Santorum declares Ohio 'ground zero' in GOP race

STEVE PEOPLES Associated Press Published:

MASON, Ohio (AP) -- Presidential candidate Rick Santorum is raising the stakes in the GOP nomination race in Ohio, declaring the state "ground zero" as he campaigns for one of Super Tuesday's biggest prizes.

More delegates will be awarded in Ohio than in any other state except Georgia in the opening months of the Republican campaign. Ohio and Georgia are two of the 10 contests scheduled for March 6, a benchmark for the primary campaign that often decides who can continue to the next level.

After three events in Ohio on Friday, Santorum is scheduled to begin Saturday with a tea party rally in Columbus. He then plans to attend a luncheon with the Ohio Christian Alliance and finish his day at a Lincoln Day dinner in Akron.

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