Reporting Tim Kephart
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While Rick Santorum has picked up the majority of the headlines in recent weeks, it appears that Mitt Romney may have gained just enough momentum to overtake Santorum in Michigan during Tuesday’s primary.
According to a new Rasmussen Poll, Romney has a six-point lead over Santorum in Michigan, 40-34 percent. That’s a complete reversal from a similar poll taken three days ago that showed Santorum withi a four-point lead.
Another poll from Mitchell Research showed Romney had a three point lead in Michigan, which was significantly different from the nine point lead Santorum enjoyed just last week from the same polling operation.
Still, it’s not saying a lot about Romney’s chances of uniting the Republican Party behind him in the general election if he’s having this much trouble getting his home state to vote for him. If Romney manages to lose Michigan, it could be the end of the road for his campaign.
That’s why even though last week Romney’s camp said Michigan wasn’t that important, his campaign and Super PAC began pouring money into the state at the last minute to try to swing the vote.
Still, Santorum has consistently outperformed polls in multiple states during the first several primaries this season. But, Santorum’s success has typically come in caucus states, and neither Arizona nor Michigan will hold a cacucus.
Romney’s having a much easier time in Arizona where multiple polls have shown the former Massachusetts governor with a lead of anywhere from three to 13 points. Arizona has long been considered a safe state for Romney, especially thanks to early voting.
If Romney can win both of the states, it will give him major momentum heading into Super Tuesday, which will be held a week from this coming Tuesday.
The biggest prizes on Super Tuesday will be Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Georgia will hold the future of Newt Gingrich in its hands, because if he can’t win there, he might seriously consider dropping his bid.
Romney will likely win Massachusetts and Vermont on Super Tuesday, while Virginia, Alaska, Idaho, and North Dakota could go to any of the candidates. Virginia will be especially important because it will only match Romney against Paul, meaning Romney should easily win the state.