Polls show Santorum, Romney running in virtual tie in Michigan primary

Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney are in a virtual tie in Michigan, several polls showed Thursday.

Three polls have the race within the margin of error with Santorum ahead in two and Romney up in one.

According to an American Research Group poll, Santorum leads the field with 38 percent. Romney trails Santorum closely with 34 percent of the vote, followed by Ron Paul with 12 percent and Newt Gingrich with 7 percent.

ADVERTISEMENT
According to a Detroit Free Press poll, Santorum leads Romney 3 points, 37 percent to 34 percent. Paul has 10 percent and Gingrich trails with 7 percent. 

And an NBC News/Marist poll has Romney up by 2 points, 37 percent to 35 percent. Paul has 13 percent and Gingrich has 8 percent.

Overall poll numbers show Romney on the rise and Santorum coming down after his surprise trifecta of wins earlier this month. Just a few weeks ago, Santorum was up by double digits in the state.

Both candidates have been campaigning hard in Michigan as its Tuesday primary looms.

If Santorum were to win Michigan it would be a severe blow for Romney, who grew up in the Wolverine State and won it during the 2008 presidential primary. Both candidates have voiced strong opposition to the auto bailout there, and the issue is likely to not be a factor in the primary.

Over the last week Romney won the endorsement of both the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News. Both papers devoted some column space to disagreeing with Romney for his opposition of the auto bailout.

The poll was conducted Feb. 21-22 among a sample of 600 voters over telephone and has a margin of error of four percentage points.