There's a consensus coming out of the polling in Alabama and Mississippi: both states are genuine three-way races between Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich. Romney surprisingly has a real chance to win both states. Both states could also deliver victories to Santorum and Gingrich, keeping the latter's candidacy alive and the former's momentum going among socially conservative electorates.
Would Romney lose to either Santorum or Gingrich in a two-way race in the Deep South? Almost certainly. But even so, for Romney to be hovering around 30 percent in these states is progress for him.
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