Romney Fights to Hold Michigan in Primary Election

Voters are going to the polls in U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's native Michigan Tuesday in a key primary that once again may reset the course of an unpredictable Republican presidential race.

Romney once held a commanding lead in Michigan where his father was a popular governor, but is now fighting to fend off an embarrassing loss against main rival, Rick Santorum. The former Pennsylvania senator has surged in the polls coming off a three-state victory earlier this month in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri.

Voters in Arizona will also cast ballots Tuesday as Republicans choose their candidate to face Democratic President Barack Obama in the November election.

Santorum and Romney are head-to-head in the latest opinion polls in Michigan. The candidates could end up splitting the state's delegates because Michigan awards them based on the proportion of the vote. In Arizona, a winner-take-all contest, opinion surveys show Romney with a clear lead over Santorum.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, is having difficulty winning the support of social conservatives, who are rallying behind Santorum.

Texas Representative Ron Paul and former House speaker Newt Gingrich are far behind in the polls. Gingrich turned his campaign efforts to Georgia Tuesday, a state he represented in Congress for two decades, as Paul moves his campaign on to Virginia.

Both Romney and Santorum will make last-ditch efforts to win Michigan Tuesday with campaign events across the state. Santorum is hoping a victory will cement his status as the conservative alternative to Romney.

"We have an opportunity here tomorrow in Michigan, here in Kalamazoo to go out and do something big, shock the establishment," said Santorum.

On the campaign trail Monday, Romney refocused his rhetoric on the economy. Romney criticized Santorum for never having a job in the private sector and touted his own ability to create jobs.

"I happen to believe that if we want to have a strong economy and good private sector jobs, it helps to have a president who's had a private sector job and I have," said Romney.

The primaries come a week before the much-anticipated "Super Tuesday," when 10 states hold presidential nominating contests.

fuente: La Voz de América,


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