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. sue

    @ Noah

    If it always a blue state, why then did Engler get voted in and revoted in as governor?

    While Michigan does tend to go democratic in the presidential election, there is also a very large republican force in Michigan, particularly on the western side of the state. Michigan can be a win for republicans. It was very close for the last two presidential elections.

    That McCain is pulling out of Michigan now is news. And it will affect the republicans running in the state elections.

    October 3, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. Wise White Guy

    Reminds me a little of the Democratic Primary campaign when it was pretty obvious for a very long time Hillary was not going to win it. Yet they kept saying, ignore the math and the experts and your own intelligence and believe us when we tell you we can still win this if you give up more of your own hard earned money. The Republicans are tanking and the Obama campaign is dropping the hammer and not letting up and yet the Republicans are responding by asking for more of the people's money. So what did we learn from "looking in the past" (FYI Six Pack Sarah it is also known as HISTORY)? History is something that we all should have learned in school and college so we do not repeat our mistakes. What should come to your mind Sarah is the failed policies of George Bush for 8 years and your sugar daddy voting with him over 90% of the time and mirroring his positions on the economy and foreign policy. Just give up more of your money to one of the richest Senators in the country because he sure needs it more than you need to pay your mortgage!

    October 3, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. HRC for Obama

    I cannot believe that there are still fellow HRC supporters out there that are willing to risk what's best for this nation because of the primaries. THINK. She's not, why should we? The McCain/Palin ticket is a dangerous bet, one that I'm not willing to take. And if you think that it won't come back to bite HRC in the future, you are sadly mistaken.
    Vote for McCain- ruin our country for the next 4 years and Hillary's chances forever.

    October 3, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. Rena

    All I know is after watching that personality contest by Sarah; I am more convinced we better put Obama/Biden in that white house. I don't need a person who is being judged only by her foke language and smiles. I need a person who at any notice can handle the nation crisis and abroad; and she did not exemplify that last night. She didn't answer the questions last night that was based on every issue we as America and abroad are facing. Biden on the other hand showed experience, knowledge and personality.

    So, after viewing and listening to this debated I will go with someone who is ready to take over the presidential slot at any notice. As McCain said so well, we don't need someone on job training we need someone who can do the job. If Obama was not able to perform Biden can; if McCain can't do the job Sarah can't; like he said we don't need on the job training. Executive experience or not Sarah just doesn't show that she can handle this job and it was in her own response last night. They said let Sarah be Sarah well that was no Sarah last night that was an act and I don't need someone pretending to be something or someone they are not when all my hard earnings are going down the tube and my son or husband life is on the line in a war she has no clue as to how to handle. I don't need a rehearsed line I need someone who has real knowledge and the ability to execute that knowledge in a responsible way. Neither McCain nor Sarah is producing these qualities.

    October 3, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. mitch

    i never thought i'd see john mccain surrender? shakin the white flag in mich.? he NEEDS mich.! oh well, nevermind. i wonder if he would do the same in iraq?

    October 3, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Rena

    I'm sorry but we are having too many important issues at this point and I don't need a likeable person but a responsible and knowledgeable person to be making decisions over my life and my children life. After, the first two debates between the presidential nominees and VP's; I have to say that the Obama/Biden ticket is more advantaged at leading us right now. McCain should have put Obama away on foreign policies and he didn't and Sarah only reestablished her personality and character as a person; I'm looking for more and she just didn't have more. Overall Obama and Biden showed knowledge, skills, experience and the ability to handle crisis’s without being erratic and all over the place. They show true leadership and that's what I'm looking for in this election; it is too important to me and too vital for my children’s future. Please do not play around with this. This is not a race and gender competition people; though I'm sure at this point it is playing a big part in it. But at the end of the day people we must think about our finances and our soldiers after you have looked at skin color and a person of gender as to say which has the more important factor that determines our future; color/gender or knowledge/judgment along with some experience. I say some experience because that is not a factor as much as being able to make sound decisions and judgments, because if experience was a big factor than we would not be in this mess we are in, now would we? Experience has left me with a bad taste in my mouth because I voted for Bush believing that he had experience and ability to lead us and he failed us as so did his father.

