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FDU poll: Rick Santorum finds favor among knowledgeable conservatives

santorumRick021412_optKnowledge of current events has a dramatic relation to which candidate Republican voters support for the 2012 presidential nomination, according to a new Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind Poll.

In a national survey, Republicans answered a series of questions about current events. The results show that current front-runner, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, is the biggest beneficiary of increased knowledge among conservative Republicans, and he takes a big lead among conservatives paying the most attention to current events.

“Conservatives who are paying attention are pleased with Santorum,” FDU Prof. Dan Cassino, an analyst for the PublicMind Poll, said. “The opposite happens with Ron Paul. The more conservatives pay attention, the less they like what they hear from him.”

Among those Republicans who identify themselves as conservative, more knowledge of current events leads to dramatically reduced support for Paul, and vastly increased support for Santorum. Support for Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich remains relatively stable as voters move up on the knowledge scale. Santorum’s margin comes from voters who might otherwise support Paul, or who are otherwise unsure of whom to support.

“This is important because of the inability of Mitt Romney to garner the support of a majority of Republican voters,” Cassino said. The same poll found Republican support divided among Romney (33 percent), Santorum (33 percent), Gingrich (15 percent), and Paul (7 percent). “Santorum is tapping into those voters who are the most attentive but can’t buy into Paul.”

Conservative Republicans who were unable to answer any questions correctly and thus rank low on the knowledge scale have a 31 percent chance of supporting Romney, a 16 percent chance of supporting Paul, and a 19 percent chance of supporting Santorum.

But for conservatives who score highest on the scale of current events knowledge, Santorum’s support nearly triples to 51 percent, Romney’s falls to 26 percent, and Paul’s craters, with support from just 1 percent of self-described conservatives.

The story is very different for Republicans who identify as moderates. Moderate Republicans with higher levels of political knowledge gravitate to Romney, and away from Santorum. So, moderate Republicans who know the least about current events have a 31 percent chance of supporting Romney, a 9 percent chance of supporting Paul, and a 25 percent chance of supporting Santorum. But at the highest levels of political knowledge, Romney’s support increases to 51 percent, while Santorum’s decreases to 16 percent. Degree of knowledge has no effect on support for Paul and Gingrich.

“In the context of a general election, these results would be good for Romney: everyone wants to appeal to moderates,” Cassino said. “But this isn’t a general election yet, and there may not be enough moderates in the Republican primary electorate to get him through.”



 
Comments (3)
3 Sunday, 04 March 2012 14:54
Judith Conzalina
SANTORUM - FISCAL CONSERVATIVE!!!
For each session of Congress, NTU scores each member on an A-to-F scale. They weight members’ votes based on those votes’ perceived effect on both the immediate and future size of the federal budget.
Those who get A’s are among “the strongest supporters of responsible tax and spending policies”; they receive NTU’s “Taxpayers’ Friend Award.”


Senator Rick Santorum JUST a Social Conservative?

For each session of Congress, NTU scores each member on an A-to-F scale. NTU weights members’ votes based on those votes’ perceived effect on both the immediate and future size of the federal budget.

Those who get A’s are among
“The STRONGEST SUPPORERS OF RESPONSIBLE TAX AND SPENDING POLICIES."
They receive NTU’s “Taxpayers’ Friend Award.


B’s are “good” scores,
C’s are “minimally acceptable” scores,
D’s are “poor” scores, and
F’s earn their recipients membership in the “Big Spender” category.


NTU’s scoring paints a radically different picture of Santorum’s 12-year tenure in the Senate (1995 through 2006) than one would glean from the rhetoric of the Romney campaign.

On a 4-point scale awarding:
4 for an A,
3.3 for a B+,
3 for a B,
2.7 for a B-, etc.

Of 50 senators’ collective grade point average (GPA) across the 12 years was 1.69 — which amounts to a C-.

Santorum’s GPA was 3.66 — or an A-.

Santorum’s GPA PLACED HIM IN THE TOP 10 percent of senators, as he ranked 5th out of 50.

Across the 12 years in question, ONLY 6 of the 50 senators got A’s in more than half the years.

Santorum was one of them.

He was ALSO ONLY ONE of 7 senators who NEVER GOT LESS THAN a B.

While much of the Republican party lost its fiscal footing after George W. Bush took office — Santorum WAS THE ONLY ONE who got A’s in every year of Bush’s first term.

NONE OF THE OTHER 49 SENATORS of the other 49 senators could match SANTORUM'S 4.0 GPA over that span.


This much alone would paint an IMPRESSIVE PICTURE OF FISCAL CONSERVATISM on Santorum’s part.
Using the Club for Growth’s information:

Santorum:
Rick Santorum spent sixteen years in Congress – four years in the House followed by 12 years in the Senate. In the last two years of his Senate career, he had an average Club for Growth rating of 77%, compared to an average of 73% for all Senate Republicans over that same time period.

In the previous thirteen years before the Club had a scorecard, Santorum accumulated AN AVERAGE SCORE of 76% on the National Taxpayers Union scorecard.
This compares to a 71% average among all Republicans. NTU is a non-partisan group that advocates for limited government.
As per the Club for Growth, Santorum’s fiscal conservative record doesn’t look all that bad.


Romney:
The Club for Growth on Governor Mitt Romney back in 2007.
Since Romney has been outspoken on several issues since then, his record was updated to reflect those positions.

The Cato Institute that rates the country’s governors on a biennial basis. They gave then-Governor Romney a “C” ON TAX AND SPENDING ISSUES tax and spending in both their 2004 and 2006 reports.
2 Saturday, 25 February 2012 20:04
Jed Merrill
Santorum In '95: 'I Was Basically Pro-Choice All My Life, Until I Ran For Congress'

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/rick-santorum-abortion_n_1291634.html

If knowledgeable means they listen to Rush Limbaugh four hours a day, I think you are using the wrong word.
BS
1 Saturday, 25 February 2012 10:22
johnathan doeberry
Wait, conservatives who pay attention like the guy who has been promising spending (money we dont have) during his campaign, ranked better than the only candidate who actually wanted to conserve?


Bullocks, either that or these "well-educated" people arnt that well educated or this artcle is bullocks. It only mentions Ron Paul once in this entire artcle.


Crappy journalism at its best

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