U.S. Republican presidential candidates are days away from the crucial “Super Tuesday” vote, when 10 states hold nominating contests and a clear front-runner could be established.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is leading in a national poll, while former U.S. senator Rick Santorum is ahead in a survey in the key state of Ohio.
In the national Gallup survey released Friday, Romney has 35 percent support, while Santorum has 24 percent. The other candidates, former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Representative Ron Paul, trail with 15 percent and 11 percent, respectively.
But in Ohio, a Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey indicates Santorum has 35 percent of the support from likely Republican primary voters in the state, while Romney has 31 percent. Gingrich is third with 17 percent, and Paul has 12 percent.
However, among voters who indicated a preference, 34 percent say they might still change their mind before the March 6 vote.
The northwestern state of Washington holds caucuses Saturday, three days ahead of the much-anticipated Super Tuesday vote.
The eventual winner of the tightly contested nominating race will face U.S. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in the November election.
Romney is expected to do well in Massachusetts on Tuesday, plus Vermont and Virginia, where only he and Paul qualified for the ballot.
Santorum is focusing his efforts on Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Ohio.
Gingrich is hoping for a rebound with a victory in Georgia, which he represented in Congress for two decades, while Paul is trying for a breakthrough in states with smaller populations like Idaho, Alaska, and North Dakota.