A new poll from Quinnipiac University gives former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney the momentum in the critical Ohio primary going to Super Tuesday.
Romney takes 34 percent in the survey while former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum takes 31 percent — within the margin of error. But that’s a 10-point shift in Romney’s favor since a week ago, when Santorum led 36 percent to 29 percent.
“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,” said pollster Peter Brown.
Republican strategists see Ohio, a swing state in the critical Rust Belt, as a tipping point for Romney’s campaign. Should he win, the primary could be over.
“It’s hard to see how Santorum credibly presses on if he loses Ohio,” a senior party strategist told The Fix last week. “Republicans are getting weary with the primary and even those who don’t really like Romney will begin to coalesce behind him in order to move on to Obama, which everyone is increasingly anxious to do.”
A total of 753 likely Ohio Republican voters were polled between March 2 and 4.
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich comes in third with 15 percent; Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R) follows with 12 percent.