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Michigan highlights the contrast of style in GOP race

John Makely / msnbc.com

The marquee sign of the Royal Oak theater in Royal Oak, Michigan announces the invitation only rally for Mitt Romney on the eve of the Republican primary election in his home state of Michigan.

John Makely / msnbc.com

Senator Rick Santorum has a quick bite to eat before the speaking to the Livonia Chamber of Commerce in Livonia, Michigan on Monday, Feb. 27. On the menu were mini quiches, muffins, sausages and mixed fruit.

A few weeks ago I spent ten days in New Hampshire covering the run up to the Republican primary on Jan. 10.  This week I briefly returned to the campaign trail as Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum vie for the attention of Michigan voters before the primary there on Feb. 28.  While Romney's campaign bankroll has enabled him to spend heavily on staff, promotional material and airtime I was still struck by the stark contrasts in style as I covered both Romney and Santorum events on Monday. 

John Makely / msnbc.com

Security was tight as
Mitt Romney addressed supporters gathered at the Caster Concepts company in Albion, Michigan. Those who turned out for the event were directed to areas around the stage, which was illuminated with theatrical lighting. Press risers were assembled for the media to offer a view of all the people in attendance.

John Makely / msnbc.com

Senator Rick Santorum makes a point while speaking before the Livonia Chamber of Commerce in Livonia, Michigan on Monday, Feb. 27.

John Makely / msnbc.com

Surrounded by supporters on a carefully arranged stage wit oversized banners,
Mitt Romney addresses primary voters gathered at the Caster Concepts company in Albion, Michigan. The crowd responded with applause following each talking point.

John Makely / msnbc.com

Senator Rick Santorum speaks before the Livonia Chamber of Commerce in Livonia, Michigan on Monday, Feb. 27. The senator earned a hearty applause from the crowd for comments supporting the U.S. troops, lowering taxes and his emphasis on the need to replace President Obama with a Republican.

John Makely / msnbc.com

Bob Pohl, of Spring Arbor, Michigan, ( second from left) holds up an old capmaign poster of George Romney, Mitt Romney's father, during a rally at the Caster Concepts company in Albion, Michigan.

John Makely / msnbc.com

Senator Rick Santorum shakes hands with a supporter after speaking to the Livonia Chamber of Commerce in Livonia, Michigan on Monday, Feb. 27.

John Makely / msnbc.com

Mitt Romney thanks Kid Rock after he and his band performed at the rally supporting Romney's campaign for President held at the Royal Oak theater in Royal Oak, Michigan on the eve of the Republican primary election in his home state of Michigan.

Story: Michigan a testing ground for doubt on Romney