First Poll after Iowa shows Santorum as serious candidate

Rasmussen Reports released the first national poll after the Iowa caucuses in which Rick Santorum managed to basically tie front-runner Mitt Romney while  on a seriously limited budget.

Mitt Romney held on to the top spot in the poll with 29% while Santorum jumped significantly to 21% of survey respondents. Newt Gingrich pulled in third with just 16% and Ron Paul rounded out the top four with only 12% . Perry and Huntsman both came in with just 4%.

Santorum could have gotten some of his lift from Michele Bachmann supporters needing a new candidate to back. Some support may also be coming from those starting to think that Perry won’t last much longer – but neither of those explain the incredible lift by themselves. Perhaps  Santorum has become the candidate for the “anyone but Romney” crowd. Among “very conservative” voters, Santorum out-polled Romney 33% to 18% and he topped Romney by 5% among those who self-identify as TEA Party members.

Romney’s strong support seems to be coming from somewhat-to-less conservative voters of all ages with incomes of over $100k.

As candidates start their attack runs on the leader, Romney, a national poll showing him failing to get much more than 1-in-4 voters into his camp is a cautionary note.

One important piece of information that came out of this poll is that almost one-third of respondents that chose Romney said they could still change their mind – the highest percentage of any candidate in the poll.