THE STATE COLUMN | February 23, 2012
Mr. Paul garnered 16 percent of the votes among California Republicans to secure third place. Mr. Santorum pulled in 25 percent of the votes to take second place and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney leads the Republican pack with 31 percent of the votes. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich finished in fourth with 12 percent of the votes.
While the current order of the Republican field among California Republicans may not be a surprise given recent national level polls, the Field Poll demonstrates how Mr. Paul and Mr. Santorum’s recent election successes have boosted their standing in the Golden State.
Mr. Santorum was victorious in the Missouri Republican primary and the Minnesota, Colorado Republican caucuses on February 7th. Mr. Paul also strengthened his candidacy with a second place finish in the Minnesota Republican caucuses.
The first Field Poll of California Republicans was started before Mr. Santorum and Mr. Paul’s election successes and the second Field Poll was finished after the results of the elections had been announced. Mr. Romney, who had a 20 point lead over Mr. Santorum in the first poll, now has a 6 point lead over the Pennsylvania Republican.
Mr. Santorum, who had 18 percent of the votes in the first poll, has surged 7 percentage points. Mr. Paul, who had 9 percent of the votes in the first poll, has also surged 7 percentage points. The former Air Force surgeon leads Mr. Gingrich by 4 points. The Georgia Republican’s support has plateaued, while Mr. Paul and Mr. Santorum have gained momentum.
The results of this poll are based on a Field Poll survey of 1,003 registered voters, including 400 registered Republicans. The first half of the Field Poll was conducted between February 2nd and February 10th with 180 Republicans. The second half of the Field Poll was conducted between February 11th and February 18th with 220 Republicans. The polls have a maximum sampling error of plus or minus 7 percentage points.