Mitt Romney may not be in much trouble in Arizona after all, according to a new poll from NBC News and Marist College, but he’s still got a dogfight in Michigan.
The new NBC/Marist polls in both of the states holding primaries on Feb. 28 show Romney leading Rick Santorum 43 percent to 27 percent in Arizona and 37 percent to 35 percent in Michigan — a margin that falls within the margin of error.
The new polls paint a much brighter picture for Romney than previous polling.
A CNN/Time/Opinion Research poll in Arizona released Tuesday showed Romney leading that state by just four points — also within the margin of error.
The NBC/Marist poll is also the first to show Romney leading in Michigan in a while. Santorum had poll leads as high as double digits in some polling last week.
The NBC/Marist polls were conducted Feb. 19 and 20, while the CNN/Time poll in Arizona was conducted Feb. 17 through Feb. 20. So there could be some movement toward Romney at the end of the polling period.
The NBC/Marist poll in Arizona is particularly good news for Romney, given that it shows him with a 52 percent to 22 percent edge among those who have voted early. That suggests that, whatever happens from this point on, he has built a sizeable early lead, depending on the number who have chosen early voting.
Romney’s supporters in Arizona are also more tied to their candidate, with 83 percent saying they are strongly committed to voting for him, compared to just 69 percent for Santorum. That’s a reversal from what we’ve seen in other parts of the country, where Santorum’s supporters are more enthused.