© 2022
kunc-header-1440x90.png
NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
The next step in the race for the Presidency is Super Tuesday. This year's contest takes place on March 6th with 410 delegates up for grabs. 2012 Super Tuesday states include Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia, along with Alaska.All stories for Super Tuesday will be collected in this special section.

Pollster: Romney Surges Despite More GOP Ohioans Agreeing With Santorum

Mitt Romney greets supporters in Youngstown, Ohio, Monday, March 5, 2012.
Gerald Herbert
/
AP
Mitt Romney greets supporters in Youngstown, Ohio, Monday, March 5, 2012.

Suffolk University has a new poll out of Ohio that reminds us that in politics as in life, timing is everything; Rick Santorum would have been much better off if Super Tuesday had been two weeks ago.

The poll which was in the field through Sunday shows Santorum with a four percentage lead over Mitt Romney, 37 percent to 33 percent. That result is in the +/- 4.4 percent margin of error which means the race is a statistical tie which is the same result other polls of Ohio voters have gotten.

Here's an indication from the pollsters of how much the tables have completely turned on Santorum in just a few weeks:

"Santorum led 44 percent to Romney's 27 percent among those who already have cast ballots, but among those who have yet to vote, Santorum's margin was only 3 points, 36 percent to 33 percent."

So Santorum went from a commanding lead to a tie all in a few weeks with likely GOP voters in Ohio.

But here's the thing. He still holds a commanding lead in terms of being ideological connectedness with the state's Republican voters the poll indicates. Another excerpt from the pollsters' news release:

"Thirty-three percent of likely voters said that Santorum hews closer to their political beliefs than the other three GOP candidates. Gingrich was seen as having similar beliefs to their own by 22 percent; Romney by 19 percent; and Ron Paul by 10 percent."

So significantly more Ohio Republicans believe Santorum shares their views than Romney does and yet the race is a tie? What's going on? It appears it's all about electability. Romney crushes Santorum on that dimension.

"... Romney was seen as the candidate who has the best chance of defeating President Barack Obama by 44 percent of respondents, while 18 percent chose Santorum; 15 percent, Gingrich; and 2 percent, Ron Paul."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Frank James joined NPR News in April 2009 to launch the blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Mark Memmott.
Related Content
  • Ohio is one of 10 states holding contests to pick their party's presidential nominee on Super Tuesday. The conventional wisdom has been that whoever takes Ohio in the general election goes on to win the White House, which makes the state the main focus of attention for GOP candidates.
  • Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney appeared locked in a tie for Ohio's Republicans, with the former senator's lead in Ohio shrinking from what it was before the recent Michigan primary which Romney won.
  • GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney received a key endorsement Sunday morning when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia endorsed him on NBC's Meet the Press.
  • Only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul qualified to get on the state's printed ballot last fall; the other Republican candidates failed to collect enough signatures. For some, that may seem like there isn't much of a contest, but the candidates' supporters argue this is no time for complacency.