee. He’s back to about 50 percent approval, having dipped quite a bit in our fall poll.”

Last fall, the President’s popularity hit an all time low in Tennessee. Twice as many disapproved as approved of his job performance.

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