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Poll: Santorum Edging Romney in Michigan Poll: Santorum Edging Romney in Michigan

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CAMPAIGN 2012

Poll: Santorum Edging Romney in Michigan

Pollster says that 'Michigan is not Romney's firewall' for now.

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum arrives for a tour of an oil-well site in Tioga, N.D., on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Will Kincaid)  (AP Photo/Will Kincaid)

Rick Santorum leads Mitt Romney by a slim margin in Michigan, Romney's birthplace and the latest battleground in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to a new poll released early Thursday.

Santorum runs slightly ahead of Romney, 34 percent to 30 percent, according to the poll, conducted for The Detroit News and WDIV-TV in Detroit. Santorum's lead is barely inside the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is third with 12 percent, while Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is fourth with 9 percent. Twelve percent of likely GOP primary voters are undecided.

 

Majorities of likely primary voters view both Santorum and Romney favorably. Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, is viewed favorably by 68 percent of likely primary voters, while 22 percent have an unfavorable opinion. Romney's favorability rating is also 68 percent, with 23 percent having an unfavorable opinion.

But Romney's favorability is considerably softer than Santorum's: Just 21 percent of likely voters say they have a "very favorable" impression of Romney, the former Massachusetts governor whose father, George, once was Michigan's governor. That is lower than the 39 percent of likely voters who have a "very favorable" opinion of Santorum.

"Right now Michigan is not Mitt Romney's firewall," said pollster Richard Czuba, whose firm, Glengariff Group, conducted the poll.

 

"He's fighting for his political life in this state," Czuba added.

Michigan's Republican governor, Rick Snyder, is poised to endorse Romney in an event on Thursday, according to published reports.

The poll also shows an unsettled field ahead of the Wolverine State's Feb. 28 primary. Just 48 percent of likely voters say they would "definitely" vote for their candidate, while 49 percent "said their support was probable," the newspaper reported.

Glengariff Group surveyed 500 likely GOP primary voters from Feb. 11-13.

 
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