Super Tuesday: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum sprint statewide in Ohio

by
March 5, 2012

By JUANA SUMMERS and REID J. EPSTEIN | Politico

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — The race for Ohio’s 66 delegates is playing out all across the state, with Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum aggressively chasing voters in every corner of Ohio.

The two are locked in a neck-and-neck battle for the Buckeye State — one of the most important Republican presidnetial battlegrounds on Super Tuesday — according to the latest polls, and whoever wins will gain substantial momentum heading into a crucial phase of the race.

 

Santorum is expected to do best in the south and western parts of the state, outside of Cincinnati, while Romney thinks he’ll have a strong showing outside of Cleveland in northeastern Ohio and in suburban Columbus in the central part of the state.

Santorum’s campaign is taking a wide view of the state, a campaign spokeswoman said, arguing that the campaign is not “micro-targeting specific areas” but rather focusing on all of Ohio.

“We’re looking at the state at large,” Santorum national press secretary Alice Stewart said. “Despite what the establishment here in Ohio and the Romney campaign wants to say, we’re on every ballot in the state. And we’re appealing to voters in all areas of the state.”

Santorum is campaigning aggressively in Ohio, Stewart said, and visiting small towns and suburbs, home to blue-collar voters who could be attracted to his Rust Belt background and focus on bringing back manufacturing.

But Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who recently flipped his support from Romney to Santorum, pinpointed western Ohio and the media market surrounding Cleveland as important targets for Santorum.

“He’s been up the entire western side of the state from Cincinnati to south of Toledo. There are a lot of Republicans along this western side. All the suburbs of Cincinnati, Lima, where he stopped today, Bowling Green,” he said. “But it’s also important that he hit the Cleveland media market. While Cleveland is considered to be a Democratic area, there are more Republicans in that media market — not in the city, but in the media market — than there are any media market in the state.”

To read more, visit: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/73593.html#ixzz1oCca2TFK

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