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Super Tuesday: Mitt Romney woos blue-collar voters in Ohio

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After securing a victory in his home state of Michigan last week, Romney is casting his eyes on Ohio, a state that ­– in several ways – mirrors the manufacturing profile of its neighbor. Not only is the United Auto Workers alive and well here – G.M.’s Lordstown Assembly Plant is the largest employer in the region and is located down the road from where Romney was speaking – but the area is also home to many suppliers that directly service the Detroit industry.

“The auto industry is just as important in Ohio as it is in Michigan,” says Paul Allen Beck, a political scientist at Ohio State University in Columbus. “It’s the second leading state in terms of automotive employment in the country, so [manufacturing] is become an important issue here.”

Polls show Romney and Mr. Santorum in a tight race. A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday shows Romney and Santorum polling at 34 percent and 31 percent respectively while another poll by Suffolk University in Boston, also released Monday, shows Santorum at 37 percent and Romney at 33 percent.

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