Santorum Slipping in Ohio

The current forecast from FiveThirtyEight

Tomorrow’s Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses will help define the rest of the Republican Presidential primary; each candidate has states that are viewed as “must-wins,” plus there are hundreds of delegates at stake.

Ohio is a particularly important state for Rick Santorum to win, as he looks to regain some of the momentum he’s lost to Mitt Romney in recent weeks.  It would prove that he could be a serious contender in the general election.  In addition, it would show that his narrative of being from the Rust Belt and wanting to bring manufacturing jobs back to the region is resonating with voters.

Santorum had what appeared to be a comfortable lead in polling in Ohio for recent weeks, but the newest polls collected by Real Clear Politics show a virtual tie between Santorum and Romney.  Some feel that the recent turn in the political discussion to social issues such as contraceptives have hurt Santorum, whose strident social views tend to mute his economic message that particularly appeals to the blue-collar workers of states such as Ohio and his native Pennsylvania.  Those social views could also alienate the more moderate voters who could determine the winner come November.

Santorum knows that he needs to win Ohio, and he’s spent most of his time since Michigan’s primary campaigning there. Even before the Michigan primary, Santorum declared Ohio “ground zero” in the Super Tuesday contest.

However, in recent days, he’s dialed down the expectations of a win in Ohio.  He’s being very outspent by Romney, and has acknowledged that Romney’s spending in the state has been an advantage.  A win by Santorum could prove that a small grassroots campaign with a strong message is what the voters are looking for, and that money won’t win the primary.  Polling over the past few days, however, has put that goal more out of reach, with the New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight giving Romney a 65 percent chance of winning Ohio.

March 5th, 2012 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Presidential, Top Stories | 1 Comment

One thought on “Santorum Slipping in Ohio”

  1. Bob Guzzardi, Ardmore Penna. says:

    Rick Santorum needs to win his alleged home state, Pennsylvania (he may have forgotten).

    This is highly unlikely. Those who don’t vote for Romney will vote for Ron Paul of Newt Gingrich.

    Obnoxiously arrogant and phony Specter Republican Rick Santorum’s record is too well known among conservatives and even middle of road Republicans.

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