lessons from America

Michiganders stick 2 fingers up at McCain

If you don’t live in a swing state, you can become accustomed to not getting much attention from the presidential campaigns.  Maybe there a number of state-wide or prominent local races that are very close and keep you interested.  Or maybe you just are resigned to casting a vote that doesn’t matter; or even not bothering to turn up and vote at all. 

But when you live in a swing state and are used to being courted and treated special, then one candidate makes the decision to ‘pull out’ – to drastically cut staff, advertising and campaigning of all kinds and move these resources to other more places they consider better bets – what is your reaction?  You’d likely be p***ed at the guy who jilted you, who tells you you no longer matter. 

And hey, that’s what we seem to have in Michigan.  Last week the McCain campaign announced they were no longer treating Michigan as one of their battleground, target states.  And now, as reported by 538, 

Rasmussen has the first polling out of the state since that announcement, and it gives Barack Obama a 16 point lead. This is a state that, as recently as a month ago, looked like it might be the most important swing state in the nation. Voters really, really don’t like it when you blow off their state. That’s why Hillary Clinton romped to such huge margins in West Virginia and Kentucky in the Democratic primaries, where Obama essentially refused to campaign. It’s why Obama won by more than expected in Wisconsin and South Carolina, which Clinton pulled out of early. It’s why Rudy Giuliani’s decision to ignore every state that didn’t begin with an ‘F’, end with an ‘a’, and have ‘lorid’ in the middle was a catastrophic failure. … If you act like you don’t care about somebody’s vote, you aren’t going to get it.

And before something says it’s just a reflection on the national trend. Well, yes Obama has been increasing his support in most states these past 2-3 weeks.  But the gains in Michigan not only outstrip those of the national tracking polls, but also the average gain in most other places.


October 10, 2008 Posted by | 50 State strategy | , , , | 1 Comment