Super Tuesday: Candidates focus on Ohio

After the nail biting primaries in Michigan and Arizona, the GOP candidates are turning their attention to Ohio, a crucial state during March 6th's Super Tuesday primaries.

There are 437 delegates up for grabs next Tuesday, most of which are allocated according to each candidate's share of the vote. According to CNN, none of the candidates has an across the board advantage, though Romney is expected to easily win Massachusetts and Virginia. 

CNN writes that even though Ohio has 10 fewer delegates than Georgia, Ohio is the day's biggest prize.

This is for a few reasons. According to the Christian Science Monitor, Ohio is the backyard to former senator Rick Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania. Though Santorum is currently leading in the polls — Ohio is a union-heavy place where Santorum’s economic focus on reviving manufacturing should appeal to voters — it will easily become a test of each candidate's ability to connect with Republican voters, from small town conservatives to working class whites, to wealthier moderates.  

Mitt Romney, who headed to Toledo on Wednesday morning, spoke to a group of less than 100 people at a fence post manufacturing company there, acknowledging his primary victories right before laying into Obama and criticizing China, The New York Times reported.

“How is it China’s been so successful in taking away our jobs? Well, let me tell you how — by cheating,” said Romney, who called China a “currency manipulator. “When you hold down your currency artificially, it makes your products artificially less expensive, and by virtue of doing that and holding down their prices, they are able to put American businesses out of business, and kill American jobs.”

Other major states on Super Tuesday will include Georgia, Tennessee and Oklahoma, which are all traditionally conservative territories. Newt Gingrich must do well in all of these states to keep up his campaign's viability, The Times reported.

Gingrich is currently touring through his home state of Georgia, which has the largest number of delegates out of the 10 states that vote on March 6th.

Analysts argue that Gingrich and Santorum are competing to be the lone conservative challenger against the more moderate Romney, the only consistent front-runner in the race thus far. 

"For Santorum to make the most of the next week leading up to Super Tuesday, he must refocus his message on his appeal to blue collar workers and the middle class, with less of a focus on social issues," Republican analyst Matt Mackowiak said. "After tonight, Santorum must win Ohio to survive Super Tuesday with a realistic path to the nomination."

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