Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum leads the pack of Republican primary candidates in Oklahoma, according to a recent SoonerPoll survey.

If the election were held today, 38.5 percent of likely Republican voters who plan to participate in the March 6 GOP primary said they would cast their vote for Santorum.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would finish in second place with 23 percent.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who led Oklahoma when SoonerPoll last polled the race in December, fell to third place with just 18 percent.  Results indicate that U.S. Rep. Ron Paul would receive just 7.6 percent of the vote.

During the SoonerPoll survey fielding process, Santorum experienced a meteoric rise in the nationwide polls after sweeping the Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado primaries in early February.  Santorum has since eclipsed Romney as the nationwide front-runner in the Gallup Poll.

Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll, says Santorum’s lead in the recent SoonerPoll and his recent national attention is not coincidental.

“When we last polled the race, Santorum received just 1.5 percent of the vote.  Since then he’s won the primary in Iowa which gave him the boost he needed to win several other key states,” Shapard said.  “Oklahomans are beginning to think that if people in other states think he can win, maybe we should too.”

See Complete Data and Analysis

Additional analysis reveals that Santorum is the favorite candidate of conservative Republicans.  Of those respondents who consider themselves conservative, 42.7 percent said they would vote for Santorum.

With 21.1 percent of conservative respondents said they would vote for him, Gingrich also finishes better among conservatives. By comparison, just 17.4 percent of conservative said they would vote for Romney.

“Results indicate that Santorum has what it takes to energize the Republican base in Oklahoma, but making sure that the more moderate and liberal Republicans get out and vote is also crucial,” Shapard said.

Further analysis of the crosstabs reveals that 42.1 percent plurality of moderate and liberal Republicans said they would vote for Romney.  By comparison, 24.5 percent of moderate and liberal Republicans said they would vote for Santorum, while Ron Paul would receive 19.3 percent.

Other stark differences between Santorum supporters and Romney supporters are evident when results are broken down by religious attendance.

A 50.9 percent majority of those who say they attend religious services several times a week said they would vote for Santorum.  Inversely, a 37.5 percent plurality of those who say they never attend church said they would vote for Romney.

In an interview with Michael Konopasek of News9, SoonerPoll’s vice president Keith Gaddie said “There’s an old saying in Oklahoma politics that given the choice between a real Republican and a fake Republican, the Oklahoma Democrat will take the real Republican every time … they like genuine Republicans.”

Gaddie went on to tell Konopasek that “a genuine, socially conservative Republican is what Oklahomans see in Santorum.”

SoonerPoll plans to continue to poll the 2012 presidential election in the months ahead.

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, commissioned this poll.  SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific poll Feb. 8 – 16, 2012.  The survey was administered via telephone interview to 300 likely Oklahoma voters who were selected at random.  All respondents who took the survey identified themselves as Republicans  and said they planned to vote in the March 6th primary election.   The margin of error is plus or minus 5.66 percentage points.

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. I can’t believe that Oklahomans would favor someone who voted for No Child Left Behind, Planned Parenthood, voted to raise the debt ceiling 5 times and endorsed Arlen Specter because Arlen promised to refrain from voting for a supreme court justice that Santorum didn’t like. Did anyone bother to watch the last debate? Santorum said, “I admit that I voted against my pricipals, but folks… that’s politics. Every once in a while you have to give one to the ‘Team’. In other words, he uses the same ol political system as all Washington insiders.. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. Arlen Specter, with the endorsement of Santorum, went on to win his election and eventually was the one vote that won Obamacare for Pres. Obama. Ironic huh? He is NOT the kind of man we want for president.

    When Mitt Romney was the governor of Massachusetts, he proved he was conservative by vetoing 800 bill sent to his desk by a legislature that was 85% Democratic.. one of those bills was in favor of legalizing partial birth abortion. He balanced the budget every year he was governor, lowered taxes and Mass. had a unemployment rate of 4.2%.

    Santorum on the other hand was a disaster for Pennsylvania and was defeated in his bid for re-election by 18 percentage points. Is that the best we can elect to go up against Barack Obama? This election is the most important election of our lifetime. Think long and hard before voting. Romney is the only man with the intelligence and the opportunity who can defeat Obama and turn America around. He has had the experience and has proved that he can do it. He saved the Olympics when it was almost bankrupt, he saved businesses from going bankrupt and he can save America from Obama leading us into bankruptcy. Please don’t throw this election away like we did the last one. Vote for Romney !

  2. Newt is clearly the most QUALIFIED to defeat President Obama,and draw a crystal clear and distinct contrast to the policies of President Obama’s administrastion. Newt has already proven leadership under President Reagan,and President Clinton. I believe Newt Gingrich can and will bring true change to Washington. Newt explain’s his plan’s understandibly well. I do not believe Santorum or Romney would have the ability to do the thing’s needed to change the way Washington is handling the BUSINESS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! I, and so many other’s here in OKLAHOMA want CORRUPTION IN WASHINGTON STOPPED NOW! Mitt Romney Talk”””””s the talk as he’s kicking the can down the LIBERAL’S BLOCK. Newt Gingrich will not KICK THE CAN. NEWT GINGRICH WILL PUT A STOP TO THE LIBERAL’S UNGODLY DESTRUCTIVE PLAN. Voting for Newt is a vote for the real change that the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA NEED’S. Mitt Romney say’s that he is not concerned about the POOR, well MR.ROMNEY, I have alway’s been POOR,and I have to Question if you are not concerned for the POOR? Then just exactly what is the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA’S JOB? AND WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU RUNNING FOR? I don’t relate to your understanding of what U.S.A is really all about. Seem’s to me that you are in favor of the RICH,and the POOR can be left to SUFFER MORE AND MORE. VOTE FOR NEWT GINGRICH 2012 THE TRUE CHANGE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE. From the great SOONER STATE OF OKLAHOMA. GO VOTE OKLAHOMA SOONERS.

  3. Mitt Romney is the ONLY candidate who has not spent his life in Washington – something the conservatives, Tea Party folks and evangelicals have been crying for, for years. “Clean House In Washington” “we need a leader with economic experience” – that excludes every candidate EXCEPT Mitt Romney.

    The longer this race is drawn out, the greater the opportunity to lose and have another four years of Obama.

    We MUST rally around the most qualified candidate and that is Mitt Romney. His experiences as an executive in business as well as those of a Governor put him head and shoulders above the other candidates to lead this country, He is calm, focused, intelligent and experienced as well as being a man of strong moral character. That puts him head and shoulders above a two time adulterer with a mistress for First Lady and a Senator who backed the deciding vote for Obamacare in Arlen Specter and a 76 year old congressman who has never run a business nor had executive experience. IF Republicans do not wake up and face these facts , Obama will be reelected. PLEASE, ALL OF YOU VOTERS IN THE SUPER TUESDAY PRIMARY STATES _ THINK< THINK< THINK and vote for Governor Romney so we can strengthen our chances to beat Obama. If we ALL get behind Romney and support him – HE WILL WIN!!!

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