October 3rd, 2008
11:00 AM ET
10 years ago

McCain’s Michigan decision is felt down-ballot

McCain pulled out of Michigan.

McCain pulled out of Michigan.

(CNN) – John McCain’s decision to pull out of Michigan prompted the state Republican Party chairman to issue a desperate plea Friday for donations to help fund political activities the presidential campaign would likely have shouldered.

“I won’t sugar coat it; the McCain Campaign’s decision to pull out of Michigan is a tough blow,” Saul Anuzis, chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, wrote in an email fundraising solicitation to Republicans. “But we cannot let it deter us.”

The latest CNN poll of Michigan voters, released late last month, suggested Obama was holding on to his edge over McCain in the fight for the state’s 17 electoral votes. Among likely voters, Obama held a 5 point lead, 51 percent to 46 percent; among the larger sample of registered voters, the lead was 7 points. Obama had a 4 point advantage in the previous CNN poll in Michigan, conducted at the beginning of September.

Michigan has voted for the Democratic candidate in the last four presidential contests, though John Kerry's winning margin there over President Bush in 2004 was just 3 points.

McCain aides acknowledged Thursday that the campaign was shifting resources and money out of Michigan and directing them to states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maine, among others. Anuzis said that McCain’s decision not to contest the state “leaves a tremendous hole in our ground campaign that we must now fill” in its fight for congressional, judicial, and state-level candidates.

In a note to supporters posted on the state party’s Web site, Anuzis disputed the McCain camp’s assessment of the Republican ticket’s chances in the state. The McCain campaign, he wrote, believes that “Other states ‘today’ offer a better opportunity for the campaign and they decided to shift their strategy. We do NOT agree.

“Michigan Republicans kicked into overdrive last night. We had a series of conference calls and meetings with activists and donors, coming up with our own plan on how to implement a ‘Michigan strategy’ for McCain and the rest of our ticket,” he said. “We will have a revised plan in effect by next week and are NOT conceding an inch to the Obama campaign or any Democrats in Michigan. This is a battleground state, the numbers always tighten up and we will bring the McCain campaign back to Michigan by our own efforts statewide.”

Filed under: John McCain • Michigan
soundoff (253 Responses)
  1. Bruce

    McCain must accept FAILURE

    October 3, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Bob Indianapolis IN

    The tide is turning. This is the beginning of the death of fascism in America.

    October 3, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. McCain Invented the BlackBerry, Palin Invented the Manure Spreader


    Just another one of McCain's gambling losses:

    He gambled on Michigan and lost,

    He gambled on suspending his campaign and lost,

    He gambled on Palin and lost.

    Do we need such a reckless risk-taker leading our country in these trying times?

    October 3, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. CM

    McCain will have to pull resources from other states soon if his downward slide continues. I predict that it will as he is offering no answers for the current financial crisis but is trying to be the one seen the most in the media.

    Not a good idea to waste people's time there Johnny.

    October 3, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Strong Hillary supporter

    And OBAMA must accept that he is going to lose big time on 11/4.

    October 3, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. mitch

    obama in a landslide, with a congressional mandate, to enact his policies, will get us out of these messes, the republicans have left for us. palin/mccain will be more of the same failed policies of the last 8 years. more war. more economic hardship. then, more war and on and on and on......,

    October 3, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. paul in FL

    It is encouraging to see that, finally, the American voter is beginning to see that McCain is an imperfect clone of Bush.
    Too many Republicans vote Republican as a purely reflective action. They automatically spring to the defense of their candidate's and try to justify the most ridiculous position. For example, I am amazed that a large number will continue to try to justify the invasion of Iraq.

    October 3, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Brandon for Obama

    I just moved to Michigan and reregistered here (had to get a new license and all) just so I could participate and have Michigan go for Obama.

    October 3, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. victor,nj

    mccain withdraws from michigan, but will not withdraw from Iraq

    October 3, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. Kiah G.

