Between Rick Santorum, left, and Mitt Romney, only one of these candidates will be smiling after Ohio results are in. SOURCE: AP

Update: Super Tuesday Results: Mitt Romney wins Virgina, Vermont, Ohio, Massachusetts, Alaska and Idaho. Santorum takes North Dakota, Tennessee and Oklahoma. Gingrich wins Georgia. No wins for Ron Paul.


Original Post:

After wins in Michigan, Arizona and Washington over the past two weeks, Mitt Romney’s presumed roll to the Republican presidential nomination might be back on track — if he wins one important state on Super Tuesday — Ohio.

While there are 10 states in play on this delegate-rich day of voting, the swing state of Ohio is Ground Zero for Romney, whose ground game in the Buckeye State is helping to show challenger Rick Santorum’s significant organizational weakness.

The most recent polls indicate that the recent surge by Santorum, the conservative, family-values candidate and former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, might be over. Three weeks ago, Santorum was polling ahead of Romney, but has now given up the lead in Ohio. Romney has not only closed the gap to a dead heat, but moved ahead of Santorum according to some polling results.

The Quinnipiac University poll on Monday showed Romney ahead of Santorum, 34 percent to 31 percent. A Suffolk University poll gave Santorum the narrow lead, 37 percent to 33 percent. Both leads were within the margin of error, however, momentum suggests Romney has the upper hand.

“The margin makes the Ohio race too close to call, but Romney is the one with the wind at his back,” Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown said.

For voters more concerned with the economy, jobs, health care and housing issues, the shift toward a more inevitable Romney nomination could take the debate away from social issues, like contraception, gay marriage and abortion, as championed by Santorum.

While states like Florida, California, Nevada, Arizona and even Georgia have experienced the massive effects of lost equity and foreclosures, residents in Ohio and other midwestern states will seek policy answers from the eventual GOP nominee.

Prior to 2007, Ohio was consistently ranked in the top three states for foreclosures, according to the John Glenn School of Public Affairs in Columbus, OH. In Ohio, housing foreclosures were a longstanding issue even before the 2008 housing crash, due to a loss of manufacturing jobs over the past two decades. Zillow Real Estate Market Reports show 6.8 out of every 10,000 homes in Ohio were foreclosed in December, a 0.4 percent increase from the previous month.


Ohio Home Value Data
Delegate count:66
Zillow Home Value Index for Ohio: $99,700 (-3.9% YOY, -0.5% MOM)
Change from Peak: -19.7% (Peak Feb. 2007)
Sold for Loss: 35.3%
Decreasing values: 59.9%
Homes Foreclosed: 6.8 out of every 10,000 homes were foreclosed in Dec.


While Romney looks for wins in Ohio, Massachusetts and Virginia, Santorum is ahead in Oklahoma and Tennessee. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich is the projected winner in his adopted state of Georgia.

Congressman Ron Paul, who vows to stay in the race no matter what, is not expected to make any significant delegate gains on Tuesday. However, Paul and Romney are the only two candidates who qualified for the primary ballot in Virginia, where both Santorum and Gingrich live.

Zillow Housing Data for Top Super Tuesday States:

Georgia Home Value Data
Delegate count: 76
Zillow Home Value Index for Georgia: $105,800 (-10.1% YOY, -0.2% MOM)
Change from Peak: -32.0% (Peak May 2007)
Sold for Loss: 48.8%
Decreasing values: 73.3%
Homes Foreclosed: N/A

Virginia Home Value Data
Delegate count: 49
Zillow Home Value Index for Virginia: $208,400 (-2.2% YOY, +0.4% MOM)
Change from Peak: -21.7% (Peak July 2006)
Sold for Loss: 30.5%
Decreasing values: 47.7%
Homes Foreclosed: 4.2 out of every 10,000 homes were foreclosed in Dec.

Oklahoma Home Value Data
Delegate count: 43
Zillow Home Value Index for Oklahoma: $94,800 (+7.2% YOY, +0.3% MOM)
Change from Peak: Currently at peak (Dec. 2011) – no bubble
Sold for Loss: 20.2%
Decreasing values: 37.9%
Homes Foreclosed: 1.7 out of every 10,000 homes were foreclosed in Dec.

Massachusetts Home Value Data
Delegate count: 41
Zillow Home Value Index for Massachusetts: $272,400 (-4.0% YOY, -0.4% MOM)
Change from Peak: -22.9% (Peak Sept. 2005)
Sold for Loss: 29%
Decreasing values: 70.1%
Homes Foreclosed: 3.8 out of every 10,000 homes were foreclosed in Dec.

> See Homes of GOP Candidates

> See GOP Candidates’ Stance on Housing Issues

About the Author

Laura Vecsey is a former sports columnist, news reporter and politics writer and has worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Baltimore Sun, Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union and Harrisburg Patriot-News. She was also a regional editor with She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.

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