Mitt Romney has edged in front of Rick Santorum in Tuesday's Ohio Republican presidential primary, but the race remains within the margin of error, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released early Monday.
Romney leads Santorum, 34 percent to 31 percent, in the poll, conducted Friday through Sunday. The poll's margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.6 percentage points, meaning the two frontrunners remain in a virtual tie.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is in third place, with 15 percent, followed closely by Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, with 12 percent. Seven percent of likely primary voters are undecided.
Santorum held the lead in the two most recent Quinnipiac polls in Ohio. In a survey conducted last Wednesday and Thursday, he led Romney by a statistically-insignificant four-point margin, but that was down from a seven-point advantage the former Pennsylvania senator enjoyed at the start of last week.
An NBC News/Marist poll released Sunday showed Santorum with a two-point lead, but that survey was conducted Tuesday through Friday and may not fully capture Romney's tepid-but-measurable late momentum in the Buckeye State.
Romney has pulled slightly in front by reclaiming his advantage among wealthier voters, while also narrowing the gap among the most conservative voters. Romney now leads Santorum among those primary voters making more than $100,000 a year, 43 percent to 30 percent. Santorum lead among wealthier voters in the previous poll.
Last week, Santorum led Romney by 13 percentage points among self-identified conservatives; today, that advantage is only 2 points. Romney, meanwhile, is maintaining his lead among more moderate voters, winning that segment of the electorate by 21 points, compared to his 20-point lead last week.
The latest Quinnipiac poll surveyed 753 likely Republican primary voters in Ohio.
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