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Right Turn
Posted at 11:50 AM ET, 03/02/2012

Santorum sliding in Ohio

As I predicted yesterday, Mitt Romney’s national polling bump is showing up in Ohio. Pre-Michigan, Rick Santorum had a double-digit lead. In two post-Michigan polls, the race is within the margin of error.

Plainly the momentum is with Romney. ABC News dubs him the “incredible shrinking” candidate:

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine said in an interview with ABC News that Romney has proven himself to be a “good closer.”
“I think there are lot of voters who have yet to make a decision. I think the race still is very much wide open,” DeWine said. “I look back at Michigan — this thing could be like Michigan.”
Complicating Santorum’s problems in Ohio is the fact that in at least three congressional districts he won’t be eligible to win any delegates even if he ends up coming in first in those areas because he did not file what are known as “delegate slates” by a late December deadline.
And adding to the former Pennsylvania senator’s potential headache heading into Super Tuesday, there are fresh signs that Romney is starting to overtake him in Washington State, which holds its caucuses on Saturday. A win there could give him a boost heading into Tuesday.

That’s not to say Romney is home free. ABC also unearthed a 2002 video of Romney praising his ability to extract federal dollars for the Olympics and his state. (This is the flip side of Rick Santorum’s “everyone was doing it” earmarking.) But time is short, and it is hard to see how Santorum can change the trajectory of the race in only a few days.

It comes as no surprise then that both candidates have events throughout the day tomorrow in Ohio. If news reports are accurate, Romney (whom the Democrats and many in the media claim is low on cash) is outspending Santorum on advertising. Reuters reports: “The pro-Romney Super PAC, Restore Our Future, has spent $2.2 million on ads in Ohio, alongside $1.3 million laid out by the Romney campaign itself on TV and cable spots in the state, according to the Super PAC’s spokeswoman and a Republican media buyer who tracks campaign spending. The pro-Santorum Red, White and Blue Fund on Thursday doubled its Ohio TV spending to $514,000, according to adviser Stuart Roy. The Santorum campaign itself has invested some $410,000 in cable ads there, according to the buyer’s data.”

Polling over the weekends can be unreliable (some campaign pollsters don’t bother to poll then) so we are in essence about to travel to the dark side of the moon, in which information is spotty at best. But what we know as of Friday is that Romney has the wind at his back.

By  |  11:50 AM ET, 03/02/2012

Categories:  2012 campaign

 
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