The latest Rasmussen Poll shows that only one 2012 Republican presidential candidate can beat Barack Obama, and that candidate is former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. If the general election were held today, Santorum would defeat Obama by a margin of 45% to 44%. Mitt Romney comes in second, losing to Obama 49% to 42%. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is a close third with Obama winning 49% to 41% and Congressman Ron Paul loses to Obama 50% to 38%. Santorum got a 10-point boost in support from Independents since the last poll was conducted. So much for the argument that only Mitt Romney can attract Independents and defeat Obama.

rick santorum

The news is timely as today′s caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado are held today, as well as a no-delegate primary in Missouri where Santorum faces Romney without Gingrich on the ballot. Whether its his sweater-wearing or his Conservatives views, Santorum has also picked up some strong endorsements by GOP celebrities of the Christian Right like Pat Boone and Phyllis Schlafly. While Rush Limbaugh has not revealed whom he had voted for during the Florida primary, he did drop many hints that Santorum may have been his choice since he was the most consistently Conservative candidate running.

Today′s elections could prove to be make-or-break ones for the Santorum campaign. While still in black money-wise, his funds are very limited. A victory in Missouri, which seems very likely, could help rally support and keep Santorum in the race, even though he would not win any delegates. Polls for Minnesota show Santorum with a slight lead over Romney, 33% to 27%. In Colorado, Romney leads Santorum 37% to 27%. In Missouri, Santorum leads Romney 45% to 24%. While Missouri offers no delegates until a caucus next month, delegates in Colorado and Minnesota are non-binding.

So today may be a very good one for Rick Santorum as the Republicans hold caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado, and a primary in Missouri. The polls close in MN and MO at 8pm EST with polls closing in CO at 9pm EST. Santorum should win the Missouri primary easily if the latest polls are correct, which would be a moral victory since delegates are involved. He has a slight lead over Mitt Romney in Minnesota and trails him by 10-points in Colorado. Hopefully these two states will count their caucus votes better than Iowa and Nevada did. Then we might find out who won before the roosters wake up. Be sure and join us for our live blog this evening to watch the results come in.