LANSING -- A new WILX/EPIC-MRA poll released Thursday shows GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is gaining ground on President Obama among Michigan voters.
When asked how they would vote in the presidential election if it were held today, 46 percent of the state's respondents said they would vote for Romney; 45 percent picked Obama. That's within the margin of error of +/- 4 percent, placing the two in a statistical tie for the country's top job.
When asked the same question in April of this year, 43 percent took Romney to 47 percent said Obama, suggesting the lackluster jobs numbers over the past two months have begun to cut into the president's popularity in the state.
"I would point to the very large amount of advertising spent against Obama by the Super PACs, as well as the disappointing unemployment figures," said John Cavanagh, the EPIC-MRA pollster who helped conduct the poll.
It's got Michigan's Republicans feeling confident.
"This poll just demonstrates how weak Barack Obama is in Michigan," said Matt Frendewey, spokesman for the Michigan Republican Party. "It shows a trend that -- the more Mitt Romney is able to make his case, the better he'll do."
Still, Romney has work to do. When told about his opposition to the auto bailout, 39 percent of respondents said it made them less likely to vote for the Republican contender; just 18 percent said it made them more likely to.
Asked to take into account Romney's stance on the auto bailout, 46 percent said they would vote for Obama; 45 percent for Romney.
"Mitt Romney, I think, has got to figure out a better way to deal with that issue, or it's going to haunt him between now and November," said Bill Ballenger, editor of "Inside Michigan Politics."
Obama's favorability numbers also beat Romney's in the poll: 46 percent said they have a favorable opinion of the president; 41 percent said they have a favorable opinion of Romney.