Santorum Losing Ground to Romney in Ohio

Friday, 02 Mar 2012 07:41 AM

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Rick Santorum is losing ground in the crown jewel of Super Tuesday states, Ohio, with a new poll showing he is in a statistical tie with rival and presumed front-runner Mitt Romney.

The latest Quinnipiac University poll of likely Republican voters released Friday shows the former Pennsylvania senator at 35 percent to Romney's 31 percent in the survey that has a margin of error of plus, minus 4.3 percent.

But Santorum is clearly losing ground as Romney surges after his showing in Michigan and Arizona. Just a week ago, Santorum had a 7 point lead in the same poll.

On Feb. 27, the eve of the hotly contested Michigan primary,  Santorum was at 36 percent to Romney's 29 percent in the same survey.

“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,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “A third of the electorate say they still might change their mind. With five days until Super Tuesday, they certainly will be exposed to enough negative television ads to provide fodder for those who might want to switch — or switch off.”

Friday's survey shows former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has 17 percent, with 12 percent for Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

But key is that among voters who name a candidate, 34 percent say they still might change their mind by Tuesday, meaning the race could swing either way.

According to the poll, Santorum continues to do well among men but not women. Santorum leads Romney 34 – 28 percent among men and 37 – 33 percent among women.

Santorum also does well among those who describe themselves as conservative 40 – 27 percent; and he leads 42 – 25 percent among tea party members.

Romney leads Santorum 46 – 26 percent among self-described moderates.

The Quinnipiac survey was conducted Feb. 29-March 1, and polled 517 Ohio likely Republican primary voters.



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