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Rick Santorum campaigns Monday in Westerville, Ohio.
Rick Santorum campaigns Monday in Westerville, Ohio. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
In a final day of campaigning before Super Tuesday, Republicans Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum focused on the economy in Ohio, the most sought-after prize in the 10 states voting or caucusing.
A week ago, Santorum had a substantial lead in Ohio polls; now he's in a statistical dead heat with Romney.
Ohio is seen as a true swing state in November, one that can test Romney's conservative credentials with Midwest Republicans in purer fashion than in his home state of Michigan, where he won last week in a close contest with Santorum.
NPR's Tamara Keith reports that Romney scheduled most of his Ohio events Monday in areas of the state hardest hit economically, claiming that the Republican focus should be on "getting good jobs and scaling back the size of government, and that's what I do."
NPR's Don Gonyea reports that Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, spent the morning in the southern part of the state, where he talked about bringing manufacturing jobs back to Ohio by slashing corporate taxes.
Santorum also said Romney has not been forthcoming about the degree to which the state health care law he championed as governor of Massachusetts shaped President Obama's national health care law, which the Republican candidates all want to repeal.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spent the day campaigning in Tennessee. Texas Rep. Ron Paul was in Idaho.
Republicans will be voting Tuesday in Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. All 10 states are awarding their delegates proportionally, rather than winner take all, and more than 400 total delegates are at stake on what will be the busiest election day of the year to date.