MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The race for the Republican presidential nomination will really heat up in Minnesota Monday, as three of the four remaining candidates make a stop in the state.

A new poll finds all four candidates have a good chance to claim victory in Minnesota’s caucuses.

Rick Santorum holds a slight edge, according to Public Policy Polling. He has 29 percent, compared to Mitt Romney’s 27 percent and Newt Gingrich’s 22 percent. Ron Paul has 19 percent.

Santorum won a close race in neighboring Iowa, which may be why he made a big push across the state Sunday.

Santorum visited Grace Church in Eden Prairie, where he took questions from the pastor. The majority of the discussion centered around Santorum’s faith in his public and private life.

With his only victory in Iowa, Santorum told us he’s hopeful his stops in Bemidji, Waconia, and Rochester will help tip the scales in Minnesota.

The Pastor of Grace Church said the church was not openly endorsing any candidate.

Santorum will continue his tour of Minnesota on Monday with a stop in Rochester. He will give a health care speech at the Kahler Grand Hotel at 10 a.m.

Fellow candidate Paul visited Minnesota on Saturday and will be back on Monday to hold a town hall meeting at the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center at 4 p.m. Then at 7, Paul will rally at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Newt Gingrich just announced on Sunday that he’ll be in town before the caucuses. There will be a public rally at the Ramada next to Mall of America at 7:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, there will be a rally for Romney’s campaign led by former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty. The rally will be at Romney’s local headquarters in Edina Monday afternoon.

Romney has a total of 97 delegates, including endorsements from Republican National Committee members who will automatically attend the convention and can support any candidate they choose. Gingrich has 30, Santorum 16 and Paul seven. It will take 1,144 delegates to win the Republican nomination.

Preliminary results of a poll of Nevada Republicans entering their caucuses showed that nearly half said the most important consideration in their decision was a candidate’s ability to defeat President Barack Obama this fall, a finding in line with other states.

About one-quarter of those surveyed said they were Mormon, roughly the same as in 2008, when Romney won with more than a majority of the vote in a multi-candidate field.

The entrance poll was conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press at 25 randomly selected caucus sites. It included 1,553 interviews and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Comments (14)
  1. the sounds of silence says:


  2. F.O.J. says:

    I’m going to vote for the candidate that Jesus would vote for.

  3. maxey says:

    Good they are here. I want to know which one can most effectively pray for the economy.

  4. the last independent says:

    Have any of you attended a caucus? The choosen candidate is put into place by the party, the Democrats and Republicans all do this. I can tell you that in Senate district 32A, the Peppins run it and they will fill the voting seats with people they deem suitible to push their candidate, but ALL districts do this. it does not matter what you want, it is who they want. Even if you happen to get elected to be a deligate, you are one vote and they vote as a block. So your one vote for a moderate will be thrown out anyway, so you as an independent thinker does not matter. Just like when the democrats crammed President Obama through.

    1. Little Tin God says:

      Kind of cynical aren’t we?

  5. G Dog says:

    I thought I smelled something……….

  6. ICUP says:

    No one will show up. I mean, all those GOP people have jobs to be at. It’s only the lazy liberals that don’t have jobs. That have enough free time to attend such nonsense.

    1. DDCUP says:

      @ICUP…Sounds to me like the GOP people are the lazy ones. So much for good citizenship with their “I won’t vote unless I get paid” attitude. Your theory does, though, explain the amazing cast of GOP candidates.

  7. jackactionhero says:

    Why would anybody care about learning the “faith” of a presidential candidate??? Aren’t you maybe more interested in how he’s going to stop the country from being taken over by Chinese or how to keep us safe from terrorism or how to respond better to natural disaster? How about jobs and health insurance?? But no, the republicans want to talk god instead. LOL! Sounds just about like a republican…

  8. Beastly says:

    Faith is about as useful as the Easter Bunny…

  9. RON PAUL OR ELSE!!! says:

    A new poll….. What poll? And Bomb Iran Santorum is leading the unnamed poll? What a joke. Hey GOP voters, Rome collapsed from expanding its military and empire to much and collapsed its currency. Obama included, there is only one candidate that will get us off this path of certain collapse. VOTE RON PAUL FEB 7th MN!!!!!!

  10. God says:

    WWJD? He would keep Unions and make every work place have unions. He would make the rich pay there fair share and make everyone get paid the same pay. He would make it so everyone lives good and has good health care. He would Stop all bad things.

  11. james2 says:

    the Gay Obsessed Party, GOP, will one day be socially libertarian as soon as the dinos die off. the young folk want nothing to do with the divisive, mean spirited, but obviously in denial, old guard. That is why Ron Paul is making a difference.

    once that happens, the Demos will be in deep trouble.

    fiscally conservative, and socially libertarian. yup, that sounds good to me.

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