Rick Santorum holds a slim lead over Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential primary race in Michigan, a Detroit News poll
published on Thursday shows.
Santorum’s 34 percent, compared with Romney's 30.4 percent, shows that likely Republican voters aren't convinced that Michigan native son Romney should be the party's nominee, the News reported. Romney won Michigan's GOP primary in 2008 and has close family ties to the state, where his father, George, was governor.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich scored 11.6 percent, and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul garnered 12.4 in the Feb. 11-13 poll of 500 registered voters likely to vote in the primary Feb. 28.
Despite former Pennsylvania Sen. Santorum’s leading score, 38 percent of those polled say Romney would be a better leader, compared with 15.8 for Santorum. Voters also think Romney is more likely to beat President Barack Obama (42.2 percent to 18.4 percent) in the general election, the News reported.
The primary could hinge upon whose base — social conservatives for Santorum or moderates for Romney — turns out in the primary.
Even though the most recent poll shows Romney behind, the former Massachusetts governor told reporters today that he won't lose in the primary, according to Politico. “But as you understand with the polling process, you have seen just how mercurial the sentiments of voters are until they get to know the candidates better,” he said.
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