Results from new Rasmussen poll of likely GOP primary voters: Rick Santorum (39 percent), Mitt Romney (27 percent), Newt Gingrich (15 percent), and Ron Paul (10 percent). A couple of interesting details from the poll:
Perhaps more tellingly, Santorum now trounces Romney 55% to 34% in a one-on-one matchup among likely GOP primary voters. This is the first time any challenger has led Romney nationally in a head-to-head match-up. Santorum also leads Romney head-to-head in Michigan.
Forty-one percent (41%) continue to view Romney as the strongest potential candidate against President Obama, but that’s down from 49% last week. Twenty-five percent (25%) now see Santorum as the strongest general election candidate, up from 10%. Paul remains the candidate that Republican voters by far consider the weakest national candidate.
This poll, like the CNN/ORC poll released yesterday, suggests that a significant chunk of Santorum voters don’t think he’s the strongest candidate to go up against Obama. Yet they’re still willing to support him, which means that the Romney campaign may have difficulty successfully attacking Santorum on grounds of electability.