Tuesday, February 28, 2012

High stakes in Arizona and Michigan GOP primaries

CNN reports: In an election cycle that's seen more than its fair share of ups and downs, crucial primaries today in Arizona and especially Michigan could add a lot more drama to the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Fifty-nine delegates are up for grabs when both states vote. But much more than that, momentum that could alter the state of the race is at stake.

"Mitt Romney's ferocious campaign against Santorum in Michigan is pivot point of the campaign," GOP strategist and CNN contributor Alex Castellanos said.

Romney was born in Michigan and his father served as governor of the state in the 1960s. Many political pundits say losing the state could seriously sting Romney's bid for the nomination.

The most recent polls indicate it's all tied up in Michigan between the former Massachusetts governor and his top rival, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

The latest survey to suggest a dead heat: An American Research Group survey released Monday, which indicated that 36% of likely Michigan GOP primary voters were backing Santorum, with 35% supporting Romney, 15% backing Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and 8% supporting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Santorum's one point margin over Romney was well within the poll's margin of error. Polls from about two weeks ago indicated Santorum with the edge in Michigan.

Both the top two candidates have been spending most of their time since Thursday in Michigan.

More on the candidates strategies here.

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