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Obama, Santorum winners in CBS/New York Times polls

February 16th, 2012

Despite all the fervor surrounding the Republican presidential candidates, it seems President Obama can sit well knowing, according to a CBS News/The New York Times  poll released Tuessday, that he is ahead of all of them.

Of the four remaining candidates, former Gov. Mitt Romney sits closest to the incumbent president by posting 42 percent against Obama’s 48 percent.

Surging former Sen. Rick Santorum has an eight point differential between himself and Obama. Among registered voters, Santorum garnered 41 percent of the vote to Obama’s 49 percent.

Rather surprisingly, Rep. Ron Paul came in third, finishing with 39 percent. Obama would win 50 percent of the vote if matched against the Libertarian congressman from Texas, according to the poll.

The poll also reflected former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s fall from popularity, perhaps due to his poor performance not just in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri last week, but two weeks ago in Florida as well.

According to the poll, Gingrich could only muster 36 percent of the vote against the president if the election were to happen today. Obama would finish with 54 percent. While Romney won the Maine caucus over the weekend, it seems that Santorum has passed him in popularity among GOP primary voters.

Just a little over a month ago, Santorum had only 16 percent of support from Republican primary voters, but now has jumped 14 points to 30 percent.

On the other hand, Romney has fallen from 28 percent, a strong seven-point lead over then second place Gingrich, to three points back of Santorum, sitting at 27 percent. Paul has lost a mere three points, down to 12 from 15 percent in January.

The largest fall of all the candidates is Gingrich, who took an 11-point dip since just a month ago. Gingrich, who was the clear alternative to Romney and who some thought could actually surpass him, seems to be running out of money and it’s affecting him in the polls.

In January, 21 percent of Republican primary voters backed the former speaker, whereas now, Gingrich only has 10 percent of support from his party.

All eyes turn to Michigan on Feb. 28 to see who takes the lead on the march to Super Tuesday.