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Romney Trails Santorum in New Michigan Poll Romney Trails Santorum in New Michigan Poll

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Campaign 2012

Romney Trails Santorum in New Michigan Poll

The good news: He wins an endorsement from the Detroit Free Press.

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Republican presidential candidates, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, gesture before a Republican Presidential debate Monday Jan. 23, 2012, at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Mitt Romney trails Rick Santorum, 37 percent to 34 percent, in a new poll of Michigan Republicans. The EPIC-MRA poll for the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ-TV underscores Romney's fragile position in the state where he was born and raised, and where his father was governor.

Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, has strong leads among conservatives, men, and voters in western and central Michigan. The good news for Romney is that 45 percent of those polled said they'd consider changing their minds before the Feb. 28 primary, and 12 percent said they were undecided.

 

The poll of 400 likely GOP primary voters was conducted Feb. 18-21 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

The Free Press editorial board endorsed Romney on Wednesday, but its headline conveyed less than full-throated enthusiasm: "Mitt Romney is best -- but we urge him to recapture collaborative spirit."

The board called Romney "dead wrong" in opposing the government bailout of the auto industry and said that "for the past 12 months, the former Massachusetts governor has been refashioning himself" with "gestures toward economic and social radicalism." The editorial urged him to get back to "the common sense of cooperative governing that made him a success in Massachusetts."

 

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