    October 3, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. linda n carolina

    I think John Mcain is finally getting it! The last 8 years have beaten down the average American and the sleeping giant is awakening to just what the Rep-lie-cans have done to this country. CNN...just a note...you are closing these comments too soon.

    October 3, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. susie

    I'm from Michigan and it is rough here. Gov. Jennifer Graholm, Democrat, has done nothing to help our state. Companies don't want to be here, house foreclosures in every town, it is not good here. Obama didn't even want our votes to count for the primary, now he wants us. Obama can't buy my vote.

    October 3, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Cicero

    Yo Noah !
    FLA – Quinnipiac has Obama +8, RCP avg. Obama +3.

    October 3, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Cuban-mami-4-OBAMA

    I must comment on another comment that was made earlier today. Someone wrote that "Barack" IS AN ARABIC NAME.........FALSE!







    October 3, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    Leaving Michigan, McCain's leaving here quicker than the jobs did!

    I will now use my Sarah Palin switch to talk about last night:

    Here’s my “straight talk” analysis, Sarah Palin ran away from questions on home foreclosures, the economy, job losses, bailouts, Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan. She provided no details and when pressed on McCain’s plans, she went back to her talking points that were well rehearsed, fake folksy fluff, and gimmicks that won her second place Miss Alaska. You may not like Joe Biden, but he did answer questions and knew Senator McCain’s positions better than Governor Palin. Biden wins, but the Thrilla from Wasilla got a good day in the sun...which is better than a tanning bed.

    October 3, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |

    Looks like "life is unfair", eh McCrypt?

    October 3, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. John

    How different is John McCain's ranch...than George Bush's? Do We Really Need Another President That Has A Ranch?

    October 3, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. ruth

    Hey John McCain what happened to the fundementally strong economy? Your brains must have taken leave from your old wrinkled body! Buy a boat and go fishing – you are washed up.

    October 3, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. jj in NYC

    To the Michigan GOP - this is what happens when you search the foreclosure rolls for voters to challenge, particularly when it is the reckless economic policies of your President that has delivered the death blow to these hardworking Michiganders that have lost their homes. The depths and dirty tricks that you will go to win this election is despicable.

    As a proud graduate of the University of Michigan and an ardent Obama supporter, I have two words to my friends in Michigan - GO BLUE!

    October 3, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. Rj

    President Palin. Try saying that with a straight face! I didn't think so...

    October 3, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. purvis

    to this true hillary supporter. you would support obama if you wer real from the begin about hillary she a gusty lady and backbone , she is atrue demogracy.like a timex watch took a licking and kept on ticking. trud hillary supporter you would have follower her. obama 08

    October 3, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. Tiphany in MD for Obama

    I'm still waiting for Noah to respond to Obama's gain In Fl. as well. I am a psychologist and consider myself very well educated (graduated in the top five from University of Maryland College Park, not third from the bottom :0) and iformed.

    October 3, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. TyWebb

    Hey, Noah...denial is an important state, too.

    October 3, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. ruth

    I predicted when John McCain chose Palin last month that it would be political suicide. Was I correct?

    October 3, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Maybe McCain is finally seeing the writing on the wall and knows he's in trouble. People don't want more of the same McCain in the white house and he's running scared now.

    October 3, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. John, Austin, TX

    Slowly but surely, McCain... Slowly but surely.

    October 3, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Elizabeth

    Why keep voting the republicans in? Its like being hit over the head
    over and over. Its like "I may keep getting beat up, but I like it".
    I hope Michigan stays awake and that the rest of the country wakes
    up to the fact that republicans don't represent everyday Americans'
    interests, only themselves.

    October 3, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. Marie Ontario

    The results of recent polls showing Obama pulling ahead of McCain seems to be changing the world wide view of Americans so now instead of laughing at Americans they are laughing at McCain.

    Good for you America most of the world knew you would come through strong.

    October 3, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. Brad


    I can guarantee you that any unlikely suffering we receive in an Obama admin will pale in comparison to what Bush and McCain have inflicted on us. I'll take my chances with Obama.

    October 3, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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