9:23am

Mon March 5, 2012
Political Scientist Questions GOP Strategy

MTSU Poll Shows Santorum with 2-t0-1 Lead in Tenn.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Tennessee joins 9 other states for Super Tuesday presidential primary voting tomorrow. As you’ve heard John and Celeste mention, Santorum and Romney are running neck-and-neck in several states.

The vote appears to be shaping up differently here in Tennessee. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum held a two-to-one lead over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in polls conducted recently by both the Survey Group at Middle Tennessee State University and the Vanderbilt Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions.

MTSU political science professor Dr. Sekou Franklin said Santorum’s emphasis on social issues seemed to be swaying Tennessee voters, but could eventually prove to be a liability for the GOP.

"I think it ultimately will be a mistake by the Republicans to kinda have steered the Republican Party in a direction towards these kind of socially conservative issues versus the economy which should occupy most of the people's minds."

Both the MTSU and the Vanderbilt polls were conducted in mid-February and pollsters caution that Tennessee voters may have reconsidered their choices in the weeks since.