Poll: Santorum up by double digits in Ohio

Fresh off his victories in Michigan and Arizona, Mitt Romney will need to pull another come-from-behind effort to take Ohio on Super Tuesday, a new poll shows.

Romney trails Rick Santorum by 11 points in the latest Ohio Poll from the University of Cincinnati.

The poll finds Santorum with support from 37 percent of likely GOP voters surveyed. Romney is in second with 26 percent support, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 16 percent and Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) at 11 percent.

ADVERTISEMENT
But the race is still volatile: nearly half of those surveyed, 47 percent, say they could change their minds before the March 6 primary. Fifty-three percent say they will "definitely vote" for their current pick.

The Ohio poll, however, was conducted before Romney's victory in Tuesday's Michigan and Arizona primaries.

The former Massachusetts governor fended off what could have been a damaging defeat in the state where he grew up.

Romney had trailed Santorum in Michigan by double digits in many polls since mid-February, after the former Pennsylvania senator surged in state and national surveys following a trifecta of wins in GOP contests in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri.

But Romney, backed by superior funds and organization, chipped away at Santorum's lead and captured the state, along with Arizona, on Tuesday.

With 10 states holding contests on Super Tuesday next week, Romney is expected to focus strongly on Ohio, which will also be a key battleground in the general election.

Santorum's lead in Ohio is buoyed by his strength with Tea Party supporters. He received the support of 42 percent of the movement's backers to Gingrich's 23 percent and Romney's 22 percent in the survey.

Santorum also holds the edge with evangelical voters, winning 45 percent of their support to Romney's 20 percent.

The Ohio Poll was conducted from Feb. 16 to 26 and has a 4-percentage-point margin of error.

More in Ballot Box

Poll: Bush ties Clinton in Florida

Read more »