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Santorum's Populist Lead in Ohio: Can He Hold On To It? Santorum's Populist Lead in Ohio: Can He Hold On To It?

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Santorum's Populist Lead in Ohio: Can He Hold On To It?

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Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign rally, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in Traverse City, Mich. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)  (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The Quinnipiac University poll of Ohio released Monday morning shows Rick Santorum attracting exactly the sort of coalition he will need to beat Mitt Romney not only there on Super Tuesday, but also in other critical heartland battlegrounds like Michigan.

The key question for Santorum, of course, is whether he can hold that coalition once Romney turns his full attention to Ohio, the top contest on March 6. The challenge for Santorum will be especially pronounced if the former Massachusetts governor holds on for victory tomorrow in his home state of Michigan. Early polls in Michigan also generally showed Santorum leading, until the Romney campaign and allied super PAC began carpet-bombing Santorum with negative ads and the former senator ignited a series of controversies with aggressive comments on an array of social issues.

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