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Romney surges ahead in Republican polls despite Etch-a-Sketch gaffe

The favourite to nab the GOP presidential nomination, Romeny has 40 per cent support for the first time – despite that Etch-a-Sketch gaffe.
Mar 23rd 2012, 9:57 PM 6,044 14

MITT ROMNEY’S SUPPORT among Republican voters has surged in recent days in the US, according to Gallup polls.

He is the first candidate in the race for the Republican party nomination to reach 40 per cent support and his lead over closest rival Rick Santorum is now back in double-digits.

His previous high was 38 per cent – reached at the beginning of this month after winning the Arizona and Michigan primaries.

It’s more good news for Romney after a powerful endorsement from Jeb Bush and a strong win in the incumbent’s home turf Illinois.

However, it’s not all rosy for the presidential hopeful. His senior advisor Eric Fehrnstrom caused a stir during the week by stating that his boss could “hit a reset button” when it comes to the general election.

“It’s almost like an Etch-a-Sketch,” he said in remarks that will not impress some more conservative factions of the GOP. “You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.”

And, of course, his fellow candidates pounced.

Santorum criticised Romney’s policies at a rally today, with Etch-a-Sketch in hand.

However, some of the Gallup polls were taken after the aide made the remarks which have put a question mark over Romney’s consistency.

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Santorum is now trying to keep his rural followers on-side to keep within touching distance of the frontrunner.

Earlier this week, to remind party members of the ultimate goal, he said:

Gov. Romney does well in the counties where Democrats do well, and we do well in the counties where Republicans do well. That might give you some indication as to who the candidate is who best reflects the values of the Republican party.

The contest continues in Louisiana on Saturday, where Santorum is expected to win because of more vigorous campaigning.

Read: Romney extends Republican lead with strong Illinois win>

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Sinead O'Carroll

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