Poll: Romney surges ahead in Michigan


Rasmussen has a new Michigan poll of likely voters, taken on Thursday night after the GOP primary debate in Arizona, that shows Mitt Romney surging to a 6-point lead over Rick Santorum:

Mitt Romney 40%

Rick Santorum 34%

Ron Paul 10%

Newt Gingrich 9%

The previous Rasmussen survey of Michigan had Santorum ahead of Romney by four points, 38-34, so this looks like a fairly straightforward tale of fallout from Santorum’s problematic debate performance, in which he spent a good deal of time on defense over his Senate career. 

On the bright side for Santorum, that sort of debate downer could be transitory, as the stylistic impression left by a stage performance fades from memory.  He’s got a weekend to put that stage behind him, and according to most other polls, Michigan remains a margin-of-error race. 

For example, a poll taken by Mitchell Research of East Lansing, Michigan, in cooperation with Rosetta Stone Communications of Atlanta, and listed at RealClearPolitics has Romney in the lead by only 3 points: Romney 36, Santorum 33, Paul 12, Gingrich 9.  This poll was also taken among likely voters after the CNN debate. 

I don’t believe we’ve seen a major national poll that would factor in the Arizona debate yet, but the latest Gallup survey, taken from February 18 to 22, had Santorum in the lead nationally by 7 points: Santorum 34, Romney 27, Gingrich 15, Paul 10.