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Santorum makes pitch in Arizona as just 'a guy from a steel town,' closes gap with Romney

CNN is reporting a virtual tie in their latest CNN/Time/ORC poll of likely voters in Arizona's February 28 GOP presidential primary, reporting Romney at 36 percent support and Santorum at 32 percent with Romney's four point lead within the survey's sampling error.

A Rasmussen Reports poll released Friday had Santorum behind Romney in Arizona by eight points.

"Arizona Republicans display many of the same ideological divisions that drove the results in earlier primaries and caucuses," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Santorum wins the born-again vote in Arizona by nine points but loses among non-evangelical Republicans by 12 points. Romney loses by three points among tea party supporters but has a 15-point lead among Republicans who oppose the tea party or are neutral toward it."

CNN notes that Santorum surged in state and national polling after sweeping the February 7th contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. The four remaining Republican presidential candidates will participate in a CNN debate in the state Wednesday, before Arizona's February 28 primary.

POLITICO reports that at a lunch event Tuesday in Maricopa County, Santorum harked on his working steel town roots to distinguish himself from rival candidates:

"'I'm not a manager. I'm not a visionary,' he told the crowd in an apparent reference to his GOP rivals Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. 'I'm a guy from a steel town who grew up understanding what made this country great and for the years that I've been involved in public life, put my heart and my effort on the line to make this country the kind of country that we all want to hand on to our children and grandchildren.'

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