Santorum adviser says Romney will be hurt even if Santorum loses Michigan

Although polls have fluctuated over who the front-runner is in the state, Santorum has remained competitive, polling either ahead of Romney or in a close second place. A Public Policy Polling survey on Monday found Romney with a slight lead over Santorum, 39 percent to 37 percent among Michigan voters.

Both Santorum's campaign and Romney's campaign have been spending a significant amount of resources in Michigan. Brabender argued that the more money the Romney campaign spends there, the less it will have for primary states on Super Tuesday.

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"The Romney campaign is spending a fortune they never expected to spend in Michigan, and every dollar they spend in Michigan is a dollar they don't have on Super Tuesday," he said.

In response, the Romney campaign suggested that the only way Santorum could win in Michigan would be by actually winning the primary.

"You don’t win by losing, and we are working hard to convince the voters of Michigan and Arizona that Mitt Romney is the best person to lead on jobs and the economy," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement. 

—This story was updated at 11:31 a.m.