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Politics

Polls Show Close Fight Between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in Ohio

March 4, 2012 - 6:00pm

With 66 delegates at stake in the Buckeye State, Ohio ranks as one of the biggest prizes on the line on Super Tuesday this week. Three polls released on Monday find that Rick Santorums once sizable lead in Ohio has vanished as Mitt Romney has gained momentum after his big wins in the Arizona and Michigan primaries last week.

According to a poll released by Quinnipiac University on Monday, Romney has taken the lead in Ohio over Santorum. Romney takes 34 percent in the poll of likely Republican primary voters followed by Santorum with 31 percent. Newt Gingrich places third with 15 percent followed by Ron Paul with 12 percent.

"To borrow from the book of Berra, Yogi that is: it's deja vu all over again for Governor Mitt Romney, said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, on Monday. Just as he did in Florida and Michigan, Romney has erased a sizable deficit a week before the primary to grab the momentum in the final 24 hours.

"A week ago, Quinnipiac had Senator Santorum ahead by 7 points, now it's Romney by 3 -- a 10-point swing in seven days, Brown added. The margin makes the Ohio race too close to call, but Romney is the one with the wind at his back."

The poll of 753 likely Ohio Republican primary voters was taken from March 2-4 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percent.

A poll from Rasmussen Reports released on Monday finds that Republican presidential hopefuls are in a very close battle in Ohio. Santorum takes 32 percent of the Rasmussen poll of likely primary voters while Romney is right behind him with 31 percent. Gingrich and Paul are knotted together in a tie for distant third with 13 percent each. While 6 percent remain undecided, 3 percent say they will back other candidates in the race.

The poll of 750 likely Ohio Republican primary voters was taken March 4 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

But a third poll unveiled on Monday morning shows very different results. An American Research Group poll looking at the Ohio Republican presidential primary has Romney with a solid lead over Santorum in the Buckeye State.

The ARG poll of likely voters has Romney out front with 35 percent, followed by Santorum with 28 percent. Gingrich takes third with 18 percent, followed by Paul with 13 percent. One percent back other candidates and 5 percent remain undecided.

The poll of 600 likely Ohio Republican primary voters was taken March 3-4 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

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