Jonathan Cohn

Mitt-Mentum?

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Two new polls suggest Mitt Romney is closing the gap in Michigan and may even be ahead. The latest comes from the Michigan Information and Research Service: It shows Romney leading Rick Santorum by 32 percent to 30 percent. Last week, the same poll showed Romney trailing Santorum by 9 points. This comes after news from Public Policy Polling that Romney had narrowed Santorum's lead from 15 points to 4 in the span of a week.

What's going on? Romney is flooding the airwaves with advertisements, although Santorum has a serious presence too, at least based on my (admittedly sporadic) viewing of local news. My hunch -- and it's really just a hunch right now -- is that Santorum's recent statements, and media coverage of the contraception issue, are making some Republican voters wonder if he's too extreme to be electable.

As the Detroit Free Press notes, Santorum remains very strong in the western, more conservative parts of the state. But Romney seems to be consolidating support in the Detroit suburbs, which are more moderate.

I'm finishing up a print piece, but hope to say more about Romney and Michigan soon.

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