By the time Rick Santorum showed up in Michigan, he was already out in front.
Thursday's speech before the Detroit Economic Club amounted to the former Pennsylvania senator's political debut in the state, coming less than two weeks before Michigan votes in a Feb. 28 Republican primary.
Nonetheless, Santorum arrived in the state sitting at the top of the polls. It's a big break from the way things used to be.
On Morning Edition today, a couple of reports highlighting the run-up to the Feb. 28 Michigan primary, which is shaping up to be a close match between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, who has gained considerable momentum from wins elsewhere in the Midwest last week.
NPR's Don Gonyea reports from Michigan that Santorum's committment to conservative family values is having some resonance there.
Ask Detroit teachers about their biggest challenge and many will say, "You can't teach kids who don't come to class." Last year, the average Detroit public high school student missed at least 28 days of school.
Now, as part of its effort to get parents more involved, the district has launched a major initiative to improve attendance. The effort includes parent workshops and attendance agents charged with pushing parents to send their kids to school every day.