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Romney, Santorum neck and neck in Michigan, new poll shows


This news story was published on February 22, 2012.
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By Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press –

WASHINGTON — At least one new poll released Tuesday suggested that Mitt Romney has erased Rick Santorum’s lead in Romney’s home state of Michigan.

The Michigan Information & Research Service, or MIRS, released a poll Tuesday morning showing Romney leading Santorum 32 percent-30 percent in Tuesday’s Republican presidential primary in Michigan.

The poll of 420 likely GOP primary voters was done Monday by Mitchell Research/Rosetta Stone and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points.

It shows former House Speaker Newt Gingrich trailing the two Michigan front-runners with 9 percent and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas next with 7 percent. However, the poll showed the potential for change, with 22 percent saying they were undecided.

Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts who grew up in Oakland County, had been considered a shoo-in to win Michigan just a few weeks ago.

Last week, a Mitchell/Rosetta Stone poll for MIRS showed Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, with a 9-point lead on Romney.

Another poll, by Public Policy Polling, that showed Santorum ahead by 15 points last week, indicated by Sunday that Romney had closed the gap to within 4 points.

The MIRS poll showed Santorum’s lead among tea party voters cut from 15 percentage points to 5, and his lead among evangelical Christians reduced from 16 to 11 percentage points. And where he had led Romney by 31 percentage points among self-described very conservative voters, that was down to 15 points. Among all self-described Republican voters, meanwhile, Romney has gone from 10 percentage points behind to 4 points ahead of Santorum.

Santorum is leading in the Grand Rapids media market 33 percent- 19 percent over Romney. In the larger metro Detroit region, Romney was leading 40 percent- 28 percent over Santorum.

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