Poll watch: Santorum leads in Michigan, is close to Romney nationally; Mitt losing independents

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A new American Research Group survey in Michigan shows Rick Santorum leading the GOP primary field with 33%, followed by Mitt Romney at 27%, Newt Gingrich at 21% and Ron Paul at 12%.

Public Policy Polling survey finds Santorum with a huge lead over Romney, 39% to 24%, followed by Paul at 12% and Gingrich at 11%.

“Santorum’s rise is attributable to two major factors: his own personal popularity (a stellar 67/23 favorability) and GOP voters increasingly souring on Gingrich. Santorum’s becoming something closer and closer to a consensus conservative candidate as Gingrich bleeds support.”

Meanwhile, the Gallup daily tracking poll shows Romney just edging Santorum for the lead among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationally, 32% to 30%, with Newt Gingrich back at 16% and Ron Paul at just 8%.

A new Pew Research survey has Santorum just ahead of Romney, 30% to 28%, with Gingrich at 17% and Paul at 12%.

Also, Greg Sargent flags a striking finding in the new Pew Research poll:

In November, Mitt Romney was beating President Obama among independent voters, 53% to 41%. Now those numbers are upside down: Obama tops Romney among them, 51% to 42%. That’s a net 19 point swing of independents in Obama’s direction in three months. 

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.