The Sunlit Uplands

Follow Sunlit Uplands by E-Mail

Friday, February 17, 2012

Santorum Continues to Lead in Newest Michigan Poll

From CNN


Mitt Romney may lay claim to home field advantage in Michigan, but according to a new poll released 12 days before the state's Republican primary, Rick Santorum is on top of the field in the race for the GOP presidential nomination.

According to a survey out Thursday by the Detroit News and CNN affiliate WDIV, 34% of likely Republican primary voters say they're backing Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, with 30% supporting Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who's making his second bid for the White House. Santorum's four point margin is within the poll's sampling error.

The survey indicates that 12% back former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, with 9% supporting Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and 12% undecided. The poll was conducted entirely after Santorum's victories over Romney, Gingrich and Paul last week in caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota and a non-binding primary in Missouri. Santorum's sweep of the February 7 contests sparked his surge in national and state polling, and cemented the perception that Romney was having a hard time locking down support of core conservatives.

Michigan and Arizona are next up in the primary and caucus calendar, with both states holding primaries on February 28. The 30 delegates up for grabs in Michigan will be divided proportionally, while the 29 delegates at stake in Arizona are winner take all.

Romney grew up in Michigan and his father served as governor in the 1960's. Romney won the 2008 Republican primary in Michigan, edging out eventual GOP nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona by nine points. But four years later, the Santorum campaign feels they can be competitive in Michigan, as well as Ohio, which votes on Super Tuesday on March 6. Both states are considered part of the Rust Belt, with larger working class populations and strong Catholic communities, which may favor Santorum over Romney.

According to an American Research Group survey released Monday, 33% of likely Michigan GOP primary voters said they were backing Santorum, with 27% supporting Romney, with Gingrich at 21%, Paul at 12% and 6% undecided. Santorum's advantage in the ARG survey was also technically within the poll's sampling error.

The Detroit News poll's release comes as both Romney and Santorum separately campaign in Michigan Thursday. Romney also campaigned in the state Wednesday, defending his opposition in 2008 to the federal government's bailout of Michigan based G.M. and Chrysler.

The auto bailout, put in motion by former President George W. Bush and continued by President Barack Obama, is now widely viewed as a success. Michigan Democrats have seized on the issue as a potential vulnerability for Romney in a state hard hit by the economic downturn. Romney says that a managed bankruptcy would have been a better route to take in helping out the troubled auto makers.

The survey indicates the issue may not matter much to GOP primary voters, with half of the people questioned in the poll say a candidate's opposition to the government loans to the auto industry would not make a different to their vote in the presidential primary. Nearly 20% said it would make them more likely to vote for such a candidate, with 11% saying it would make them less likely to vote for such a candidate.

The Detroit News and CNN affiliate WDIV poll was conducted February 11-13, with 500 likely Michigan GOP primary voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.


Post a Comment