Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota who has gone from running for president himself to acting as one of Mitt Romney’s lead surrogates, predicts the former Massachusetts governor will win the Michigan primary Tuesday.
Three of the five latest Michigan polls compiled by Real Clear Politics do show Romney with a lead over Rick Santorum, but the margins are tight.
Still, "The momentum in Michigan is on Mitt's side,” Pawlenty told Fox News, The Hill reports.
“If you saw the polls a week or two [ago], Rick was up substantially. Now Gov. Romney has clawed back to be tied or maybe even slightly in the lead."
Romney’s rebound results from voters learning more about the former Pennsylvania senator’s record, Pawlenty said.
"I think the reason for that is Rick didn't get a lot of scrutiny when he was the second- or third-tier candidate, and now we see his record. It's not the record of the true conservative he claims," Pawlenty said.
While Pawlenty went out on a limb in predicting a Romney victory in a contest that looks neck-and-neck, he also was quick to minimize the impact of a possible defeat.
"I think Mitt is going to win Michigan, but if he doesn't, there's no state that's dispositive. Look at this race so far. If we've learned anything, it's that any one state isn't make-or-break," Pawlenty said.
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