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Poll: Romney Leads in Colorado, Santorum Up in Minnesota

Poll: Romney Leads in Colorado, Santorum Up in Minnesota

By Kyle Adams - February 7, 2012


A new poll shows Mitt Romney with a double-digit lead over his GOP rivals in Colorado while Rick Santorum leads in Minnesota as those states' voters prepare to caucus on Tuesday.

The Public Policy Polling (D) survey shows the former Massachusetts governor leading with 37 percent in Colorado. Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, comes in second with 27 percent; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has 21 percent; and Texas Rep. Ron Paul has 13 percent.

In Minnesota, however, Santorum leads with 33 percent support. Romney is in second with 24 percent, just two points ahead of Gingrich. Paul is a close fourth with 20 percent. In PPP's Sunday poll of the race, Santorum led Romney by two points, 29 percent to 27 percent.

The candidates stumped in both states ahead of Tuesday's contests. Romney, Gingrich and Santorum campaigned in Colorado on Monday. Santorum, Gingrich and Paul made stops in Minnesota as well. Romney didn't visit the state but has the support of former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Romney aims to get his fourth win of the nomination season in Colorado, where he has built a formidable campaign organization after winning the state handily during his 2008 presidential run. Romney also won Minnesota in 2008, but this year's race appears to be much more competitive and fluid. Paul, for example, has focused on Minnesota over Colorado, and, despite his position in the PPP poll, could be a threat to win given his strong organization and enthusiastic support.

The candidates are looking to build momentum or, in the case or Romney, maintain it on Tuesday. Santorum has been making the case that he, not Gingrich, is the best alternative to Romney in the race. For his part, Gingrich is looking to surge again once March arrives, when delegate-rich Southern states that are more favorable to his candidacy vote.

Romney aims to continue his roll after a dominating victory in Florida on Jan. 31 and a win in Nevada on Saturday.

PPP (D) surveyed 938 likely Republican caucus-goers in Colorado and 864 likely caucus-goers in Minnesota on Saturday and Monday. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points in Colorado and plus or minus 3.3 percentage points in Minnesota. 

Kyle Adams can be reached at kadams@realclearpolitics.com.

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