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Still close in Ohio

Published by Tim McNulty on .

10:02 PM

By the end of Mitt Romney's just finished speech, he had pulled to within 1 point of Rick Santorum again in Ohio.

Santorum is crushing meanwhile in North Dakota.

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Romney not closing the deal

Published by Tim McNulty on .

9:10 PM

With Rick Santorum up by exactly 1 point in Ohio, no matter who wins it's going to be the closest GOP primary there since 1976, the NYT notes. (It used to be held later in the year when the contest was all but over.)

Mitt Romney will end the night winning the most delegates but the night is not shaping up so far to be the major win he needed to blow away his competition. Wrote Molly Ball this morning in The Atlantic: "Though Romney has made headway -- Santorum held a double-digit lead in polls two weeks ago -- the fact that it's so tight underscores his inability to persuade voters it's time to come home."

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Waiting on rural Ohio counties

Published by Tim McNulty on .

8:40 PM

Romney's up at the moment in Ohio by several points, but the rural counties aren't in yet. From Nate Silver at the NYT:

Mitt Romney leads Rick Santorum by about 6 percent in Ohio based on the precincts that have reported so far. However, this vote is in some of his strongest areas, and the margin should tighten as more rural areas report.

About 60 percent of the votes tabulated so far are from Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton counties, home to Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, respectively. But only about 20 percent of the votes in the Republican primary in 2008 was cast in one of those counties, meaning it the current vote count is disproportionately weighted toward these areas.

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Santorum picks up Tennessee

Published by Tim McNulty on .

8:37 PM

Rick Santorum picks up another win, as expected, in Tennessee.

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Will Romney win a southern state?

Published by Tim McNulty on .

8:24 PM

Checking in on Georgia, we see Santorum is still holding on to 2nd place there. Which reminds us:

From CNN:

8:17 p.m. ET - @jimacostacnn: Santorum's Brabender: “I’ll be interested to find out if Mitt Romney has won a southern state today.”