A win in Ohio on Super Tuesday could restore Mitt Romney's clear front-runner status. But senior Republicans are decrying the toxic nature of the campaign, and some prominent conservative commentators doubt that either Romney or Rick Santorum could beat Barack Obama.
Among the 10 states holding presidential primary elections or caucuses this coming “Super Tuesday,” Ohio may be the biggest enchilada. It’s a genuine swing state, and the economy – Mitt Romney’s claimed area of presidential expertise – has been hit hard there.
If Santorum wins those two states, and if he squeaks a win in Ohio, the day definitely will be his and Romney’s status will revert to shaky.
It well could happen. On Monday, the independent Quinnipiac University poll had Santorum ahead of Romney in Ohio 36-29 percent among likely Republican voters. Another Ohio poll out the same day, this one conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati, had Santorum ahead by 11 points (37-26).
By Friday, Santorum’s lead had shrunk to 35-31(within the margin of polling error), according to Quinnipiac, leaving the race for votes there virtually tied.