Romney Grabs Lead in Pennsylvania

Meanwhile, Santorum says 'damn right' we cling to guns, religion
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2012 6:34 AM CDT
Updated Apr 5, 2012 7:57 AM CDT
Romney Grabs Lead in Pennsylvania
Rick Santorum speaks to supporters in front of the Blair County Courthouse during a campaign rally on April 4, 2012, in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards   (Getty Images)

Bad news for Rick Santorum: Mitt Romney has taken the lead in Santorum's own home state of Pennsylvania. Romney is at 42% support and Santorum at 37% in the latest Public Policy Poll, followed by Ron Paul with 9% and Newt Gingrich at 6%. That's a gain of 17 points for Romney since last month—and a loss of 6 points for Santorum. Romney has even made gains in Santorum-leaning groups including evangelicals, tea partiers, and the "very conservative." Many see Pennsylvania as make-or-break for Santorum.

Just 36% of Republican voters in the state believe Santorum could realistically grab the nomination, and just 24% think he's got the best chance to win in the fall against President Obama. At a campaign event in Pennsylvania yesterday, Santorum got cheers when he brought up Obama's 2008 comment about people who "cling to guns or religion," the AFP reports. "You're damn right we do!" he said. "You're right we cling; we cling to our faith. We cling to the rights that are God-given, that are guaranteed under our constitution, including the right to protect ourselves and those we love with the Second Amendment—an individual right to bear arms." (More Rick Santorum 2012 stories.)

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