BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum has surged to the front among Oklahoma’s Republican voters, according to a SoonerPoll.com survey released Sunday.

Santorum was the first choice of 39 percent of the 278 likely voters who said they planned to participate in the March 6 state GOP primary.

Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, first in a survey conducted last fall, dropped to third, behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who remained second.

Romney, generally considered the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, was at 23 percent, followed by Gingrich at 18.

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas was at 8 percent, and 13 percent were undecided.

Twenty-two of the 300 Republicans in the original sample either said they don’t intend to vote in the primary or weren’t sure if they would.

The survey was conducted Feb. 8-16, after Santorum picked up victories in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri, and partly after appearances in Oklahoma City and Tulsa on Feb. 9.

“Because Oklahoma is not a leading primary state, and because one party takes it for granted and the other thinks it has no chance, the candidates don’t spend much time here,” said SoonerPoll.com President Bill Shapard.

“Romney has remained pretty steady,” Shapard said. “His share is relatively unchanged.”

The “non-Romney” Republicans, he said, seem to be still looking for a favorite.

“That’s why the seeming movement from Newt Gingrich to Rick Santorum,” Shapard said.

Shapard pointed out that Santorum had been mostly in single digits, nationally and in Oklahoma, until winning narrowly in the Iowa caucuses. His three victories early this month may have convinced voters he can win.

“Rick Santorum was being held back by the fact that he was not well-known enough,” Shapard said. “Oklahomans may be beginning to think that if people in other states think he can win, why shouldn’t we.”

About the poll

SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific telephone survey of 300 likely Republican voters in Oklahoma from Feb. 8-16. Likely voters are those who have established a frequent voting pattern. The margin of error is plus or minus 5.66 percentage points.

Read more at TulsaWorld.com

27 COMMENTS

  1. Santorum has the best policies of any of them. He will get our economy back on track while staying true to our military and our values. No wonder the most likely to vote Republicans from the reddest state in the nation like him.

    • reddest state? Oklahoma? I don’t think so… and Santorum could be the most polarizing candidate in modern history. Certainly more polarizing than Obamer

  2. Rick will never beat Obama….he just doesn’t have what it takes and he harps too
    much about religion. He’s boring all our house to tears!!

    • God is the father of this, your country. He has blessed this nation from those who would deprive you of knowing Him so Show some respect. Do your part in this land that gives you opportunity. Be thankful and pray. Get something good going in your soul for times are hard for everyone. As for Santorum. He is a really good and strong man who is a great leader. This country needs him, especially during these times where people are becoming enslaved to a hedonistic ideology that will send them to hell. Listen and learn. Learn how you can know who you really are. Know you are not limited and have to be what some have been settling for and that is not good enough for Americans.

  3. Vote Santorum, he is standing up for God, his family and his family. He will win if you do your part and vote for him. He is doing his. Do not settle for second best, go for the gold and vote Santorum. He is putting it all out there for all of us.

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