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Passion for GOP Candidates Revealed
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Mitt Romney holds the delegates and Rick Santorum holds the momentum right now but neither GOP candidate is successfully sparking their supporters. GOP voters have been surveyed in 12 states so far and Romney supporters claim they strongly favor him in five of those states. For Santorum, his supporters strongly supported him in only four states.

For the average, 50 percent of voters for Romney and 49 percent of voters for Santorum claim that they favor their choice strongly. The remainder of the voters for each candidate say that they have reservations about their candidate choice. On the other side of things, both Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have been able to receive strong support from their voters. Gingrich has 58 percent of his supporters favoring him strongly while Paul has 53 percent of his supporters favoring him strongly.

  
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“At this point in the game, you should be drawing the troops toward you. The intensity about you should be pretty strong,” said Mike McKenna, a Republican consultant.

Professionals in the political world consider intense support of a candidate a key ingredient for a successful campaign. Intense supporters will donate to the campaign, put signs in their yards and vote on Election Day.

“Motivation is the name of the game in trying to get people to the polls,” said Josh Putnam, a Davidson University political scientist. “It makes campaigns’ work easier if they can bank some votes, so to speak.”

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Close to 80 percent of Romney’s strongest supporters claim that they believe Romney understands the average American better than the other GOP candidates. Romney’s more tenuous supporters only agree to this claim by 44 percent. When it comes to the supporters for Santorum, his voters drop in intensity when they are less religious and more moderate voters, according to the Associated Press.

“I also have conservative values,” said Patricia Moran, from Pensacola, Fla. “But his whole women’s issues and contraceptives thing has diminished my enthusiasm for him.”



One of the campaign pollsters for Romney, Neil Newhouse, says that supporters can be attracted to candidates who have more important qualities.

“His ability and focus on fixing the economy and his perceived ability to beat Barack Obama really overwhelm everything else in the data,” Newhouse said.

The communications director for Santorum, Hogan Gidley, said that he does not believe the data from the polls and argues against it by explaining the excitement in Santorum he views at the polls and other campaign events.

“Even if I believed that, what does that say about Mitt Romney? It says a whole lot more about Mitt Romney’s supporters than ours,” Gidley said. “Romney is not going to have the heart and soul of the Republican Party behind him the way Rick Santorum will.”



 

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