A poll in Mitt Romney's home state of Michigan shows the GOP presidential nominee within three percentage points of President Barack Obama, a dramatic shift from one month ago when the president led his rival by double digits.
The EPIC-MRA survey released Monday showed Obama with the support of 48% of likely voters in Michigan, compared to 45% who said they support Romney. The gap was within the poll's sampling error.
That's a shift from an EPIC-MRA poll conducted September 8-11, which showed Obama leading Romney 47%-37%. The poll released Monday was conducted October 4-6, entirely after the first presidential debate between the two candidates.
In the poll, 66% of likely Michigan voters said Romney was the winner of the debate, which was held October 3 in Denver. Twelve percent said Obama won the debate, and 8% said it was a draw.
The number of undecided voters in the poll dropped to seven percent, down from 16% when the poll was conducted in September.
A CNN/ORC International survey also conducted in mid-September showed Obama leading Romney 52%-44% in Michigan.
Both Romney and his wife Ann were born in Michigan, and the candidate's father served as governor of the state in the 1960s. Among the key issues for voters in Michigan this year is the auto bailout, which is a central point of Obama's campaign message.
As part of the bailout, GM and Chrysler accepted federal loans amounting to $80 billion, though a portion of that came under the administration of former President George W. Bush. Romney opposed the government bailout and pushed for a privately financed, managed bankruptcy of the two automakers. In February, GM announced record annual profit, and regained its position as the world's largest automaker.
The EPIC-MRA survey, which was conducted for the Detroit Free Press, surveyed 600 likely Michigan voters by telephone and the sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.