Conservatives and Republicans alike have witnessed a true roller coaster for the GOP Presidential candidates. From last summer to now the polls have had each of the candidates as the leader, except Congressman Ron Paul. The current national front runner is former Senator Rick Santorum. He pulled ahead of Mitt Romney after a three state primary/caucus victory.
All eyes are now on next week's primaries in Michigan and Arizona. Santorum leads in recent polling by 4% over Romney. Romney remains committed to win his birth state of Michigan. Polls in Arizona have Mitt Romney leading by 5% over Santorum. Just seven days prior, Romney was leading in Arizona by 12%+. Ron Paul has slightly risen in both states. Paul is now a solid third place in polling. Newt Gingrich has dropped significantly. Gingrich only holds 10% of the vote in both states.
Timing is everything for Santorum and Romney. The first GOP debate in a month will be held Wednesday night in Arizona. CNN will host the debate beginning at 8:00pm. With Michigan and Arizona's primaries next Tuesday, we're sure to see some political fireworks during the debate. With Santorum now the front runner, all 3 candidates are likely to throw Rick some hard medicine. This is key for Santorum and Romney. If Santorum missteps, his poll numbers will suffer. If Romney throws a knok out blow in the debate, he could quickly regain the lead in Michigan. Don't underestimate Ron Paul's heat for Santorum. Rick and Paul have tangled consistently since last fall. Newt will be in the mix too. If he wants to have a chance, he'll need a very impressive debate performance.
Who will capture the momentum in this key debate? A clear victory by Romney or Santorum could dramatically change the direction of the GOP race as we head towards the Super Tuesday primaries on March 6th (Including Virginia).