McCain Bailing on Michigan
John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play.
McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida. Wisconsin went for Kerry in 2004, Ohio and Florida for Bush.
McCain’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Republicans had been bullish on Michigan, hopeful that McCain’s past success in the state in the 2000 primary combined with voter dissatisfaction with Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm and skepticism among blue-collar voters about Barack Obama could make it competitive.
Aside from Pennsylvania, Michigan was high on McCain’s list of blue states that they’d hoped to poach. Bailing on Michigan means that McCain will likely be playing defense for the remainder of the election. I’d expect them to move to Pennsylvania as the state they most hope to flip, but polling there has also been moving in Obama’s direction. The battleground is shrinking…for McCain.