Struggling to keep his presidential bid afloat after two second-place finishes, Republican Mitt Romney touted his Michigan roots to the state's electorate and promised to do more to lift up the economically hard-hit state than rival John McCain.
Whether that will be enough for voters will be disclosed Tuesday when voters cast primary ballots.
Romney also suggested another rival, Mike Huckabee, was the wrong type of Republican for the nomination.
"If I'm president of the United States, I will not rest until Michigan is back, and I will bring it back with your help. Together, we'll do it," Romney said on Sunday during a boisterous rally at Lawrence Technical University.
Michigan's economy has been reeling from the U.S. auto industry's downturn. The state has the nation's highest unemployment rate at 7.4 percent.
Romney has promised to promote a revitalized transportation sector with research dollars, better trade deals, negotiated fuel-efficiency standards and a tax-free savings plan for people making $200,000 or less.
"I'm going to fight for every single good job. We're going to rebuild this industry. We're going to make Michigan strong and a leader again in the world," he said at Lawrence Tech.
Romney traveled with his wife, Ann, who also was born in Michigan, and talked about meeting her in the basement of Cindy White's house in Birmingham. He recalled his summer vacations on Torch Lake, and days ago visited the Statehouse to pose beneath the portrait of his late father, George, a three-term governor, in the Capitol rotunda.
He made known his familiarity with the Michigan way of life too.
"Of course, people speak with no accent, and they know that 'pop' refers to a drink, not a relative, and, of course, Vernors is the best ginger ale in the world."
Polls show Romney tied with McCain, according to the Detroit News, while the Detroit Free Press puts Romney about 5 percentage points ahead of McCain.
Earlier in the day, Romney dismissed any suggestion he would leave the race if he did not win Michigan.
"We're going all the way through Feb. 5. No ifs, ands or buts about it," he said on CBS's Face the Nation. "This is a race that is not going to be decided by a few states. It's a race that I'm taking to the nation."
He also questioned the viability of Huckabee, the Iowa caucus-winner, citing the former Arkansas governor's record on taxes, illegal immigration and prison commutations.
"This is not the kind of Republican that you'd expect to go to the White House," Romney said. "This is not the kind of Republican that I think people expect as somebody who is going to lead our party."
From NPR reports and The Associated Press