Politics

As Santorum Quits Race, CBS 5 Poll Shows Obama Advantage Over GOP

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Rick Santorum

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a Tea Party rally February 18, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Jay LaPrete/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — As Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum dropped out of the race on Tuesday, a newly released KPIX-TV CBS 5 poll showed President Barack Obama holding a lead by a margin of 2-1 among California voters over Mitt Romney, who is now the likely GOP nominee.

According to the CBS 5 poll, Romney now trails the incumbent Democrat by 62% to 31% here in America’s largest state, where 55 electoral votes are at stake in November’s general election.

RELATED CONTENT: Download The Complete CBS 5 Poll Results (.pdf)

The poll was conducted for CBS 5 by the firm SurveyUSA, whose tracking polls over the past 5 months – during the time when Santorum and other Republicans hammered at Romney – showed Obama’s lead over Romney grew from 17 points last November to 31 points currently.

Santorum did not endorse Romney in making his announcement to suspend his campaign Tuesday, although he did vow to fight to defeat President Obama.

“We made a decision over the weekend that while this presidential race for us is over for me, and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting,” Santorum said at a press conference in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

In a statement, Romney called Santorum “an able and worthy competitor” and congratulated his often-bitter rival for his campaign.

“He has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation,” said Romney. “We both recognize that what is most important is putting the failures of the last three years behind us and setting America back on the path to prosperity.”

With Santorum suspending his bid for the presidency, it removed the last significant obstacle in Romney’s now all-but-certain march to the Republican presidential nomination.

The CBS 5 poll of 1,995 Californians registered to vote was conducted from Mar. 29 to April 2 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2%.

(Copyright 2012 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)

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