Poll watch: Dead heat in Michigan, Romney ahead in Arizona, Santorum ahead in Oklahoma

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As the GOP presidential primary becomes increasingly competitive, polls from states once considered not part of any candidate’s path to victory have now become important.

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Arizona finds Mitt Romney leading Rick Santorum, 36% to 33%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 16% and Ron Paul at 9%.

Key finding: “One thing to keep an eye on over the next week is whether Newt Gingrich can hold his support. 16% is pretty good for him compared to what we’re finding other places right now, but only 46% of his voters say they’re solidly committed to him. 40% of his supporters say that Santorum is their second choice, compared to only 25% for Romney. If Gingrich’s supporters see he’s not viable and decide to jump ship the race could get even closer.”

In Michigan, a new We Ask America poll in Michigan finds Romney and Santorum tied in the GOP presidential race at 29% each. They are followed by Paul at 12% and Gingrich at 10%.

In Oklahoma, a new Tulsa World poll finds Santorum leading the GOP presidential race with 39%, followed by Romney at 23%, Gingrich at 18% and Paul at 13%.

The Oklahoma primary is on March 6.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.