Romney, Santorum in tight duel for Ohio GOP nod

DAN SEWELL Associated Press Published:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Mitt Romney has edged past Rick Santorum in Ohio with the last precincts still coming in for the hotly contested, pivotal Super Tuesday state.

Romney led by 1,837 votes with 85 percent of precincts reporting unofficial returns. The former Massachusetts governor had 37.6 percent of the vote to 37.2 percent for Santorum.

Santorum hoped to rejuvenate his bid to overtake Romney for the Republican presidential nomination by claiming his biggest primary prize yet, while Romney hoped to add another key November swing state to bolster his front-runner status.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich was a distant third, at 15 percent, in the state that lies between Romney's native Michigan and Santorum's home state. Texas Rep. Ron Paul was running last at 9 percent.