Michigan’s Primary Race Tightens As Romney Talks Right To Work

A new poll by NBC News shows Mitt Romney taking a narrow lead over Rick Santorum in the race to win Michigan’s Republican primary next Tuesday.

The NBC poll, out Wednesday, showed 37 percent of likely voters support the former Massachusetts governor, while 35 percent support the former Pennsylvania senator. To statisticians, that’s within the margin of error, meaning a statistical tie.

“Michigan is neck and neck,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the NBC survey.

That’s a big change from last week, when Santorum led Romney in two Michigan polls.

When it comes to the November election, President Barack Obama would defeat Romney by nearly 20 percentage points in Michigan, the poll found. He would defeat Santorum by 22 points.

Meanwhile, the Santorum campaign said a daily tracking pollĀ  by the Gallup Organization showed the former senator maintaining a national lead of 36 percent to 26 percent among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

On Wednesday, Romney won the endorsement of the Detroit News, which said he had a “refreshing free market vision for restoring the nation’s prosperity.”

Romney, meanwhile, touched on one of the most-discussed issues in Midwest politics on Tuesday. He told an audience in Shelby Township, Mich., that he supports a Right to Work law for Michigan, according to our partner station Michigan Radio.

He hasn’t made any secret of his support for the legislation, which would prevent unions from charging mandatory dues if workers chose not to join. Indiana recently became the first Great Lakes state to enact Right to Work legislation, and the first in the U.S. to adopt it in a decade.

But his support of Right to Work puts him at odds with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who endorsed him last week. Snyder has said Right to Work is not a priority for his administration, and thinks the measure could distract from the state’s economic agenda.

You can read all of Changing Gears’ coverage of the Michigan primary here.

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