McCain Pulls Out of Michigan
By Michael D. Shear and Jon Cohen – Washington Post
Sen. John McCain has decided to pull his campaign out of Michigan, deeming it a lost cause after internal polls showed the Republican trailing badly in the economically hard-hit state, according to a senior Republican official.
McCain’s television ads will be taken down and most of his staff will be redirected to other places, the officials said, and plans for direct mail in the state will be canceled. There will be no new offices opened as the campaign enters its final stage.
“The numbers have been bad in Michigan for some time,” said the official, who declined to be identified because he is not authorized to speak for the campaign. He said some offices will stay open with reduced staff because the leases have already been signed: “We have infrastructure in the state that will stay there. We just won’t ramp it up.”
Public polls in the state show Obama with a clear edge, and with momentum on his side. The Illinois senator hit 51 percent in the new Seltzer and Co. poll for the Detroit Free Press, stretching 13 points ahead of McCain.
As in national polling, it appears to be Obama’s edge on handling the economy that has propelled him to the top of the polls in Michigan. In the Free Press poll, Obama held a 15-point lead over McCain on fixing problems with the national economy, and he had an even bigger, 20-point edge on the question of which candidate is “more likely to fight
for the concerns most important to you and your family.”
A McCain adviser dismissed the decision as irrelevant to the campaign’s overall strategy to win. He said the original decision to try and compete in Michigan was a tactic to spread Obama thin on Democratic turf. He noted that Obama has already pulled back from several states where he originally had hoped to challenge McCain, as well.
“If we win FL, MO, NC, VA, IN and OH — all states Republicans have won for decades — that puts us at 260 electoral votes,” the adviser said in an e-mail. “We need to find 10 electoral votes from CO, NV, NM, NH, MN, WI, and PA. Frankly, we have an easier map than Obama. He’s on the defense.”