“Republican presidential hopefuls today turn their focus to the biggest contests yet — Ohio and the rest of the 10 states that vote next week on Super Tuesday,” the New York Post writes. “In Ohio, the crown jewel of Super Tuesday, the brawl between front-runners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum promises to get even bloodier.”
“[T]he narrow nature of the win in Michigan, where [Romney] was born and won handily in 2008, demonstrates continued weakness in his candidacy,” the Boston Globe notes. “And now he heads into a phase of the campaign where it will be difficult to land any knockout blows and clinch the nomination: Super Tuesday. The March 6 vote by 10 states, including Massachusetts, will preface a potentially agonizing spring for the Republicans. It is the proverbial ‘long slog’ Romney’s campaign says it has been preparing for since last year.”
Bloomberg makes the same point: “Mitt Romney’s double-barreled victory in the Arizona and Michigan primaries yesterday gave him a burst of momentum in the Republican presidential race as the contest shifts to Southern states and Ohio, where his appeal among evangelical and working class voters will be tested anew.”
And the AP: “Mitt Romney is trying to capitalize on twin victories in Arizona and Michigan as the GOP nomination race expands to the 10 states that vote on Super Tuesday. Rival Rick Santorum, who narrowly lost in Michigan, faces splitting the conservative vote with Newt Gingrich as the former House speaker counts on Southern primaries to revive his campaign.”
The New York Daily News: “Mitt Romney seized a pair of wins Tuesday night, but his closer-than-expected margin of victory in his native Michigan left the Republican race for the White House far from over.”
GEORGIA: "Returning to Georgia Tuesday for several days of campaigning, Newt Gingrich accused Pakistan of hiding Osama bin Laden before U.S. Navy SEALs assassinated him during a daring night raid last May and said the United States should reevaluate its relationship with Islamic countries," writes the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
IDAHO: Romney's son Josh wrapped up a two-day swing in Idaho.
OHIO: An ominous lede for Romney in the Columbus Dispatch's Michigan story. "Momentum is with Mitt Romney as the GOP presidential race migrates to Ohio. For now."
The Cincinnati Enquirer offers a primer: "The core of the Republican vote in Ohio is in two places: the suburbs and exurbs of the state’s big cities – places like West Chester, Mason and Deerfield Township – and in the vast expanse of rural and small-town areas in southern Ohio and western Ohio, running alongside Interstate 75 from Dayton to Toledo. Those small towns and rural counties can easily be overlooked, but they are chock-full of what are sometimes called “values voters’ – fundamentalist Protestants and conservative Catholics who respond well to candidates like Santorum, who has been preaching from the stump that religion has a place in government."
TENNESSEE: The Tennessean: "Early voting ended in Nashville on Tuesday with a substantial drop-off in GOP voters from four years ago, while other counties have seen an increase from the 2008 election. By the end of the day Monday, about 4,200 Davidson County residents had voted in the Republican presidential primary. That’s fewer than half of the more than 9,000 people who voted early or absentee during the 2008 GOP primaries in Davidson County Other Middle Tennessee counties didn’t see that kind of drop-off, as voting was up in Rutherford, Sumner and Williamson counties compared with four years ago."
WASHINGTON: "If Mitt Romney thinks he can jog a victory lap, and put in a leisurely appearance here late in the week, he should think again," reports the Seattle Post Intelligencer. "Washington's contrarian history likely will deliver a message: It's far from over. The Evergreen State has lots of trees, but Romney won't find them the "right height."
Ron Paul is going up in Washington state with an ad that takes aim at all three of his rivals, including Romney.