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GOP showdown: Race ‘too close to call’ between Romney and Santorum

Courtesy of MCT

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It’s Super Tuesday, a day when 10 states, including Ohio, will vote for the Republican presidential nomination. While there are four candidates on the ballot, many signs indicate a two-man race.

In a CNN/ORC poll released Monday, all indications point to a virtual tie between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

The poll showed that 32 percent of voters would vote for Romney, 32 percent would vote for Santorum, 14 percent would vote for former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich and 11 percent would vote for Texas congressman Ron Paul.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Sunday asked who they would vote for in a two-man race between Santorum and Romney, and 44 percent of responses said they would support Romney and 43 percent said they would support Santorum.

“I’m for Romney for the election. Just a fan of what he’s been saying and doing,” said Tucker Rhinehart, a third-year in Spanish. “I think he has the best chance out of anyone, which is why I’m going to vote for him.”

Santorum served as a Pennsylvania representative for four years until he became a U.S. senator from 1995 until 2007.

Romney was governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. He was formerly a CEO at Bain & Co., a management consulting business.

Paul has been the U.S. representative for Texas’s 14th Congressional District since 1997. He ran for president in 1988 as a Libertarian and in 2008 as a Republican.

Gingrich represented Georgia’s 6th Congressional District from 1979 until his resignation in 1999. He also served as the 58th Speaker of the House.

“Ohio has a huge significance on the election … it has a huge young population because of (OSU),” said Destinee Miguest, a third-year in psychology.

Oklahoma, Ohio, North Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, Alaska and Virginia will all vote Tuesday. Santorum surged in Ohio last week, but recently Romney has caught up, with a race that is “too close to call,” according to a Quinnipiac Poll released Friday.

In the last caucus before Super Tuesday, Romney claimed victory in the Washington state caucus by more than 10 points.

Romney had 37.6 percent of the vote in Washington, while Paul had 24.8  percent and Santorum had 23.8 percent. Gingrich received 10.3 percent of the votes.

On Monday, Romney spoke to supporters in Canton, Ohio, about the economy and the importance of the primary.

“I look at this campaign right now and I see a lot of folks all talking about lots of things,” Romney said. “But what we need to talk about to defeat Barack Obama is getting good jobs and scaling back the size of government, and that’s what I do.”

Romney said his strength as a candidate is his experience in the economy, which he said needs to be revived.

“Other people in this race have debated about the economy, they’ve read about the economy, they’ve talked about it in subcommittee meetings, but I’ve actually been in it,” Romney said.

Santorum spent part of Monday speaking to supporters in Dayton, Ohio, and said people should look past individual wealth, taking a shot at Romney’s financial situation.

“Look into what the candidates have overcome and what they offer to this country, not just what money they have,” Santorum said. “Money’s not going to buy this election.”

Shay Trotter and Qynshela Sanders contributed to this story.

 

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