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Cbsnytpoll Gop 031212

Cbsnytpoll Gop 031212

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Published by cbsnews
CBS News/NYT poll on the GOP race, March 12, 2012
CBS News/NYT poll on the GOP race, March 12, 2012

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Published by: cbsnews on Mar 12, 2012
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 CBS NEWS/NEW YORK TIMES POLLFor release: Monday, March 12, 20126:30 pm (ET)The Republican Nomination: Santorum and Romney in a Close Race
March 7-11, 2012
Nationally, Rick Santorum remains just ahead of Mitt Romney in Republican primaryvoters’ preference for the Republican presidential nomination. Santorum’s 4-point lead iswithin the poll’s margin of error.
Still, 73% of primary voters expect Romney to be the eventual Republican nominee.
36% of Republican primary voters say Romney’s views on the issues are notconservative enough; the highest percentage of any of the four candidates. 52% say hisideological views are about right, but more -- 66% -- say that about Santorum’s views.Nationally, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney are locked in a close race for the Republicannomination: 34% of Republican primary voters support Santorum and 30% back Romney.Santorum’s small lead is within the poll’s margin of error.Romney and Santorum have each won contests held in the past week.13% now choose Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul receives the support of 8% of Republicanprimary voters.
2012 Republican Nomination for President
(among Republican primary voters)Now 2/2012Rick Santorum 34% 30%Mitt Romney 30 27Newt Gingrich 13 10Ron Paul 8 12About half of Republican primary voters nationwide say they could still change their minds aboutwhom to support – but that percentage has dropped from 60% a month ago. While there is stillroom for change in the race, fluidity has decreased as more primary voters have become sureof their candidate choice.
Mind Made Up Whom to Support?
(among Republican primary voters with a candidate choice)Now 2/2012Yes 49% 39%Too early 50 60
But by a wide – and increasing -- margin, most of these voters expect Mitt Romney to be theeventual Republican nominee.
Expect to Win Nomination
(among Republican primary voters)Now 1/2012Mitt Romney 73% 55%Rick Santorum 10 7Newt Gingrich 4 9Ron Paul 3 4
Candidate Qualities
As has been the case throughout much of this campaign, Romney is seen as the candidate whohas the best chance of defeating President Obama in November; he beats Santorum by 40points on this measure. Even among white evangelicals, some of Santorum’s strongestsupporters, Romney is the candidate they think has the best chance of beating PresidentObama in the fall.On the other hand, Santorum is viewed by Republican voters, especially evangelicals, as thecandidate who best represents their values.
Candidate Qualities
(among Republican primary voters)Beat RepresentsObama ValuesMitt Romney 57% 25%Rick Santorum 17 47Newt Gingrich 9 7Ron Paul 4 12Mitt Romney has been criticized by his opponents as not being a real conservative, and in thispoll, 36% of Republican primary voters say his views on the issues are not conservativeenough; the highest percentage of any of the four candidates. While more than half do sayRomney’s ideological views are about right, more -- 66% -- say Santorum’s views are aboutright.
is Views on Most Issues are…
(among Republican primary voters)Too Not conservativeconservative enough About rightRick Santorum 16% 11 66Newt Gingrich 9% 26 57Mitt Romney 5% 36 52Ron Paul 17% 33 39Most Republican primary voters say each of the candidates understands their needs andproblems, but Santorum scores highest on this measure.
Understands Problems of People Like You?
(among Republican primary voters)Yes NoRick Santorum 69% 20Newt Gingrich 60% 31Mitt Romney 55% 40Ron Paul 54% 34Republican primary voters have at least some confidence in each of the candidates to be aneffective commander-in-chief -- except Ron Paul. 38% are very confident in Gingrich’s ability tobe an effective commander-in-chief, the highest of any candidate.
Confidence in Ability to Be Commander-in-Chief
(among Republican primary voters)Very ` Somewhat Not too/not at allNewt Gingrich 38% 34 26Mitt Romney 29% 46 23Rick Santorum 24% 48 23Ron Paul 9% 22 60When asked which candidate quality is most important in deciding their support, Republicanprimary voters pick strong moral character (from a list of four qualities), followed by having theright experience, someone who can defeat President Obama, and being a true conservative.
Most Important Candidate Quality
(among Republican primary voters)Now 2/2012Strong moral character 34% 34%Right experience 24 22Can defeat Obama 19 19True conservative 18 22Voters looking for strong moral character or a true conservative back Santorum for thenomination, while those who value experience or electability are more likely to support Romney.
The Candidates on Health Care and the Economy
Mitt Romney has been attacked by his rivals for the Massachusetts health care plan he signedinto law as Governor. While most Republican primary voters (68%) are at least somewhatconfident that Romney would make the right decisions on health care, just 17% are veryconfident – the lowest among the four candidates. Women’s and men’s views on this measureare similar.
Confidence in Ability to Make Decisions on Health Care
(among Republican primary voters)Very ` Somewhat Not too/not at allRick Santorum 33% 46 17Newt Gingrich 28% 43 25Ron Paul 19% 35 37Mitt Romney 17% 51 31

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