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March 04, 2012

NBC News/Marist poll Has Rick Santorum & Mitt Romney Virtual Tie in Battle Ground State of Ohio

Posted in: 2012 Elections,Marist,Mitt Romney,Polls,Presidential Contenders,Primaries,Rasmussen,Rick Santorum

A new Marist/NBC News poll just days ahead of Super Tuesday and the all important GOP Ohio Primary has the Buckeye state in a virtual tie between Rick Santorum and Mitt Tomney, 34% to 32%. The poll shows that a majority of likely GOP primary voters view Romney as the Republican candidate with the best chance of defeating President Obama in November 2012. By a 57%  to 36% margin likely GOP primary voters prefer electability over ideology.

Two days until Super Tuesday and the pivotal Ohio Republican presidential primary, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney are running neck and neck in the Buckeye State, according to a new NBC News/Marist poll conducted Feb. 29 – March 2.

Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, gets the support of 34 percent of likely GOP primary voters, and Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, gets 32 percent.

Full poll results can be seen HERE.

Another recent Rasmussen poll showed that Mitt Romney was closing fast in Ohio on Santorum. Momentum is obviously on the side of Romney heading into Ohio and Super Tuesday.

More data from the Marist poll.

Among early voters, Romney receives 39% to 35% for Santorum.
Santorum does the best among likely Republican primary voters who are very conservative — 51% — those who are Evangelical Christians — 44% — and among Tea Party supporters — 41%.
Santorum — 53% — also does well among values voters.
Among Republicans, Santorum has 36% to 33% for Romney.  Independent voters divide with 31% for Santorum and 30% for Romney.
Romney — 37% — does better among likely Republican primary voters who are liberal or moderate compared with 20% for Santorum.  Among likely Republican primary voters in Ohio who are not Tea Party supporters, Romney leads Santorum 36% to 27%.
Romney also has the advantage among those who want a candidate who can defeat President Obama — 45%.  Among those who emphasize experience, 40% are for Romney.
Likely Republican primary voters who want a candidate who is closest to them on the issues divide.  Here, Santorum and Romney each has 29%, Paul follows with 24%, and Gingrich has 12%.

However, with the race tightening and Santorum still being in a slight lead over Romney, can Santorun really win Ohio and its delegates? Santorum has already kissed away nine delegates by not being on ballots in three Ohio congressional districts.

Santorum failed to file a full complement of delegates in six additional districts, said central committee member Bob Bennett. The holes add up to another nine delegates, for a total of 18 out of the 63 up for grabs. Santorum also did not file all 18 of his at-large delegates.

“He may very well leave delegates on the sidelines,” Bennett said. “Say he would win 70 percent of the state. He doesn’t have that many delegates.”

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