Romney strong in Mississippi, Alabama

2012-03-12 20:44

Washington - A new poll on Monday showed Mitt Romney is surprisingly strong in two Republican presidential primary contests in the South this week that are crucial to his conservative rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.

"About all we know for sure about on Tuesday's primaries is that Ron Paul will finish last in them," Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in releasing the results. "Beyond that it's plausible that any of the candidates could finish between first and third in both Alabama and Mississippi."

In Mississippi, Gingrich has a slight lead with 33%, while Romney has 31%, Santorum 27% and Paul 7% in the race to become the Republican challenger to Democratic President Barack Obama in November.

In Alabama, the race is tighter, with Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, at 31%, Gingrich at 30%, Santorum at 29% and Paul, a US representative from Texas, at 8%.

Both Gingrich, a former congressman from Georgia, and Santorum, a former US senator from Pennsylvania, are staking their candidacies on their conservative credentials.

Front-runner Romney had been seen as too moderate to win one of this weeks primaries in the heart of the conservative South but he has gained momentum from a series of primary wins in recent weeks.

Conservatives split vote

Both Gingrich and Santorum have urged each other to step out of the race to coalesce votes among more conservative Republicans.

According to Public Policy Polling's findings, the two rivals are both more popular than Romney in the two southern states that vote on Tuesday.

The group conducted its telephone survey on Saturday and Sunday. Its Mississippi poll had 656 likely Republican voters and a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.8%. Its Alabama survey has 600 likely Republican primary voters and a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4%.

Santorum on Monday defended the drawn-out Republican battle for a nominee and a potential showdown at the party's convention in August.

"If we have continued contested primaries going through this, we're going to see very shortly that the conservative in this race is going to rise," he said on NBC's "Today" program.

"It's a conservative party... if the opportunity provides itself in an open convention, they are not going to nominate a moderate Massachusetts governor," he said.

Read more on:    newt gingrich  |  mitt romney  |  rick santorum  |  us  |  us elections 2012

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.