Reporting Tim Kephart
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Overlooked in Florida, Rick Santorum has come storming back in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination. But whoever the candidate the GOP picks may not stand a chance against President Barack Obama.
According to a new Pew Research poll, Santorum has surged 16 points in the last month and is now leading the GOP field nationally.
Santorum picked up 30 percent of the vote in the poll compared to Mitt Romney’s 28 percent, Newt Gingrich’s 17 percent, and Ron Paul’s 12 percent.
But, while Santorum’s surge has been impressive in the Republican ranks; none of the Republicans are within striking distance of President Obama in the Pew poll.
The poll found Obama leads Romney, 52-44 percent; Obama leads Santorum, 53-43 percent; and leads Newt Gingrich, 57-39 percent.
The poll found that Obama has gained roughly 3 percent of the overall vote as Romney has started to decline since last November.
Most notably for Obama is that he has taken the lead among independents in the new poll. A month ago, Obama only garnered the support of 40 percent of independents in a Pew poll.
The latest Pew poll found Obama has 51 percent support amongst independent voters.
Further, the poll found that the number of independent voters who believe mitt Romney is “honest and trustworthy” has plummeted from 53 percent to 41 percent.
At the same time, the number of independents who said he is not honest and trustworthy has jumped from 35 to 42 percent.