Next Big Primary: Ohio
Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich all have a reason to compete in must-win state
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2012 11:22 AM CST
Mitt Romney greets employees at Meridian Bioscience, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Monday, Feb. 20, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(Newser) – With Arizona and Michigan in the books, the countdown to "Super Tuesday" has begun. But not all of the March 6 states are created equal. Expect the campaigns to set up shop in Ohio, a state without which, the Washington Post points out, no Republican president has ever been elected. Super PACs backing Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich are all already airing ads in the Buckeye State. Santorum visited yesterday, and Romney will hit Toledo and Columbus today.

Romney has had a team in Ohio for months, and has the backing of the majority of the state's major politicians, Real Clear Politics reports. But given his blue collar shtick, Santorum can ill afford to lose two Midwestern states in a row, ABC observes, and it doesn't look like he will. A recent University of Cincinnati poll has him 11 points ahead of Romney in the state. That's close to Nate Silver's projections, which currently show Romney behind in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Tennessee as well.