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Rick Santorum Struggles With Support in His Home State

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  • Rick Santorum campaigns in Pennsylvania
    (Reuters/Jason Cohn)
    U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum greets supporters with his wife Karen at his Wisconsin and Maryland primary night rally in Mars, Pennsylvania, April 3, 2012.
  • Santorum
    (Photo: REUTERS/Jason Cohn)
    Supporters Jenna Kunkel, 12, little sister Jordan, 5, and parents Roberta and John, from Freedom, Pennsylvania, wait for Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum to arrive at his Wisconsin and Maryland primary night rally in Mars, Pennsylvania, April 3, 2012.
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By Paul Stanley, Christian Post Reporter
April 5, 2012|12:03 pm

A new poll shows Pennsylvania native Rick Santorum now losing his home state to former Massachusetts governor and GOP front-runner Mitt Romney.

In the latest Public Policy Poll in Pennsylvania, Romney is now leading Santorum 42 to 37 percent. However, the margin of error is +/- 4.9 percent, thus making the race a virtual dead heat.

Nonetheless, Santorum's struggles in Pennsylvania may be magnifying the core issue that many GOP voters doubt that he could defeat President Obama in a general election and that Romney has a much better chance.

"The momentum in Pennsylvania is moving completely against Rick Santorum," said Dean Debnam, PPP's president in a written statement. "Mitt Romney has a great chance to deliver a final crushing blow to his campaign on April 24. A home state loss would be incredibly embarrassing for Santorum."

According to the poll, only 36 percent of GOP voters think Santorum has a realistic chance at the nomination to 54 percent who believe he does not. And when it comes to matching up against Barack Obama in the fall, only 24 percent of Republicans think Santorum would provide their best chance for a victory while 49 percent think that designation belongs to Romney.

Political analysts view a Romney win in Pennsylvania as not only a setback, but also a huge blow for Santorum if he wanted to run for any office in the future. Although the former Pennsylvania senator served a total of 16 years in Congress, his devastating 16-point loss in 2006 leave some wondering if he is the right person to take on Obama in 2012.

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"We have to win here, and we plan on winning here," Santorum said on Wednesday while campaigning in Pennsylvania. "People in Pennsylvania know me. All of the negative attacks, I think, are going to fall on a lot of deaf ears here, and we've got a strong base of support here."

Meanwhile, the Romney campaign is sensing an opportunity to upstage Santorum in his home state and they are showcasing a list of Keystone GOP Leaders who have endorsed the former Massachusetts governor.

The list includes former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, former Gov. Mark Schweiker, Rep. Jim Gerlach, Rep. Bill Shuster, Rep. Charlie Dent and Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick to name a few.

Romney made a campaign swing through Pennsylvania on Wednesday and stopped in Broomall to rally a group of suburban GOP moderates who have made up the base of his support thus far. Romney is campaigning in Scranton and Harrisburg today.

Santorum has chosen to take Easter weekend off to rest, worship and spend time with his family prior to resuming his campaign schedule in his home state on Monday.

 

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