Santorum Leading Romney In Ohio

The Buckeye State will be one of the biggest prizes on Super Tuesday, March 6th, and right now Rick Santorum is pulling ahead of Mitt Romney in the state:

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum shoots to the top among Ohio likely Republican primary voters with 36 percent, followed by 29 percent for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich runs third with 20 percent, while Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul gets 9 percent.

Three weeks before the March 6 primary, 50 percent of likely Republican primary voters say they might change their mind. This first survey of likely voters can not be compared with earlier surveys of registered Republicans.

(…)

“Sen. Rick Santorum has zoomed to the front of the line among likely voters in Ohio’s March 6 Republican presidential primary,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “He appears to be riding the momentum from his victories last week in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri.”

“Unclear is whether that momentum fizzles as happened to Santorum in New Hampshire after winning Iowa, and as happened to Gov. Mitt Romney in South Carolina after winning New Hampshire and Speaker Newt Gingrich in Florida after taking South Carolina,” Brown added.

“For the first time, numerically more voters in Ohio view Romney unfavorably than favorably. His pattern in the earlier primary states has been to use his money advantage to run a large number of negative ads on his biggest challenger. But doing so now risks further increasing Romney’s own unfavorables as a side effect of throwing the mud himself. Yet, Romney may feel the need to raise questions about the lesser-known Santorum in the eyes of GOP voters.”

Romney gets a slightly negative 37 – 40 percent favorability rating from all Ohio registered voters, with a 61 – 25 percent positive from likely Republican primary voters. Santorum, whose overall favorability was 25 – 25 percent in January, is now 35 – 22 percent favorable among all voters and 62 – 7 percent favorable among likely Republican primary voters.

Much of this seems to be a reflection of Santorum’s surge in Michigan and nationally, and it’s likely that the numbers here will depend on how things go there over the next two weeks. There’s not denying, though, that Santorum is surging and that the Romney campaign has something to worry about.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Brummagem Joe says:

    There’s not denying, though, that Santorum is surging and that the Romney campaign has something to worry about.

    Oh Boy Doug the lightbulb is coming on. That Romney has something to worry about has been blindingly obvious since that troika of results which were largely dismissed here as not material.
    I still have to believe Romney’s organisation and deep pockets are big assets but if he loses Michigan then there’s clearly a tide and there’s not much you can do to stop that. Messina and co might have to tear up their game plan for the third time.

  2. PJ says:

    Romney will win Ohio, there’s three weeks left until the primary. Plenty of time for him and his “non-coordinated” SuperPAC to blanket the state with negative ads.

    And then Ohio will be lost in November.

  3. DRS says:

    Six months ago if I’d told you you’d be typing the phrase “Santorum’s surge in Michigan” you probably would have been unable to stop laughing.

  4. Jr says:

    No surprise there.

    Romney is a terrible fit for the state of Ohio, while Frothy is the prefect candidate for this voters. Ohio tends socially conservative, but more liberal when it comes to economic.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DRS:

    “Santorum’s surge in Michigan”

    That is funny.

  6. merl says:

    Are the repubs trying to lose? Santorum? Damn, what the hell is wrong with you people?

  7. Gustopher says:

    So, the only qualifications required are to not be Romney, and never have worked in the Obama administration?

    I should have run. I can probably train myself to say things like “Kenyan economics are a failure!” with a straight face.

  8. DRS says:

    Seriously, isn’t Palin kicking herself around the block on an hourly basis right now?