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Rick Santorum Sees Easy Road Ahead In Pennsylvania Poll

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Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich barely eked out wins in their home states on Super Tuesday. Rick Santorum should have an easier time in his, according to a Quinnipiac poll released on Wednesday that puts him well ahead of his challengers in Pennsylvania.

The poll of Pennsylvania Republicans found Santorum with a 36 percent to 22 percent lead over Romney, with Ron Paul at 12 percent and Gingrich at 8 percent.

If the race has narrowed by the April 24 primary, the poll shows an even surer victory for Santorum over Romney. In that case, 52 percent of Pennsylvania Republican voters said they would choose Santorum, versus the 32 percent who said they would choose Romney.

There are 72 delegates at stake in the primary, which is only open to those who registered Republican ahead of time, making Pennsylvania an important potential win for Santorum. He was raised in Pennsylvania, attended college there and represented the state in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

Still, his "native son" status would not guarantee an easy win against President Barack Obama in the fall, the poll found. In a head-to-head match-up, Santorum won 44 percent of Pennsylvania voters, while Obama won 45 percent.

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  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
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Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
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Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
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