A late surge by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in two Ohio counties landed him the most coveted prize of Super Tuesday.
According to CNN, Romney defeated former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum by the slimmest of margins, 38% to 37%.
CNN called the race with 96% of precincts reporting. At the time he held a lead of nearly 12,000 votes.
The night for Romney and Santorum resembled a heavyweight fight with a series voter swings back-and-forth before Romney took the lead for good in Ohio during the 10:00p.m. hour. The lead came courtesy of strong Romney support in Medina and Clermont County, according to CNN.
Both Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul garnered a small percentage of the vote, collecting 15% and 9% of the vote respectively.
Romney started the night trying to break away from his rivals as 419 delegates were up for grabs in 10 states on Super Tuesday.
He was riding a wave of momentum following wins in state primaries last week.
Get the latest election results in Northeast Ohio here.
Heading into Super Tuesday Romney had accumulated 207 delegates to 86 for Santorum, 46 for Paul and 39 for Gingrich, according to CNN estimates.
In addition to Ohio, Romney ended up taking four other states on Super Tuesday. He claimed Vermont, Virginia, Massachusetts and Idaho.
CNN polling shows Romney won in Ohio’s most populous counties, Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton as well as virtually all of the northeast portion of the state.
The polling shows Santorum won the race in 69 other Ohio counties, including every single county in the southeast portion of the state.
Santorum had a strong showing nationwide on Super Tuesday, claiming three states prior to losing Ohio by a percentage point.
Santorum told supporters at his campaign party in Steubenville after winning North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee, “We have won in the West, the Midwest, and the South, and we’re ready to win across this country.”
CNN Wire Reports contributed to this report.