He must win in the Rust Belt:
Columbus, Ohio — In early February, Rick Santorum scored big, winning the Missouri primary and caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado. The sweep came at a critical time. Santorum, who had watched his poll numbers fade in January after Mitt Romney carried Florida and Nevada, desperately needed momentum. But since that trifecta, Romney has surged ahead, winning five straight contests.
On Tuesday, Santorum will once again seek a Rust Belt rebound. If he can take Ohio, he will — in the eyes of GOP consultants — be able to reassert himself as a national contender. “If he wins Ohio, the race keeps going; it becomes a delegate battle,” says Steve Schmidt, John McCain’s former strategist. “But if Romney wins, the Santorum campaign’s best days are almost certainly in the rearview mirror.”