|Ohio Republicans See A Bunch of Losers|
Newt Gingrich -- 16%
Ron Paul -- 6%
Romney -- 40%
Santorum -- 25%
Don't Know/NA -- 13%
That dataset makes clear that perplexed Ohio Republicans now view their entire crop of presidential hopefuls as a bunch of losers, with Romney the top of the lot. He's the only one with a selling point -- I'm not as bad as the rest -- and it can be spun to show that Republicans must pick him if they want to avoid being crushed. Romney, of course, badly needs something to get his campaign in a grove. He is struggling to win the Michigan primary today against former Pennsylvania Sen. Rich Santorum, and the outcome of that race is going to set the tone for the next week of campaigning ahead of Super Tuesday. Romney won't be knocked out of the race if he loses to Santorum, but he'll be bailing to keep from going under and looking for the lifejackets. Ohio is a critical state in presidential elections -- it's a given that nobody can win the nation's highest office without winning Ohio. So the Quinnipiac polling Feb. 23-26 can be used as an inducement to bring reluctant Republicans into the Romney fold.
At the moment, Santorum has a 7-point lead over Romney in Ohio. That has been unchanged since mid-February. Santorum has not been able to build on his momentum, and hardly any Republicans think he can be elected president. The Ohio GOP has to be asking itself: How did this happen, where did these guys come from, can we recover?