Two polls, two trends, confirming the same factoid: Mitt Romney has clawed back into contention in Michigan's primary. The Public Policy Polling trend, from Febuary 10-12 to February 17-19:
Rick Santorum - 37% (-2)
Mitt Romney - 33% (+9)
Ron Paul - 15% (+3)
Newt Gingrich - 10% (-1)
And the Mitchell/Rosetta Stone poll for MIRS:
Mitt Romney - 32% (+7)
Rick Santorum - 30% (-4)
Newt Gingrich - 9% (+4)
Ron Paul - 7% (-4)
All that in one week. What happened? Romney was outspending Santorum on the air by better than 20-1. He's now outspending him, via his allies, around 3-1. But Santorum's still better-liked than Romney, with more voters saying Santorum's shares their values, and more saying they'd have a beer with the guy whose religion actually allows him to drink (42-29). Is there anything cutting against Santorum at all?
Even in a Republican primary, this new-old discussion of whether providers should be able to deny coverage for birth control is a loser. Romney is not emphasizing it on the trail at all. But up until last week, Santorum had successfully branded himself as a blue collar-friendly economic conservative who happened to be right on social issues. He'd been rewarded with support from Democrats and independents. That support has dipped slightly.
TODAY IN SLATE
I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.
There Are New Abuse Allegations Against Adrian Peterson
After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales
John Oliver Pleads for Scotland to Stay With the U.K.
If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter
Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison
In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal.
Ford’s Big Gamble
It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.