October 2nd, 2008
04:22 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain cedes ground in Michigan


John McCain and Sarah Palin held a joint campaign event in Michigan last month. (Getty Images)

(CNN) - A senior McCain adviser confirms to CNN that the campaign is "shifting resources" from Michigan to Ohio and Pennsylvania, and "opening up an offensive front” in Maine.

Michigan was always a long shot for John McCain, who lost the state to native son Mitt Romney in the Republican primary. A Republican presidential candidate hasn’t won there in two decades, since George H.W. Bush’s 1988 victory. But McCain had a surprisingly close showing in some polls, and made a significant time investment campaigning in the state this year.

The most recent CNN poll of polls in Michigan shows Obama with an 8 point lead in the state. (View more state polls)

Macomb County - home of the original Reagan Democrats - was one of the first stops for McCain and running mate Sarah Palin on their post-convention tour of battleground states; they held a town hall in Grand Rapids two weeks ago. (McCain lost Macomb County to Romney by more than 20 points)

Local republican officials told CNN they were thrilled to have Palin on the ticket, saying her accent and love for guns made her someone independents and Democrats uncomfortable with Obama could relate to.

But nowhere does the economy loom larger as an issue than in this hard-hit industrial state, suffering from a decade-long slump. The Obama campaign has tried to capitalize on the Democratic nominee’s polling advantage on the issue, running ads in the state that accuse McCain of not doing more to protect Michigan jobs. (Related: Obama stumps in Michigan Thursday)

As the campaign pulls resources from Michigan, it is ramping up its efforts in Maine, where Republican Senator Susan Collins is beating national trends in her re-election bid, holding a healthy double-digit lead, along with with a strong organization in the state.

A second McCain aide says that their polling shows that “Michigan isn’t even a long shot” - but the campaign is hoping to capture at least one of Maine’s 4 electoral votes, which are designated by congressional district. This year, "every electoral vote will count," says the aide.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • Michigan
soundoff (233 Responses)
  1. Margaret in PA

    Palin's beauty pageant answers aren't cutting it in her interviews with the press and they won't cut it in the vp debate tonight. Palin doesn't have it to be 2nd in command of this country. Not to mention McCain doesn't have it to be 1st in command of this country. She needs to stop being cute in her answers. At any rate, tonight's debate ought to be interesting as well as entertaining. Guess we'll wait and see for the SNL polls and feedback!

    October 2, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. Sam White

    Debby Sez:

    "Its funny the Gov. of Alaska's state is doing great in the economy and the Gov. of Michigan's isn't. I think Michigan has their priorities wrong when it comes to the economy and who the better leader might be."

    Yea, Debby, that just might work, if they discover 100 Billion barrels of untapped crude oil in Michigan. Duh. Alaska's econmy can be described in one word: OIL.

    Alaska's ecnomony is GREAT because the price of oil is $100 a barrel.

    Michigan's ecnomony is BAD because the price of oil is $100 a barrel.

    It has nothing to do with who is Govenor of each State.

    October 2, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. Greg Ebert, Portland, OR

    Abandon Ship! Abandon Ship!

    And forget about Maine. McCain totally snubbed Olympia Snowe (R – Maine) by choosing Palin for the Veep spot. Senator Snowe is far, far more qualified to be on the GOP ticket than Palin.

    October 2, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. bob

    Here In Maine can tell ya is Obama country!!

    October 2, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Greg Pottstown, Pa.


    Funny you mention OH. I didn't think dems were able to talk about that. Interesting that in the primaries Obama changed the way votes are counted,(not counting all the states) now he has found a way to take the most important state for his opponent and hold votes early. They are not even checking Id in that state. They are also allowing people to register and vote on the same day. The federal govt. has a regulation that states that a voter must register a minimum of 30 days before voting. Funny how rules always bend his way.

    October 2, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Mike in Columbus

    LOL... Btw... Palin bought a Ohio State Buckeyes shirt while she was tagging along behind McCain in Ohio. Wonder how many sports teams she has shirts from by now? One from every state she visits I bet.

    October 2, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. Republican Mom for Obama

    John McCain...putting the "ick" in Maverick.

    October 2, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. bob in L.A.

    He needs to pull out of the race and let someone else step in.
    I was convinced Obama would not win this no matter what the polls showed, but not so sure anymore!

    October 2, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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