Rick Santorum's surprising victories in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri have upset the pundits' calculations and have had an impact on the polls. Romney is no longer an unambiguous frontrunner.
Real Clear Politics monitors more polls than you can imagine are taken. The latest poll in Ohio, a crucial battle ground state, shows Romney losing to Obama 45%-41%, while Santorum is tied at 44%-44%. In the national Gallup tracking poll, Romney is ahead with 36%, while both Gingrich and Santorum are now tied at 20%. It has become a three way race.
Santorum has won as many states as his two main opponents have together with only 1-5% of their money. With financial backers now sending Santorum money, the race is becoming interesting.
Walter Shapiro is a special correspondent for The New Republic. He also writes the “Character Sketch” column for Yahoo News.
"But now Santorum has the campaign schedule on his side. A three-week pause until the February 28 Michigan and Arizona primaries gives Republicans plenty of time to wonder about nominating Mitt Romney, a candidate who arouses all the passions of a dead flashlight battery."
"The man from Bain Capital has always been vulnerable to what Tim Pawlenty long ago called a “Sam’s Club Republican.” What is fascinating is that Rick Santorum, the candidate who may well prove to be Romney’s most lasting foe, has been hiding in plain sight all along."
Update: Obama has moved ahead in the polls while Santorum has clearly taken the nation lead in polls for the Republican nomination (2/19/2012.)