Poll: Santorum edges out Romney in Michigan
February 13th, 2012
11:03 AM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Santorum edges out Romney in Michigan

(CNN) - It's the state where Mitt Romney grew up and where his father served as governor in the 1960's, but a new poll in Michigan indicates that Rick Santorum is on top in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

According to an American Research Group survey released Monday, 33% of likely Michigan GOP primary voters say they are backing Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, with 27% supporting Romney, the former Massachusetts governor. Twenty-one percent are backing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, 12% are supporting Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and 6% are undecided. Santorum's advantage is technically within the poll's sampling error.

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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 won the 2008 Republican contest 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 the poll, 37% of self-described supporters of the tea party movement say they support Santorum, with 29% backing Gingrich, 17% supporting Romney and 11% backing Paul. Among people who are not backers of the tea party, or who are unsure about the movement, 35% back Romney, with Santorum at 30%, Gingrich at 14% and Paul at 13%.

The survey indicates that Santorum edges out Romney 33%-28% among male voters, with Romney topping Santorum 39%-33% among female voters.

The American Research Group poll was conducted February 11-12, with 600 likely Michigan GOP primary voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

Also see:

Romney wins mask lingering questions about his candidacy

Santorum: 'This is a two-person race'

Political clashes coming over budget, payroll tax cut

Ron Paul forges ahead after finishing second in Maine


Filed under: 2012 • Michigan • Polls • Rick Santorum
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I wonder how Paul (who might have been denied a victory in Maine) and Gingrich feel about losing ground to these two?

    February 13, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Rmoney has no chance in Michigan. He abandoned the state years ago and rarely returned. He abandoned the state again when he opposed the auto bailouts, which are quite popular here. Sure, he's popular with the GOBP elitists running their deathcult scam. With rank and file voters, though, not so much.

    February 13, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. Annie, Atlanta

    Good on Santorum. Did Romney think he could get away with telling the American people he would have let the auto industry die? Good grief, he's not a very smart politician, even with all that education, is he? And of course that poor people comment didn't help, either.

    February 13, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Annie, Atlanta

    BlindChange – those numbers do add up when you're talking about just taking a small sampling into consideration, and only from those who self-identify as Republicans. You have to know the specifics of the poll, first and foremost how many people were actually questioned, and how they were questioned. That's how polls work.

    February 13, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  5. Indy

    Jariv

    Santorum will not bring change to Washington. We need an outsider with leadership skills. Romney is the man to do

    Why ? Because you say so Jariv ? Romney is an outsider alright, he is clueless how the majority of Americans live their daily lives and that is why he would lose Michigan in the general election. The people will decide Jariv

    February 13, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. BlindChange

    Annie, I am not talking about sampling issues. What I am saying is that you cannot take two groups – males at 28% and females at 39%, mix them together and get an average less than 28, unless some of the people refused to identify if they were male or female. Even then, considering there are more females than males, I would expect it to average around 33-34%, unless the poll was flawed.

    February 13, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. NoTags

    From the poll it appears that Willard is not as loved in Michigan as he believes he is.

    February 13, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "ro-money, ro-money, ro-money............whatcha gonna do when they come for you........."

    Teeheee. Who let the clowns out? Who? Who Who Who Who?

    February 13, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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