Romney closes the gap by 11pc in Michigan

Romney closes the gap by 11pc in Michigan

But Santorum has 22% lead in favourability ratings

There’s a new poll out from Public Policy Polling on next week’s crucial Michigan primary which many pundits are suggesting could be the most decisive of the whole nomination campaign.

This is, of course, Romney’s home state where his father was once governor and which he won comfortably in the primary in 2008. He really needs a victory there to head off his critics.

As can be seen from the numbers Santorum has dropped a couple of points to 37% on what PPP recorded last week. The big move has been the increase in Romney’s position up to 33% by a huge nine points.

The firm is the first to have carried out two Michigan polls since the campaign stared in earnest and so this is the first time we are able to measure with the same pollster the impact of Romney’s $7m advertising campaign

Interestingly, and perhaps most significantly, the Romney effort has done nothing to blunt Santorum’s favourability ratings. Last week he was 67/23 and these numbers remain the same. Romney sees his favourability numbers move up from +10 (49/39) to +20 (55/35).

The pollster notes: “What we’re seeing in Michigan is a very different story from Florida where Romney surged by effectively destroying his opponent’s image- here Romney’s gains have more to do with building himself up.

Groups Santorum has double digit leads with include Protestants (up 47-30), union members (up 43-23), Evangelicals (up 51-24), Tea Partiers (up 55-20), ‘very conservative’ voters (up 54-23), and men (up 40-28).

Romney is leading the field with women (38-34), seniors (42-34), moderates (35-24), ‘somewhat conservative’ voters (40-34), and Catholics (43-31).

What’s clear is this is a very close battle which is too close to call. There is also this from the pollster about Arizona, which votes on the same day, and Washington state which is four days later.


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