Originally posted on As Ohio Goes, So Goes the Nation:
In an NBC News/Marist poll of likely Republican primary voters in Ohio, Mr. Santorum is backed by 34% of them and Mr. Romney by 32%. Mr. Gingrich has 15% and Ron Paul has 13% in the poll, which includes undecided voters. Only 6% remain undecided.
About six in ten said they were firmly committed to their choice. Three in ten somewhat support their candidate, and about 10 sai%d they could still change their mind.
While Mr. Romney has benefited in some earlier primaries by his campaign’s efforts among early voters, Ohio’s pattern may not be helpful to him. The state’s voting booths were open for early voting until Friday, and Mr. Romney does not have a big lead among those voters, getting 39% to Mr. Santorum’s 35%.
The economy resonates with voters. In Ohio, most registered voters say the worst is behind them, and 42% say the financial situation will remain the same.
As he has in other states, Mr. Santorum garners support from people who think he understands them and shares their values. In the NBC/Marist poll, 31% said he best understood their problems, while just 18% said that of Mr. Romney or Mr. Gingrich.
The NBC News/Marist polls were conducted Wednesday through Friday using land lines and cellphones. In Ohio, 820 potential Republican primary voters were surveyed with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.