We reported earlier in the day on Rick Santorum’s mounting lead over perennial campaign front-runner Mitt Romney in his home state of Michigan, now polls show the former Pennsylvania senator edging out Romney across the country to take the lead in national polls for the first time during his entire campaign. A Pew Research poll released Monday shows Santorum leading Romney nationally by 2 points during polling done between 2/8-2/12 and a RCP Average poll from 2/6-2/12 has Santorum ahead by 1.3 points. An even more astounding example of the swing of momentum gone in Santorum’s favor is seen in a PPP poll released Friday showing Santorum with a 15-point lead over Romney.  PPP writes:

“Part of the reason for Santorum’s surge is his own high level of popularity. 64% of voters see him favorably to only 22% with a negative one. But the other, and maybe more important, reason is that Republicans are significantly souring on both Romney and Gingrich. Romney’s favorability is barely above water at 44/43, representing a 23 point net decline from our December national poll when he was +24 (55/31). Gingrich has fallen even further. A 44% plurality of GOP voters now hold a negative opinion of him to only 42% with a positive one. That’s a 34 point drop from 2 months ago when he was at +32 (60/28).

Santorum is now completely dominating with several key segments of the electorate, especially the most right leaning parts of the party. With those describing themselves as ‘very conservative,’ he’s now winning a majority of voters at 53% to 20% for Gingrich and 15% for Romney.  Santorum gets a majority with Tea Party voters as well at 51% to 24% for Gingrich and 12% for Romney. And with Evangelicals he falls just short of a majority with 45% to 21% for Gingrich and 18% for Romney.”

These are the first major national polls to show Santorum in the lead.

“It’s important to keep in mind, though, that fewer than half of his voters are firmly committed to him,” Dean Debnam, the polling firm’s president, told The Hill. “When he comes under attack in the coming days, his lead could evaporate just as quickly as it was created.”

The PPP survey of 656 Republican primary voters was conducted Feb. 9-10 using automated telephone interviews and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

Many have speculated that Santorum’s recent success could be a biproduct of the national political dialogue shifting from the economy, where Romney has a perceived edge, to social issues like HHS mandating birth control, Prop 8 overturned and the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s social and traditional media ridicule for cutting funding to Planned Parenthood.