Republican race for the White House remains close

POSTED: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 5:45pm

UPDATED: Sunday, February 26, 2012 - 2:07pm

A new NBC News poll shows Mitt Romney rising to a virtual tie with Rick Santorum in Romney's home state of Michigan.

Campaigning in in Arizona Wednesday, Romney called for a 20% across the board income tax cut, but raised eyebrows by also calling for a tax-the-rich-more plan like President Obama.

"I'm going to limit the deductions and exemptions, particularly for high income folks," Romney said, "so that we make sure that the top 1% keeps paying the current share that they're paying or more."

President Obama says that's fair.

He would raise the tax rate on high incomes as well.

The president also proposed a cut in corporate tax rates, like Romney, though not as big.

Some Obama and Romney proposals are converging, and in states that vote Tuesday, Arizona and Michigan, voters see Romney as the Republican with the best shot to beat the president.

That helps explain Romney's 16 point lead in Arizona in today's NBC News/Marist poll and his comeback in Michigan, where the Rick Santorum surge seems over.

Romney and Santorum are in a virtual tie in Romney's must-win home state.

Santorum, told Tea Partiers in Tucson Wednesday he's the only religious and fiscal conservative.

"You will find one candidate whose unafraid to go out and fight on all of the issues," he said.

Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, is counting on tonight's debate to spark a comeback.

"My goal is to go back to big solutions and big issues and not get drug down to his level," Gingrich said, referring to Romney, whose popularity levels in today's poll seem to indicate he's back on track.

Tonight's debate in Arizona could shake up the standings and it's the last time the candidates clash before Super Tuesday.
 

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