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Early Texas polling shows strong lead for Santorum

In addition to his growing national lead and current top spot in Michigan, a poll released Monday by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune shows former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum holding a commanding lead in the Lone Star State, arguably the hub of the conservative base in America. The Texas poll shows Santorum up 27 points on Newt Gingrich and 29 points ahead of Mitt Romney.

The Tribune notes that the race in Texas remains highly volatile, and the numbers could change significantly between now and the state's primaries. The same poll in October had Herman Cain leading with 27 percent, followed by Rick Perry at 26 percent, Paul at 12 percent, and everyone else in single digits. Santorum had just 1 percent in the October survey.

The Texas primaries were originally scheduled for March 6, but have been delayed by redistricting litigation. Texas still doesn't have all of its congressional and legislative maps in place, and the Texas Tribune reports that May 29 appears to be the earliest possible primary date.

The internet poll surveyed 800 Texas voters from February 8-15, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.46 percent. The poll also found that all four remaining GOP candidates have a fairly strong lead over President Obama head-to-head in Texas.

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