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. Jariv

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

    February 13, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. DIANA

    It doesn't matter who wins, they'll both lose to Obama. Can't wait to see the attack ads Romney has on Santorum – maybe he could Google search Santorum for material.
    Obama/Biden 2012

    February 13, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  3. politics as usual

    That's a PPP poll— a Democratic Party-affiliated poll. That's what they WANT you to believe.

    February 13, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    No surprise. Romney claiming MI as his home state would be like a member of the Harriman family claiming NY as home turf because their Averill was governor in the late 50s. Besides, that little piece urging the Big 3 to declare bankruptcy only shows how morally bankrupt Romney is.

    February 13, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. Guess What

    Good, Romney is nothing but a white obama

    February 13, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    Is it just me, or does Santorum look like Andy Kaufmann?

    February 13, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. Anonymous

    And Romney is a strong candidate who can win the general election, right? hahahaha

    February 13, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. Sniffit

    Photo Caption: "Greetings Earthlings!!!"

    February 13, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. Sniffit

    Note to MSM: Please never use the "santorum" and "surge" in the same sentence.

    February 13, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. GRAHAME RHODES

    I Really Really hope Santorum wins. Surely This joke has gone on long enough. However let us never forget just how fanatic these born again right wing nut jobs are Santorum, Backkmann, Palin etc; because they would try to implement their version of Sharia law upon the rest of us. Never forget either that Mark Chapman who shot and killed John Lennon was one of these religious fanatics. He killed John Lennon because Lennon said The Beetles were more popular than Jesus, never mind about Catcher in the Rye. Hope Santorum wins because he will stand even less chance than Palin anyway

    February 13, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  11. SafeJourney

    lol, please let the GOP/TP nominate Santorum. The Presidents election machine will destroy Santorum

    February 13, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  12. v_mag

    Scary Clown beating Money Clown? Time for the Money Clown to shovel some more cash into the battle. Or, folks could just research Scary Clown and find out what he's really all about.

    Obama is the not-Romney candidate.

    February 13, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. NVa Native

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

    February 13, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. Wolftracks

    Please republicans, nominate Santorum, Please, please, please!!!!!

    February 13, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. Riley

    I am from Michigan. Mark my words, "Romney will win MIchigan handily".

    February 13, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. Charlie from the North

    Uh-oh. That is not a good sign for Romney. Michigan was where he was supposed to "put it away" and start moving towards the middle. I don't really care which of them gets the nomination, I am solidly with the President.. I do like a long battle because they will act one way in the primaries and another in the general election. With the t-party/Christian right pushing them way past reasonable conservatism I don't know if they will even be able to see the middle by the time they have to look like they care.

    February 13, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Willard, you bet AGAINST American workers and American inginuity. You betted AGAINST US!!! That's why you're not doing well in Michigan. Nor will you do well in the rust belt states.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012
    ELIZABETH WARREN 2012 & BEYOND

    February 13, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. Joanne Renshaw

    No wonder Santorum prefers to sermonize "bedroom" issues, rather than campaign core relevant issues.
    He served, 2007 -2011, on the board of directors of Universal Health Services Inc., a large hospital chain which racked up dozens of allegations of abuse during that time - including everything from rape to suicide attempts allowed by neglect to murder.
    – played a key role in the so-called “K Street Project"
    – earned hundreds of thousands dollars by insider trading
    – unveiled campaign ads playing up his bipartisan work with liberal icons Hillary
    Clinton and Barbara Boxer
    – staunchly anti-abortion although his wife had an abortion in 1996
    – supported bigger federal budgets and deficits during the Bush years
    – unswerving supporter for the U.S. war in Iraq
    – backed the No Child Left Behind law
    – backed the Medicare prescription drug benefit
    – backed a proposal bailing out consumers with a $100 rebate for high gas prices
    – was complicit in a Senator friend's extramarital affair
    – abides false statements being made publicly about the President
    – attacked by Senator John McCain for backing pork-barrel spending
    – requested more than $1 billion in earmarks during his congressional career
    (now says he is opposed to earmarks)
    – supporting the so-called Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska

    February 13, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Obama will be relected. Period.

    February 13, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. Joanne Renshaw

    No exceptions for choosing abortion or "Don't do as I do, do as I say do"?

    Did the Santorums agree to abortion to 1)save the Mrs' life, or, 2)because of defect that made the child undesirable, in spite of Mr. Santorum's philosophy that there are no exceptions for choosing abortion?

    I know this is private and I am pro-choice, but since he constantly subjects us with speeches (sermons) on his objection (no matter the details) to abortion and contraceptives, he has invited public discussion.

    One account: Unborn child had a defect, the defect was corrected with surgery, wife developed an infection, without antibiotic the wife and child would die, wife took antibiotic and delivered prematurely, there was no effort to save the child's life, the child died within two hours.

    2004 interview with NPR Terry Gross; The story as told by Santorum: Mrs. received a risky surgery to save a pregnancy, she devoloped an infection, doctors said unless the fetus was removed she would die, antibiotics caused labor, doctors gave drugs to further induce labor (abortion). Not drugs to stop labor? That is clearly an abortion. No exceptions?

    Who is this man, Santorum, who must cover his tracks in more and more fanciful ways? He preaches, philosophizes and moralizes much more than he addresses the issues. Could it be that he does not have a handle on the "real" issues, or that he cannot adequately defend his record, so he panders to the far right?

    February 13, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. Rosslaw

    Since Santorum is proposing a form of Sharia law based on 13th century catholicism, does he still get the women (or "empty vessel") vote? Do women, whom Santorum does not believe should work outside the house, keep the vote?

    February 13, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. B

    It really does not matter who wins the GOP position as none of the extreme GOP clowns will have a prayer against Obama.

    Santorum is a religious fanatic, Romney is a fraud from the 1%, and Gingrich is a bag of past history that did not work.

    If you don’t believe it, take a look at the stock market growth and the jobs charts in the last 3 years, the numbers and graphs tell the story.

    February 13, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. BlindChange

    Romney gets 28% male vote and 39% female. And his overall vote is 27%. ARG, it does not make any sense; you rnumbers are not adding up.

    February 13, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. GOP are sheep

    Can't wait for all you haters to cry yourself to sleep when Obama wins by a landslide. You might want to consider moving to another country.

    February 13, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This could be a problem for Romney. It could be down to Romney and Santorum.

    February 13, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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