AP projected Mitt Romney narrowly won Ohio, giving him a narrow victory in the most symbolically important Super Tuesday state and significantly boosting his odds of finally securing the GOP presidential nomination.
Ohio had become ground zero for the Republican primary, a quadrennial presidential battleground whose blue-collar electorate seemed to give ex-U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., a pathway to victory there. Both Santorum and Romney campaigned heavily in the Buckeye State during the last week, and recent polls had shown the two candidates in a dead heat.
But Romney, who entered Tuesday with momentum after winning the last five GOP contests, heavily outspent Santorum in Ohio and had the backing of much of the state’s GOP establishment, including U.S. Sen. Rob Portman.
With 10 states voting, Romney also was declared the winner in four others, idaho, Massachusetts, Vermont and Virginia. Santorum was projected to win in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in Georgia.