A Quinnipiac University Poll released this morning shows former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum leading the GOP presidential primary field in his former home state of Pennsylvania and in a statistical tie with President Obama if they meet in the November general election.
Thirty-six percent of the registered Republicans polled in Pennsylvania support Santorum in the primary while former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney took 22 percent, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul took 12 percent and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (who was born in Harrisburg) took 8 percent. Eighteen percent of those polled -- a strong third place -- said they don't know who they will vote for in the primary.
If the Republican primary was a two-man race, Santorum would lead Romney in Pennsylvania 52-32 percent.
In head-to-head match-up with Obama in November, the Republicans polled had the president ahead 45-44 percent on Santorum, a statistical tie. Obama leads Romney 46-40 percent, leads Paul by 45-40 and leads Gingrich 50-37 percent.
"Pennsylvania Republicans are turning to their native son, former Sen. Rick Santorum. The last time we surveyed the Keystone State, during the Gingrich boomlet in December, the former House Speaker led the GOP pack with 31 percent, followed by Gov. Mitt Romney with 17 percent and Santorum with 9 percent," Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a news release put out with the poll.