(CNN) - Rick Santorum's lead in Ohio's Republican presidential primary has evaporated, according to a new poll released just four days before what can arguably be considered the most important contest on Super Tuesday.
A Quinnipiac University survey released Friday indicates that 35% of likely GOP primary voters in the Buckeye State say they back the former senator from Pennsylvania, with 31% supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Santorum's four-point advantage is within the survey's sampling error, meaning it's basically all tied up in Ohio.
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According to the poll, 17% back former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and 12% support Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Thirty-four percent of those who are backing a candidate say they may change their minds by Tuesday's primary.
The poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday, after Romney's big victory in Arizona's primary and after he narrowly edged out Santorum to win his native state of Michigan.
Santorum held a seven-point lead over Romney (36% to 29%) in a Quinnipiac poll released Monday, before the Arizona and Michigan contests.
"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 four 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."
The survey indicates Santorum slightly ahead of Romney among men (34% to 28%), with 37% of women backing Santorum and 33% supporting Romney. Santorum holds a 13-point lead among self-described conservatives and a 17-point lead among self-described tea party movement members. Romney has a 20-point lead among those who describe themselves as moderates.
Ohio's primary is open, meaning independent voters and Democrats are allowed to cast ballots in the GOP contest. Sixty-three delegates are up for grabs Tuesday in the Buckeye State, which besides being a crucial primary state is also one of the most highly contested battleground states in the general election.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted between February 29 and March 1, with 517 likely Republican primary voters in Ohio questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.
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Any woman that endorses the Ayatollah is out of her mind.
A person knows the media is for Mitt, they just like to play Rick up for a while then they drop him like a hot potato
I am looking forward to August.
It is beyond me how anyone with a brain can even think of Santorum as a contender.
All the stupidly smiling people around Sanatorium look like very, very low IQ people. Is that possible?
Willard doesn't have home field advantage in Ohio. Ohio is a manufacturing state. I'm sure Willard and Bain sent alot of their jobs away.
Santorum or Romney. Wow. What a choice.
Santorum could easily win Ohio if he could stay away from social issues, but he can't. The economy and foreign policy are Santorum's two biggest weak spots. Santorum is talking about what is most important to Rick Santorum. His economic plan adds over a trillion dollars of new annual debt, just like the other Republican candidates do. As far as his foreign policy credentials go, have you ever heard Santorum discuss anything related to foreign policy that was not about Iran or Islamic extremists? No, you haven't, and you won't because that is as far as his narrow field of vision extends.
Santorum is a woman-hating JERK. Any woman that wants to loose all healthcare, if her or her husband's employer doesn't want to pay for anything, is stupid beyond repair.
Ever notice the diverse crowd that gathers around Mitt and Ricky? What a dangerous duo.
I'm not real good at spelling made-up words: refudiate!
And before the spelling cops show up: derogatOry; indicative; posSession.
The only GOP contender running this cycle I would ever vote for is Ron Paul. Mitt, Rick and Newt are all too far over the right-wing fascist line for me. This election cycle reminds me of Pre-WWII Germany with the only difference being we will elect our own war-monger, kill everyone that disagrees with the Government, pro-invasion of our lives if anyone OTHER than Ron Paul or Obama gets the Whitehouse. Don't think the GOP has radical plans? Look at 2010... Jobs Jobs Jobs was all we heard and yet, the first thing the GOP did in EVERY state where they controlled the Senate, House and Governor's Mansion was all about abortion, anti-gay, anti-workers, anti everything.... Nothing about jobs and everything about social issues. If the GOP get the Whitehouse in 2012, by 2014 we won't recognize this country unless we remember Nazi Germany around 1943-44. No rights other than the ones the State "gives" you and only then only if you're wealthy or have friends in high places.
between romney or santorum i choose mickey mouse
I'd rather have a true conservative lose against Obama than have a Massachusetts moderate still lose to Obama. Rmoney is not an option for us!