Poll: Santorum Crushing Romney in Michigan

Santorum leaves Gingrich in the dust in new poll.

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The wave of momentum Rick Santorum is riding after his victories in Colorado, Minnesotta, and Missouri last week is carrying him into Michigan. Public Policy Polling released a poll Monday showing Santorum is leading in the Great Lakes State, which is set to hold its primary on Feb. 28.

In the new poll, Santorum is up 15 points on Mitt Romney, with 39 percent of those polled saying they would vote for the former Pennsylvania Senator while 24 percent support Romney. Ron Paul, who PPP puts at 12 percent, is narrowly beating Santorum's "Not-Romney" challenger, Newt Gingrich, by 1 percentage point. Santorum has a majority share of the Tea Party vote, and he is also winning in the evangelical and "very conservative" categories.

[At CPAC, It's Rick vs. Mitt.]

The poll is notable not only because of Santorum's significant lead but also due to Mitt Romney being born in Detroit. His father, George Romney, was the Governor of Michigan for six years. Losing the nominating contest in his home state would be a huge blow to Romney's quest for candidacy.

PPP also shows that Santorum is becoming massively popular among the electorate, an important indicator considering the lackluster enthusiasm displayed by Republicans across the country this campaign season. Sixty-seven percent of those polled have a positive view of the man in the sweater vest.

That favorability number is perhaps the most important part of the new poll, especially when viewed in comparison with Newt Gingrich. According to PPP, only 38 percent of people have a positive view of Gingrich in Michigan. Likewise, only 49 percent have positive views of Romney.

[Santorum's Candid Rhetoric Has Liberals Nervous.]

Still, PPP reports that there is room for fluidity in the upcoming Michigan contest. Of those who say they would vote for Romney, 52 percent say they are totally sure he would be their candidate, while 46 percent of Santorum supporters claim to be wholly sure of their choice.