DETROIT — Ohio Gov. John Kasich has passed Republican front-runner Donald Trump by a slim margin in Michigan’s primary race, according to a new American Research Group poll released Saturday.
Kasich leads Trump 33 to 31 percent in the Great Lakes State followed by Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore], who garnered 15 percent of support, and Sen. [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] with 11 percent, respectively. The Ohio governor’s lead marks a surprising jump considering ARG’s last survey from late February showed Kasich with 17 percent of support.
Kasich hopes to win his home state of Ohio, which is a winner-take-all state. Winning Michigan’s primary would be a surprising and much-needed boost for Kasich, who hasn’t won any state primaries. (RELATED: Kasich: It’s A ‘Whole New Ballgame’ After I Win Ohio)
“We’re gonna win Ohio,” he told reporters after Thursday’s Republican debate in Detroit. “It’ll be a whole new ballgame.”
The poll, which sampled 400 likely Republican voters by phone, was conducted March 4-5 following Thursday’s debate and has a margin of error of five percentage points.
Real Clear Politics’ average has Kasich placing third with 17 percent support, nearly 19 points behind Trump and within two points of Cruz.
Michigan’s primary is on Tuesday.