By David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new poll in Pennsylvania looks at the 2012 presidential race and how the hopefuls fare at this early stage.

The latest Quinnipiac University survey does not bode well for conservative former US senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who last week officially jumped into the Republican battle to replace President Obama.

“Rick Santorum came in second in our research in Pennsylvania, behind Governor (Mitt) Romney,” says the poll’s assistant director, Tim Malloy, “but a distant second.  And right behind him is Sarah Palin.”

quinnipiac poll x Poll Shows A Long Road Ahead For Santorums Presidential HopesThe actual numbers among Republicans in Pennsylvania give Romney 21 percent of the vote, 16 percent for Santorum, 11 for Palin, and the rest in single digits.  The poll was taken immediately after Santorum threw his hat into the ring.

Head to head against President Obama, the poll indicates that Santorum would lose by 11 points.

Mr. Obama’s numbers have improved overall in the Keystone State, with 48 percent suggesting he deserves a second term — up from 42 percent in April (see previous story).

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060

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