Two new polls released Wednesday show Mitt Romney struggling in two of the 10 states that will vote in the GOP presidential primaries on Super Tuesday, March 6.
Romney is in third place in Oklahoma, where Rick Santorum is trouncing the field with 43 percent of the support, according to a survey from conservative polling outlet Rasmussen. Newt Gingrich is in second place with 22 percent, followed by Romney at 18 percent and Ron Paul at 7 percent.
Gingrich has staked his bid on performing well in Southern states; his sole victory thus far was in South Carolina.
The other primaries contests on Super Tuesday are in Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.
The two weeks before Super Tuesday will be critical for the Romney campaign, beginning with the debate in Arizona on Wednesday night.
The former Massachusetts governor has benefitted from being the party’s presumptive nominee, but has had to claw back into contention with Santorum in his home state of Michigan.
Romney also leads the field in Arizona, the other state to hold its primary on Feb. 28, but polls show Santorum within striking distance.
Santorum has already pulled off one Election Day surprise when the former Pennsylvania senator swept contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri earlier this month and leapt to the top of the pack in national polls.
Santorum holds a double-digit lead in the March 3 Washington state caucuses, the only other place to vote before Super Tuesday.
The Insider Advantage/Fox5 Atlanta poll was conducted Feb. 20, while the Rasmussen survey was conducted on Feb. 21. Both polls have a 4-point margin of error.