Ohio primary up for grabs as Super Tuesday looms

Recent polls show that the Ohio primary is too close to call between Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, as Super Tuesday looms.

The Quinnipiac University poll released today shows Santorum leading with a small edge over Romney’s 31 percent at 35 percent. A poll by Quinnipiac University last week showed Santorum at 36 percent and Romney at 29 percent.

In today’s poll, Newt Gingrich clocked in at 17 percent and Ron Paul had 12 percent, with 34 percent of the voters saying they might still change their minds.

Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said, “At this point, the Buckeye State is too close to call and is clearly a two-man race between Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Mitt Romney.”

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The Washington Post speculated on whether the decrease in Santorum’s lead was a result of his failure to appeal to the middle class. “Santorum’s support among middle-class voters in Ohio has dropped 16 percentage points over the past two weeks, and his lead over Romney among those voters has narrowed from 29 points to five,” said The Post.

Meanwhile, Romney’s campaign released an attack ad on Santorum in Ohio, calling him “just another Washington insider,” according to CNN. The ad catches him on inconsistencies in his position on whether the government should support clinics that provide contraception.

The AFP reported that the latest Public Policy Polling survey gave Romney the lead, with 37 percent, while Santorum had 32 percent. The poll said, "The large shift in Washington reflects what has happened in the race nationally over that period of time," referring to Romney's wins in Arizona and Michigan.

Ohio remains a key swing state with 66 delegates to award. Only Georgia has more, with 76 delegates.

The other states that will be heading to polls on Super Tuesday include Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. Around 437 delegates are up for grabs next week, with the candidates needing to win 1,144 of the available 2,286 delegates to capture the Republican nomination, said CBS News.

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