With Super Tuesday primaries looming next week, the political world’s eyes are on Ohio, one of the richest prizes on the big day.
(Okay, there are a lot of eyes on the Arnold Sports Festival, but he’s a Republican too, after all.)
On Friday, the latest poll from Quinnipiac University declared the Ohio primary too close to call between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Pennsylvania’s former Sen. Rick Santorum.
It showed Santorum with 35 percent of likely Republican voters, and Romney at 31 percent. On Monday, Santorum had a 36 percent to 29 percent lead, a day before the Michigan primary. About 34 percent of Ohioans surveyed said they could still change their minds
“At this point, the Buckeye State is too close to call and is clearly a two-man race between Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Mitt Romney,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“A third of the electorate say they still might change their mind. With five days until Super Tuesday, they certainly will be exposed to enough negative television ads to provide fodder for those who might want to switch – or switch off.”
There’s also support for the two less-visible candidates. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had 17 percent, with 12 percent for Texas Congressman Ron Paul.
ABC News reported on a never-seen video that showed Romney in 2002, boasting about federal funds he had attracted for Massachusetts. Our friends at PBS NewsHour say the video has reignited debate over which candidate is the biggest Washington insider.
Candidates can’t focus all their efforts in Ohio as they could in Michigan, which received a 10-day dose of attention. That resulted in $7.6 million in advertising spending ahead of the state’s primary this week.
According to our partner Michigan Radio, Romney’s campaign spent $1.5 million, while a pro-Romney Super Pac spent nearly $2 million. Santorum spend just under $1 million, and a Super Pac spent over $1 million on his behalf.
Breaking down the numbers, Romney and his Super Pac spent about $8.45 for each vote the former Massachusetts governor received in the primary. Santorum and his Super Pac spent about $5.81 per primary vote in Michigan. Third place finisher Ron Paul spent a relatively frugal 48 cents per vote.
We’ll leave you for the weekend with this little tune that’s familiar to all Ohioans.
(It’s) Round on the end and “Hi” in the middle.
Tell me if you know.
Don’t you think that’s a cute little riddle
Round on the end and “Hi” in the middle
You can find it on the map if you look high and low.
The O’s are round, it’s high in the middle. O-H-I-O That’s the riddle!
Round on the end and “Hi” in the middle.