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Santorum endorses Romney as party unifies behind presumptive presidential nominee

by | May 8, 2012

Rick Santorum endorsed Mitt Romney for President in an email to supporters

By Dave Andrusko

Former Senator Rick Santorum, in an email sent out Monday evening to supporters, officially endorsed Mitt Romney. Referring to a 90 minute closed-door meeting the two held last week in Pittsburgh, Santorum wrote

“Above all else, we both agree that President Obama must be defeated. The task will not be easy. It will require all hands on deck if our nominee is to be victorious. Governor Romney will be that nominee and he has my endorsement and support to win this the most critical election of our lifetime.”

The endorsement of the former governor of Massachusetts by Mr. Santorum, Romney’s  most formidable rival, is the latest evidence the Republican Party is coalescing around its presumptive presidential nominee.

Last week former Speaker Newt Romney ended his bid in a speech in Northern Virginia. He promised to  work to elect Republicans at all levels this fall.

In addition, another former presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, endorsed Romney during a rally last week in Portsmouth, Virginia.

      Santorum  is scheduled to appear on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” this evening, and ABC’s Shushannah Walshe reports that Santorum is expected to make a more public commitment at that time.

Santorum told supporters that their one on one “conversation was candid, collegial and focused on the issues that you helped me give voice to during our campaign; because I believe they are essential ingredients to not only winning this fall, but turning our country around.” He warned of what a second Obama administration could bring and said that Mr. Romney “faces relentless attacks from the Democrats.”

The increased GOP unity is reflected not only in formal endorsements but in favorable polling data. As NRL News Today reported yesterday, Mr. Romney is ahead of President Obama by a single point in a Gallup poll, 46% to 45%. He is also ahead in a POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll, 48% to 47%.

 

A  USA Today/Gallup poll of 12 battleground states released Monday found Obama up by 2 points, 47% to 45%. In late March Romney trailed by 9 points.

As we noted yesterday, the National Journal’s  Ronald Brownsteinfound much encouraging news for Romney in the USA Today/Gallup poll.

 

  •  Romney has doubled his advantage among non-college white men; he now leads 58% to 31%.

 

  • Among white women without college, Obama has dropped from even to trailing Romney by 12 points—51% to 39%.

 

  • Even among white women with a college education Obama’s lead has shrunk–from 12 points to 2 points, 49% to 47%.

 

  • Recent national polls have “generally showed Obama approaching the cumulative 80 percent of the vote he won among minorities in 2008,” Brownstein writes. But “The Gallup/USA survey showed Obama leading Romney in these swing states among non-white voters by only a 70 percent to 21 percent margin.”

 

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