Romney Aces Washington, Santorum Eats Crow

Mitt Romney makes it five for five with a win in Washington State, while his closest competitor is forced to backtrack on his "snob" comments about the president. But Ohio is still anyone's game.

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Mitt Romney won yesterday's straw poll in Washington state, which is about as binding as a cola blind taste-test, but a nice notch in his belt nonetheless. The win is the fifth in a row for Romney, who in the past weeks has finished first in Michigan and Arizona's primaries and the caucuses in Maine and Wyoming. After learning of his win, The Wall Street Journal reports, Mitt said it "sent a signal that they do not want a Washington insider in the White House. They want a conservative businessman who understands the private sector and knows how to get the federal government out of the way so that the economy can once again grow vigorously."

Meanwhile, Rick Santorum, still in a Cold Cut Trio haze after yesterday's stop an Ohio Subway franchise, acknowledged on Fox News Sunday this morning that his characterization of President Obama as a "snob" for stating his hopes that "everyone in American ... go to college" may have been off the mark, The Boston Globe reports. Host Chris Wallace pointed out that what the president asked was that every American commit to one year of higher education, whether it be in community college, vocational training or an apprenticeship.

Santorum, on Fox News, said he “read some columns where at least it was characterized that the president said we should go to four-year colleges.” “If it was in error, then I agree with the president that we should have options for people to go to a variety of different training options for them,” Santorum said.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released today put Romney and Santorum in a dead heat in advance of Tuesday's Ohio primary, tied with 32 percent support from likely voters. Their reasons differed:

Among those who went with Romney, 44 percent said they backed him because they believed he had a better chance at beating Obama in November, and 37 percent said their main reason for choosing him was his ability to improve the still-tepid economy.

Santorum, a strict conservative on social issues such as abortion and gay rights, attracted voters who were interested in his principles. Of the respondents who supported him, 56 percent said they did so because he shared their values and beliefs.

Photo: New York Jets center Nick Mangold (R) introduces Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at a town hall meeting campaign stop at USAeroteam in Dayton, Ohio March 3, 2012.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.