Santorum Wins Rural and Urban in Tenn.

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Rick Santorum got plenty of help from rural voters in Tennessee this week in the Republican primary.
But metropolitan voters in the Volunteer State also preferred Santorum, though by a smaller margin than rural voters.

The Tennessee results in the Super Tuesday primary were a marked contrast with the Ohio primary, where Santorum won among rural voters but lost the metropolitan vote (and the primary) to Mitt Romney.

Santorum sailed past Romney among rural Tennessee voters, winning 40.4 percent of the vote there, compared to Romney’s 25.3 percent – a 15.1 percentage point advantage.

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Romney nibbled away some of Santorum’s lead among metropolitan voters, but still lost in metro areas by 4.2 percentage points (31 percent for Romney, 35.2 for Santorum).

Republican support for Santorum was deep and wide in the Volunteer State. The former Pennsylvania senator won all but four of the state’s 95 counties.

In a very quiet echo of Romney’s stronger metropolitan performance in Ohio, the former Massachusetts governor won two counties in the Nashville metropolitan area (Davidson and Williamson) and one on the fringe of the Knoxville metro area (Loudon, which is an exurban county).

Newt Gingrich won one county, exurban Macon County, northeast of Nashville on the Kentucky border.

Gingrich and Ron Paul finished in third and fourth places, with 24.2 percent and 9.1 percent of the statewide vote, respectively. There was little difference between the rural and metropolitan vote for those candidates.

 

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