Poll: Santorum gaining momentum in Alabama


If Alabama’s Republican presidential preference primary was held today – and the option existed – “not sure” would probably win.

But a new Alabama State University poll suggests that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is rapidly gaining strength in the state.

The poll, conducted statewide over the past month, found 28 percent of likely GOP primary voters remain undecided on their choices heading into the state’s March 13 primary.  Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich had the support of 18.9 percent of respondents; Santorum had 18.3 percent, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had 15.2 percent.

The poll did not include Texas congressman Ron Paul, who was grouped in a category labeled “Others” that included candidates that have since dropped out of the race.  Myles Mayberry, manager of demographic research services for the Center for Leadership and Public Policy, said Paul stood at 4 percent in the most recently conducted poll.

The momentum appears to be Santorum’s: The poll showed the former senator’s strength more than doubling since early February, when he stood at 8.7 percent.  Gingrich, meanwhile, has seen his numbers slide from a high of 26.9 percent the week of Feb. 2.  Romney’s support was flat throughout the month.

The poll had a 95 percent confidence level, with a confidence interval of plus or minus 5 percent.

Santorum’s momentum continued Friday; his campaign announced an endorsement from U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville.

Even with the former senator’s momentum, Thomas Vocino, executive director of ASU’s Center for Leadership and Public Policy, said the large number of undecideds suggest a little effort could bring victory to any of the contenders.

“A media campaign that is extensive could turn around the campaign for any of the candidates,” Vocino said.  “And the only person who could run an extensive media campaign is Mitt Romney.”

The poll also found widespread dissatisfaction with the federal government.  52 percent said President Barack Obama’s leadership “had gotten worse” over the past four years.  56 percent said the U.S. Senate’s leadership had also declined, while 46 percent gave the U.S. House of Representatives poor grades.

Alabama will have 46 delegates at stake on March 13: 23 statewide, and three in each of the state’s seven congressional districts.  Mississippi will also hold its primary that day; Hawaii will conduct a caucus.

Alabama’s delegates will be awarded on an at-large and proportional basis. Should a candidate get more than 50 percent of the vote statewide and in each congressional district, that candidate will win all the delegates.

However, if a candidate gets less than half the vote  – and another candidate gets at least 20 percent – the delegates would be awarded on a proportional basis.  The formula would apply statewide and in each congressional district; it would be possible, for example, for a runner-up in the statewide race to pick up a delegate if they manage to get 20 percent in an individual congressional district.

The eventual Republican nominee is likely to win Alabama in the fall. But coming after the “Super Tuesday” primaries on March 6, Vocino said the state could have a role to play in the nomination process.

“If Rick Santorum can achieve a victory in Alabama, that gives his candidacy that much more credibility and makes him a contender for the Republican nomination,” he said.

17 thoughts on “Poll: Santorum gaining momentum in Alabama

  1. This so-called poll is an abomination. 28% “other” when Ron Poll is not listed in the poll indicates to me that he”won” the poll. Crap like this fuels the fears that that the statist infrastructure will go to extreme lengths to see that the truth about Dr. Paul’s popularity doesn’t get out. The reported previous Ron Poll poll of 4% is virtually unbelievable as he got 6% of the Alabama vote in the last presidential election and has tripled or quadrupled his support since then.

  2. “Vocino said Ron Paul polled at 4%.” So what you have is one person saying that Paul is irrelevant when he polls in the 20-30% range nationally and always kills it on campus? If this is the case why not add a 4th choice to the stupid poll? He’s 2nd in delegates and is one of only 2 candidates on the ballot in every state. Sounds like someone doesn’t want to know how well Ron Paul is really doing.

  3. Remaining voting totals would have Ron Paul @ 19.6% of the vote.

    Romney 15.2%
    Santorum 18.3%
    Gingrich 18.9%
    Undecided 28%
    Total 80.4%

    Remaining amount (Understood as Ron Paul)

    Ron Paul 19.6%

    Ron Paul is in the lead in Alabama.

  4. What do you take us for? “Oh, let’s not put Ron Paul’s name on the ballot and people will forget that he is running and winning the youth vote. We know how dumb our college students are because that’s the way we’re making them now so they won’t notice anyway.”
    Road to Surfdom is spot on with his totals. Ron Paul won the poll and no amount of obfuscation will change that.
    What a slimey lot the GOP has become.

  5. Wow… leaving Ron Paul off the poll, while he is currently in 2nd place in delegates. Piss poor work Alabama State University. piss poor.

  6. What a joke!! Why would Ron Paul be left off the poll?? I am certain that people will not fall for the propaganda that you guys are spewing!! We are AWAKE!! We will NOT settle for anything less than Ron Paul!! We will not settle!! Once your a Ron Paul supporter your always a Ron Paul supporter! I didn’t take this poll, but if I would have I would have voted for “other” meaning RON PAUL!!!

  7. This “poll” is completely disingenuous. The clear attempt to marginalize Ron Paul as a viable candidate for President is abhorrent. The University should be ashamed and the new outlets that post it without calling them out on it should be as well.

  8. Not counting the votes for Dr. Ron Paul… It worked in Nevada and Maine… Yet the revolution continues… How much longer until enough people wake up and join the millions who already see what is really going on?

  9. While Paul should have been in the poll, claiming 100% of the undecideds is disingenuous. Undecideds are running at least 10% in most states so, extrapolating that out to the remaining 19%, that leaves Paul 9%. Not 4% as was claimed, but still in the fourth position.

    • I’m not a Ron Paul person but I do find it outrageous the way he is being treated by the media. The 19% is not the Undecided number (which is 28%) it’s the Other number which should be considered going to Ron Paul given that he is the only other candidate in the race. The fact that the article doesn’t even mention what percent went to Other is ridiculous.

  10. Alabama State University, you’re a disgrace for leaving out Ron Paul from this poll. Let the people decide, but don’t decide for the people.

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