    Well what do expect from the candidate who is so caught up in creating distractions then running a successful campaign focused on changing the direction of this country and helping the American people.

    I think this is the slide McCain couldn't afford to take and I believe Obama will win this election overwhelmingly.

    October 3, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Noah

    Wow, alot of you Liberals are pretty uninformed voters (no surprise there). Michigan is always a blue state. That is due in large part to the urban Detroit and the Auto unions. This is no big news that obama is going to win there. Talk to me when Obama gets a lead in an important state like Florida

    October 3, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. GS

    If that's how he treats his friends... I wonder how he'll treat everyone else?

    October 3, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. MLG

    The republicans are a divided and failed party this election year. They don't know where they stand and they don't know what direction to go because the public is no longer falling for their dirty tricks.

    They are suffering the consequences for years of snotty arrogance and disregard for others. Hopefully, it will make them a more humble party.

    October 3, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. Annie

    I'm wondering if John McCain pulled out of Michigan to redirect funds to Alaska where his operatives are attempting to cover up news from and shut down the "troopergate" investigation into Palin. It would be interesting to know how much that's costing him, and if he's using public financing (taxpayer money) to do it.

    October 3, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. Rena

    Well, Noah

    Guess what? Obama has a 10 point lead in FL. What now?

    October 3, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. Baze

    The McCain tailspin is tearing the G.O.P. party down further and further. We will look upon this year as the end of our 2nd party


    October 3, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. Jean

    Is something else going on with John McCain? First he brings in someone he rarely knows (would you leave an unknown to watch your children) Now he has left Michigan...does anyone think maybe he thinks the country owes "him," for what he went through? I admire and thank him, but.....walking the talk....he does not. Is he re-thinking what he has gotten into? Is he giving it away....lettting a stronger woman do the work for him...knowing something we may not yet know?

    October 3, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |


    Thankfully you saved us the drama antics this week!

    YIKES, now I have that visual seared into my retina!!!

    October 3, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Cathy

    No state is won or lose until November 4th. I will continue to go to Michigan and campaign for Obama.

    October 3, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. mitch

    hey noah! obama's leading 51% to 47% in florida,according to cnn 's latest poll! keep up!

    October 3, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. jm for sc

    McCain should pack his bags and go home. As I watched the debate last night, I found it amazing how Sarah only knew a few talking points and anything she didn't know, which is a lot, she went back to talking on what she had practiced. The hear republicans pretend they saw a "knock out of the ball park," is just down right deception.

    The real Sarah Palin was brought up in the interviews last week before rehearsal.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 3, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. Please

    America has not even voted as yet. As far as failue goes, even if McCain loses he is not a "failure". He has accomplished much in life and is a person of good character.

    I would hope Michigan and these other battleground states come to their senses and vote for McCain. If not, its their loss and America's loss if McCain does not win. You will all see that Obama is not even close to the person you envision him to be in your minds, and if he gets in it will be too late and we will all suffer.

    I really feel that if he does get in America will be talking impeachment during the first year of his Presidency. He will not deliver his so-called change to Americans and therefor he will be considered a fraud and should be held liable.

    October 3, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. irony

    do corporate tax cuts create jobs? Look at the facts. Eight years of Bush tax cuts and unemployment rates sky-rocketing. Look at Alaska. Two years of tax cuts and unemployment rates have gone up every single month since palin was elected. We cannot afford four more years.

    October 3, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. Truth Be told

    Strong Hillary Supporter above is a troll.

    I have a nice piece of rag you can wipe your tears with the night of november 4th.

    President Obama and Vice President Biden will be giving their speeches that night after palin and mccain concede. From then on, the hard work in getting America back on track starts.

    October 3, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. Edain

    That's harsh. Poor Michigan! It seems like they always get the short end of the stick. Why not pull out of states worth fewer electoral votes, or out of states with larger leads for Obama? Once again the McCain campaign has baffled me.

    October 3, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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