Poll: Michigan Contest Too Close to Call

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:25 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - With some Democrats promising to vote for John McCain in today's Michigan primary, a new poll by Zogby International shows McCain leading Bush 44-41 percent in that state.

The Zogby poll of 907 likely voters was conducted Sunday and Monday. It shows Alan Keyes with 6 percent support and the rest undecided. However, given the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 points, the race is considered a statistical dead heat.

As for the Democrats crossing party lines to vote in today's Republican primary, many say they're doing it to get back at Michigan Governor John Engler, a longtime Bush supporter. Some Democrats say they consider a vote for McCain a vote against Engler, and although they'll vote for a Republican in the primary, many say there's no way they'll support a Republican candidate in the November general election.

It appears the candidates aren't too concerned with the latest polls, however. "I can smell the sweet scent of victory in Michigan," Bush told a youth rally in Grand Rapids on Monday night.

Meanwhile, an angry John McCain accuses Bush of "character assassination" for running a negative campaign. Press reports note that his tone is becoming more strident the longer he campaigns in Michigan.

At a Saginaw high school Monday, McCain asked his supporters if they'd seen the movie "Star Wars." "I'm just like Luke Skywalker trying to get out of the Death Star," McCain said. "I'm telling you, they're shooting at me from everywhere. Everybody's against me. Engler, Governor Bush, all the governors, all the senators."

"But we're going to kill 'em, right? We're going to get 'em. I'm getting out of that Death Star, and we're going to win this election!" McCain said.

Later, asked about his "we're going to kill 'em" comment, a McCain campaign spokesman said, "I'm sure he means that metaphorically."

The winner of today's Michigan primary gets 58 more delegates. McCain is expected to win today's primary in his home state of Arizona, where 30 delegates are at stake in a winner-takes-all contest.

After the Michigan and Arizona votes, Bush is favored to win on Feb. 29 in Virginia and North Dakota -- states where McCain has not campaigned.