Skip to comments.Romney and Santorum would split vote if Gingrich exited race [What if Rick exited and Newt stayed?]
Posted on 03/17/2012 6:47:57 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney would stand to benefit just as much as Rick Santorum if Newt Gingrich exited the presidential race, according to a new poll released Friday.
The Gallup poll defied conventional wisdom by suggesting Romney would peel off just as many Gingrich supporters as Santorum would. Forty percent of Gingrich supporters in Gallup's daily tracking poll said Romney was their second choice while 39 percent said they would migrate to Santorum.
"If two candidates for a presidential nomination compete in the same ideological space, it would make sense that if one dropped out that the other would benefit," Gallup's Jeffrey Jones wrote in analysis accompanying the poll. "But that does not appear to be the case for the 2012 Republican nomination."
Jones added that for Santorum to overtake Romney, "it may not be as simple as picking up additional support from Gingrich voters should the former speaker of the House drop out." Rather, "Santorum would also likely need to cut into Romney's current base of support to gain ground on the frontrunner."
Rick Santorum has battled Gingrich through most of the primary cycle as the two contenders have tried to establish themselves as the chief alternative to Romney. However, since winning the South Carolina primary on Jan. 21, Gingrich has won just one other state -- his native Georgia.
Meanwhile, Rick Santorum has shown strength in several southern and midwestern states, having won Iowa, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, North Dakota and the non-binding Missouri primary, putting pressure on Gingrich to pack his bags and allow Santorum to go head-to-head with Romney.
While the former Pennsylvania has not explicitly called on Gingrich to exit the race, he has publicly admitted that he could benefit from his rival's departure.
But after the Mississippi and Alabama primaries, Gingrich argued his continued presence was damaging to Romney, forcing him to engage in a two-front war on the airwaves against his rivals.
Gingrich also dismissed suggestions that by staying in the race he was hurting Santorum, saying the former Pennsylvania senator had essentially gone one-on-one with Romney in Ohio and Michigan and lost.
Santorum and Romney are set to do battle in Illinois Tuesday, the next big contest to vote following the Missouri caucuses and Puerto Rican primary over the weekend.
The latest poll in Illinois by FOX Chicago News showed Romney leading Santorum 37 percent to 31 percent in the state. Gingrich had 14 percent while eight percent supported Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
FWIW, I think a large majority would go to Newt.
Newt Gingrich is the conservative firewall.
I hope Newt, Rick , and even Ron Paul stay in to keep delegates away from Mittens. Let’em sort it out at the convention
"ATLANTA It wasn't so long ago that the Republican Party in Georgia was just an afterthought, and Democrats were in firm control of all the levers of state government. Back then, Newt Gingrich and other die-hard GOP stalwarts ventured across the state with the far-fetched message that Republicans could reverse the tide.
Now with commanding majorities in the Statehouse and control of all statewide offices, Gingrich is hoping his vision for how the GOP could overcome decades of Democratic dominance in Georgia will pay dividends. He sorely needs a victory when his home state votes Tuesday, along with a big chunk of its 76 delegates, to prove his stumbling presidential bid has staying power.
Many Republican figures in Georgia still credit him with championing conservative policies, outlining a framework for what a GOP majority in the state could accomplish and broadcasting talking points to a generation of up-and-coming conservative leaders. He's also applauded for lobbying conservative Democrats, like then-Rep. Nathan Deal, to switch parties.
"Everyone else was trying to lose as slowly as possible, and to die with dignity at the Alamo. He was talking confidently that the Republican majority in Georgia, in the South and nationally was right around the corner," said Ralph Reed, a veteran Georgia GOP operative who founded the national Faith and Freedom Coalition. "On the one hand it was crazy, but on the other it was just the most exciting thing you've ever heard.".....................In Ga., Gingrich helped build conservative base
Sorry, but it is not BS. The ultimate goal is to BEAT OBAMA! A lot of my very conservative friends would go for Mitt instead of Rick because they think that Mitt stands a better chance of beating Obama. They are convinced that Rick will get destroyed. Sorry, just the truth. Fortunately, I didn’t have to make that choice. I got to vote for my candidate.
I’ll second that. Santorum would obviously gain the most.
The person who is second behind Newt isn’t going to bow out for a guy who is polling low double digits or single digits in most states.
The idea is grossly absurd. How do Newt folks think Santorum voters will go? What it they went to Mitt?
I absolutely agree. If Newt(and he’s the one to do it) were to drop out and ask his supporters to go to Rick, there would be a surge of hope for the non Romneys that would likely translate into more support for Santorum.
Romney’s supporters/voters have been swayed by his appearance and endorsements - not his socialist programs.
Santorum’s supporters/voters are puritans - impressed by his family, youth and preaching - not his big government record.
Newt’s supporters/voters are small government/Consitutional advocates - impressed by his experience, solutions and conservative record. They are not prudes - but realists.
Not sure how any of the above supporters change their minds and ‘cross over’. The 3 candidates are too far apart in personal and political principles.
Yup, agreed. Great point.
Newt is our best option by far.
40% would go to Romney if Newt quitted. That proves once for all that he needs to stay on, otherwise Romney would be nominated for sure.
I am Newt supporter who would switch to Romney because I don’t think santorum can fight Obama machine.
Never mind Newt’s continued support of ethanol subsidies, incentives for green energy, and promises of whole new federal environmental agencies.
If you just don’t talk about them they don’t exist.
Again you are making the incorrect assumption that people that support Santorum or Gingrich do so because they hate Romney.
And you’re projecting FR on to the Republican electorate. The two have very little to do with each other.
There indeed is a large proportion of Gingrich supporters out there in the real world for whom Romney is their second choice.
There are a lot of folks who think Santorum is just not ready for prime time.
We need a new president who can hit the ground running and begin to undo the damage done by Obama and his ilk.
That new president is not Rick Santorum. He’ll do whatever the republicans in Congress tell him to do. That’s all he did during his tenure in the Senate. I see no leadership qualities in Rick Santorum ... and certainly not at the level and degree we will need.
You will notice a common sort of shallowness among supporters of one particular candidate.
Because they aren't there.....
That is what I wish would happen. Santorum time after time bungles his message. There is no way he could manage in a one on one w/ the O. If Santorum would drop out, enough voters would go to Newt that I think he could overcome Mitt as the race progresses.
Just looking at the history of the race so far makes it clear to any realistic person.
In the two states where Gingrich won, Santorum had no effect. In Florida where Gingrich finished second to Romney, Gingrich lost by more than Santorum took. In Michigan, Santorum lost by 3 and Gingrich took 7. In Ohio, Santorum lost by 1 and Gingrich took 3.
Gingrich isn’t even running to win at this point. He’s running to divide. This is equally harmful to Romney and Santorum in proportional delegate states but in winner take all states it hands the race to Romney.
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