Bated Breath: Who'll Be Super Tuesday's Big Winner?
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Will Super Tuesday transform former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney into the GOP Superman? With 10 states and more than 400 delegates on the table, he could deliver the knockout punch that clears the way for his nomination.
But his feisty challenger, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, is still in the fight for the biggest prize in Tuesday's primary -- the state of Ohio.
A poll released Monday shows Santorum and Romney in a dead heat in the Buckeye State.
Typical Buckeye Voter
Meet Sharon Henry, your typical Ohio voter: politically savvy, church going and blue-collar.
"We enjoy a good, middle class life," she said.
Henry has seen politicians come and go for years, making grand promises.
"To tell you the truth, I feel like everybody comes and has their little say, and then everything stays the same," she said.
Santorum Goes Blue Collar
So, who can win her vote? Romney and Santorum are both hoping they'll be the one to walk away with this key Midwestern swing state.
Santorum's strategy is to hammer home his blue collar message.
"I take the corporate tax for manufacturers from 35 percent to zero, and we tell manufacturers we want you to make things here in eastern Ohio. We want you to make things in America," Santorum told Ohio voters.
One week ago, Santorum led the Ohio polls by double digits. But Romney has outspent him 12 to 1, and media attention has targeted Santorum's staunch social conservative views, something he addressed with CBN News.
"Is the media out to get you?" CBN News' David Brody asked Santorum.
"I'm not a conspiracy theorist," Santorum replied.
"But there's a world view there though," Brody noted.
"Do people look at someone who is a Bible believing Christian and find them to be an oddity in American politics today? The answer is obviously yes," Santorum said.
Still Anyone's Contest?
As for Romney, momentum seems to be on his side.
"People like to vote for the winner. And Romney is seeming a little bit more like the winner right now," political science professor Paul Sracic told CBN News.
Still, it's unclear who will emerge victorious this Super Tuesday. Both Romney and Santorum will likely do well in a handful of states. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is expected to win his home state of Georgia, which carries the most delegates.
Out of all of the Super Tuesday states, Ohio is really the one state to watch.
Romney has not polled well with middle class voters, so he's holding town hall meetings like this one in Youngstown, Ohio, hoping to change all of that. It could signal the end of the GOP race if Romney can win this blue-collar state.
In order to win, Romney must convince undecided voters that he's the man for the Oval Office.
"For me it's a matter of who's more conservative, and I'm hoping Mr. Romney will tell me something to help me make up my mind today," one Ohio voter said.
Aware the economy has hit the Buckeye State hard, Romney's message is all about cutting taxes, getting people back to work and taking on President Obama.
"This is a failed presidency," Romney said of Obama. "He's a nice guy, but he's over his head. We need to have a president who understands the economy if we're going to fix the economy."
But some voters were still unimpressed.
"He moved me a little closer, but I'm still on the fence," one Ohio resident said.
Voters: GOP Bickering Must End
Whatever happens Tuesday, one thing's for sure: Voters want the Republican bickering to stop.
"I think it's destructive," one voter said. "I think it's affecting the party, and I think it's doing the whole party a disservice."
But Christian voters like Henry acknowledge that whoever wins won't be perfect.
"I want the right person to be in office. But there is no perfect person and there never will be because there's only been one perfect One," she said.
Santorum and Romney hope they're the one in Ohio and beyond when the dust clears after Super Tuesday.