Rick Santorum Passes Newt Gingrich in Iowa Polls

Rick Santorum Passes Newt Gingrich in Iowa Polls

Rick Santorum could be on the verge of an improbable comeback, after he moved ahead of former frontrunner Newt Gingrich in a new CNN/Time/ORC poll for GOP Iowa caucus participants. That still leaves Santorum behind leader Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, but his recovery – in Iowa, at least – is eye-opening.

Speaking to Today, Santorum claimed his out-of-the-blue surge has “legs that the other candidates haven’t shown.” He added that his previous campaigns (Santorum defeated incumbent Democrats in a 1990 Congressional campaign and a 1994 Senate campaign) show he is the only GOP candidate who can challenge effectively for the presidency. He said:

“I’m the only one in this race that has a track record of winning elections in tough states. I have to think that’s one of the reasons that people in Iowa are looking at us and saying, ‘Wow, this guy has defeated, straight up, two Democratic incumbents in very tough districts and in a very tough state.'”

Admittedly, polls in some other parts of the country still show Santorum struggling. While he trails Romney by a relatively slim 9 percent margin in Iowa, the polls for the upcoming New Hampshire primary have him in fifth place, with just 4 percent. Romney is again first, with 44 percent.

It seems some of Santorum’s views – specifically his pro-life stance and his opposition to contraception of any form – do not play well to moderate GOP voters, who make up the bulk of New Hampshire. Santorum was asked about these topics by Today, and insisted the two issues were separate:

“My views on contraception are consistent with my Catholic faith. But as a person who was involved in the United States Senate for 12 years, I voted to allow contraceptive funding. That’s a fundamentally different thing than taking a human life. (Contraception is) something I don’t believe is right, but there’s a lot of things I don’t believe are right that the government shouldn’t be outlawing. Those are moral decisions that fall outside the law.”

So what do you think, readers? Could Santorum yet stage a remarkable comeback?

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