Poll shows Rick Santorum leading GOP race in Tennessee

Poll shows Rick Santorum leading GOP race in Tennessee

February 14th, 2012 by The Knoxville News Sentinel in Local - Breaking News

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks in this file photo.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has scheduled a trip to Tennessee next week while a poll indicates Rick Santorum is now leading in the state despite his lack of a campaign organization within the state.

The American Research Group Inc. poll, involving 600 "likely" Republican voters contacted by telephone Feb. 8-9, found Santorum favored by 34 percent, followed by Mitt Romney (27 percent), Gingrich (16 percent) and Ron Paul (13 percent).

The former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania recruited no committed delegates to appear on the Tennessee's March 6 ballot, though if he wins the state primary, he will have delegates assigned by the state Republican Party in consultation with his campaign. Santorum last week won in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri and has been surging in national polls.

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