photo courtesy Santorum campaign committee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — An Associated Press exit poll shows Rick Santorum owes his Tennessee primary victory to strong support among born-again Christians.

Santorum led Republican rival Mitt Romney 3 to 1 among those who say it matters a "great deal" that a candidate share their religious beliefs.  He also led among voters who considered themselves "very conservative," and among voters who supported the tea party.

Romney led among voters who considered themselves "moderate" or "liberal." He also led among voters with an annual income of more than $100,000.

NASHVILLE, Tenn (AP/WMOT) — An exit poll of voters in Tennessee's presidential primary showed Rick Santorum beat Mitt Romney thanks to strong support among born-again Christians — about three-quarters of those who went to the polls on Tuesday.

Santorum also led Romney 3 to 1 among those who said it mattered a "great deal" that a candidate shared their religious beliefs.

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.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  Presidential candidate Rick Santorum says he’s undaunted that most Tennessee Republican leaders have chosen not to endorse him for the nomination. 

The former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania told reporters after a speech at the Temple Baptist Church in Powell Wednesday that as the "insurgent candidate," he doesn't expect to draw the support of GOP establishment.

But Santorum expressed confidence he will carry Tennessee and other states holding their primaries on Super Tuesday.