Government
2:59 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Santorum to Stay in Race – Vows to Win Pennsylvania

Despite a three-way loss in primary races on Tuesday, Rick Santorum told a crowd gathered in Marshall Township that he's not backing down. The former Pennsylvania Senator appealed to supporters in his home state, and said he's confident he can catch up in the delegate count.

"We have now reached a point where it's half time," said Santorum. "Half the delegates in the process have been selected, and who's ready to charge out of the locker room in Pennsylvania for strong second half?"

Santorum painted himself as the true conservative candidate. In a dig to rival Mitt Romney, Santorum said that in order to win the presidency, there can't be only small differences between the Republican nominee and President Obama, but rather "clear, contrasting colors." He said too many times in the past, the Republican Party has offered up candidates who are just too moderate.

"Because, of course, we have to win by getting people in the middle. There's one person who understood that we don't win by moving to the middle, we win by getting people in the middle to move to us and move this country forward," said Santorum.

He was referencing Ronald Reagan, who was the last Republican to unseat a sitting president.

The April 24 Pennsylvania Primary is considered to be critical to Santorum if he has any chance of halting former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's march toward 1,144 delegates and the GOP nomination.

Three recent polls indicate that Santorum's lead over Romney in Pennsylvania has shrunk. A survey released today by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute shows Santorum with a 41%-35% edge over Romney, down from a nearly 14-point margin in Quinnipiac's March 20 poll.

A survey released today by Mercyhurst College also has Santorum with a six point lead over Romney. A poll last week by Franklin and Marshall College showed Santorum with a 30% to 28% edge among Republican voters in the commonwealth. A similar poll conducted a month ago had Santorum ahead of Romney by nearly 30 points.

The latest Franklin and Marshall survey, which had a 4.2% margin of error, showed Santorum's strongest support in western and central Pennsylvania and Romney doing better among voters in the northeast and southeast portions of the state. Santorum discounted those who say the race is a done deal after so many primary losses.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Pennsylvania and half the other people in this country have yet to be heard," he said, "and we're going to go out and campaign here and across this nation to make sure that their voices are heard in the next few months."