Romney Rolls, Santorum Stumbles Into Louisiana 

Gallup poll shows Romney above 40% approval, double-digit lead on Santorum.

Mitt Romney is rolling headed into Saturday’s Louisiana primary, boasting the highest approval ratings of any Republican since polling for this election cycle began in November, a Gallup poll released today shows.

Romney used a primary victory in Illinois and an endorsement from former Florida governor Jeb Bush to bounce above the 40 percent approval barrier, pollsters said.

Gallup completed its polling from Sunday to Thursday. It also showed Romney leading Rick Santorum by 14 percentage points, up from 4 less than a week ago, in the race for the GOP presidential nomination.

However, despite spending most of the day on the defensive, Santorum still enjoys a sizable lead in Louisiana, where 20 delegates are up for grabs on Saturday, CNN said.

Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, and his campaign team have repeatedly denied saying a Romney victory isn’t any better than another 4 years of President Obama.

“You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who is just going to be a little different than the person in there,” Santorum said in San Antonio on Thursday, CNN reported. “If they're going to be a little different, we may as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk in what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.”

Santorum said he didn’t mean to suggest he’d prefer Obama to Romney, and accused media for twisting his words.

Newt Gingrich tried to capitalize on the hot button issues his opponents created by observing from the sidelines in an attempt to garner more momentum in the south.

Gingrich wants to add Louisiana to victories in Georgia and South Carolina. As well as being a one-time Speaker of the House, Gingrich represented Georgia in congress between 1979 and 1999.

“The biggest development of the last 24 hours was Sen. Santorum’s remarkable mistake in suggesting that re-electing President Obama was acceptable under any circumstance,” Gingrich told The Associated Press in Port Fourchon, La. “I just want to make very clear that I could not disagree with him more strongly.”

Despite the souped-up sound bites, Romney’s lead appears insurmountable.

According to CNN’s estimates, the ex-Massachusetts governor now has 562 of the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination. Santorum trails with 249 while Gingrich has 137 and Ron Paul has 71.

Romney spent the day in Louisiana attacking Obama’s health-care reform, and said he’d allow states to opt if elected president.

He keyed on today marking the 2nd anniversary of the president signing the plan.

“You’ll note the White House is not celebrating Obamacare today,” Romney said. “They don't have any big ceremony going on. The president is not giving speeches on Obamacare, and that’s for a reason. Most Americans want to get rid of it, and we’re among those Americans. I want to get rid of it, too.”

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