WASHINGTON (BP) -- Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has an 18-point lead over Mitt Romney among white evangelical GOP voters, according to a new poll.
The survey by the Pew Research Center found Santorum leading Romney 41-23 percent, with Newt Gingrich at 20 percent and Ron Paul at 6 percent. Santorum also leads Romney among white Catholics, 37-27 percent, with Gingrich at 18 percent and Paul at 9 percent. Data among evangelicals and Catholics of all races was not released.
Among all Republican voters in the survey, Santorum and Romney are virtually tied, with Santorum at 30 percent, Romney 28 percent, Gingrich 17 percent and Paul 12 percent.
In hypothetical general election matchups among all registered voters, President Obama leads the top three GOP candidates. He leads Santorum 53-43, Romney 52-44 and Gingrich 57-39 percent. Pew did not release results on Obama vs. Paul.
The poll of 1,172 registered voters was conducted Feb. 8-12.
Michael Foust is associate editor of Baptist Press.