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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Sunday that while Mitt Romney is currently in the lead of the Republican presidential nomination contest, “he is not a very strong front-runner” because “almost all conservatives are opposed to him,” according to the Hill. “The fact is, Romney is probably the weakest Republican front-runner since Leonard Wood in 1920.”
For his part, Rick Santorum pushed back against claims by the Romney campaign that the numbers clearly show there’s little chance anyone will be able to catch up. It’s difficult to argue with Romney’s numbers, as Politico points out. But Santorum insists the campaign is more than a simple “mathematical formula,” noting that Romney “can’t close the deal” despite his deep coffers.
A new poll out Sunday seems to show just how much trouble Romney could still face. Romney has long thought of Illinois as a state that would prop him up after some difficulty in Southern contests, but he is now locked in a tight race with Santorum, reports the Chicago Tribune. Although Romney is still ahead, 35 percent to 31 percent, the advantage is within the Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV poll’s four-percentage-point margin of error.
Almost half of the voters said they could change their vote before heading to the polls March 20, meaning that the momentum to be gained from Tuesday’s primaries in Mississippi, Alabama, and Hawaii could be crucial, notes the New York Times.