Northwest Ohio Firmly Behind Santorum

By Maureen Mespell
By Jeff Neumeyer

March 7, 2012 Updated Mar 7, 2012 at 2:06 AM EDT

OHIO (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- Republican candidate Rick Santorum only wishes Northwest Ohio had the final say in determining the winner of the Buckeye state's GOP Presidential Primary.

Santorum blitzed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in Defiance, Williams, Paulding and Van Wert Counties in "Super Tuesday" voting.

Despite that, Romney's big edge in the large urban population centers helped him grow a slim lead in the race to capture the state's prized nomination.

Santorum more than doubled Romney's vote totals in Paulding and Van Wert Counties.

But it appeared to be an empty result, as late returns in other parts of the state tipped the scales in favor of Romney.

In the small village of Paulding, there was only one local contested race on the ballot.

But the real draw for voters was the chance to choose from the four remaining Republican Presidential candidates.

James Grimes said he came out to throw his support behind Ron Paul.

"He's really looking to make some changes, going back to the way the Constitution was intended to be, and I really hope that he gets it, so he can do that," said Grimes.

George Egnor showed up at the county fairgrounds to put a vote in the column of President Obama, who ran unopposed in the Democratic Primary.

We asked if he thinks the President is a shoe-in come November, no matter who the GOP nominee turns out to be.

"Well, the way I'm looking at it right now, I don't think he's got a whole lot of competition running against him. With the people he's got, I don't particularly think he's going to have a problem," said Egnor.

Even with Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum running neck and neck in Ohio, the turn-out in Paulding County was nothing to write home about.

"The turnout leaves a little bit to be desired. We're probably at half to what we normally are," said David Cline, the chairman of the Paulding County Board of Elections.

Twenty miles to the south in Van Wert County, the main polling place for the city of Van Wert was still hopping with activity about an hour before the polls closed.

Bryce Cadwallader was clearly in the Santorum camp.

"That's the one that I chose, that had all the qualities that I was looking for in a potential candidate, but like I said before, it does take more than one person," said Cadwallader, a staunch conservative.

Dan McConahay didn't share who he voted for, but said he was voting conservative values.

"I don't believe in abortion. I think we need new leadership. The old leadership has been there so long," said McConahay.

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