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Oh MY! Obama Trails Santorum, but Leads Romney in Four Key States

A stunning new poll by Rasmussen:

Santorum leads the president 48% to 44% in the so-called Core Four states.

BUT….

Obama remains ahead of Romney 46% to 42%

Does this Mark the Beginning of the End for Romney’s Campaign?

For a candidate whose main base of support comes from Republicans who believe he is best able to beat Obama, but have never been enthusiastic about him as a candidate; this news is simply devastating. Republicans supporting Romney to beat President Obama, have tolerated many of Romney’s moderate views and liberal actions as governor.

However, satisfaction with the leading candidate for the Republican nomination has never been great. Many conservatives in the Republican party are deeply dissatisfied with Romney as their potential nominee. Concerns have been raised not just over his skills as a candidate, his record, but also over his wooden, John Kerry like personality.

Economic conservatives distrust Romney partly because Romney as governor worked with Ted Kennedy to push through a government directed health plan in Massachusetts that mandated not only that everyone must purchase health insurance (the individual mandate) but that also directed what must be covered by these insurance policies.

Social conservatives are particularly distrustful of Romney perhaps explaining Santorum’s rising support. In particular, abortion opponents question Romney’s action as governor that forced Catholic hospitals to provide abortion procedures over the objection of his state’s health agency that had determined Catholic hospitals were within the law to not provide abortions.

Illinois: A Test for Romney’s Strength?

We may get an indication of the damage these new polls have created as early as Tuesday when Illinois votes in the Republican primary. Romney had been expected to win by a margin of at least 20 points but recent polls only show him up on Santorum by only 11%. A smaller than expected Romney victory may be yet another indicator that the Republican race is far from over and may yet experience another lead change.

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