McCain camp pulls resources from Michigan (Update)

The McCain campaign had been spending time and money on the state of Michigan in the hopes it might pick off a typically blue state and turn it red. Not much of a surprise here since Michigan went for Kerry in 2004 and Gore in 2000. It was a long shot but last night the McCain campaign announced it will be reallocating resources to other important swing states.

Report from Fox News:

WASHINGTON — In a major concession, Republican John McCain has abandoned efforts to win Michigan, a Democratic-leaning battleground state the GOP presidential candidate had hoped to capture.

Republican officials with knowledge of the strategy said the GOP nominee is removing staff, curtailing advertising and canceling visits to the Midwestern state, which offers 17 electoral votes. Resources will be sent to Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida and other competitive states.

News of McCain’s decision came as Democrat Barack Obama prepared to take the stage for a rally at Michigan State University, his third event in the state in five days. If he knew about McCain’s plans, Obama didn’t mention it and continued to criticize his rival’s economic policies as just a continuation of the Bush administration philosophy.

“My opponents’ philosophy isn’t just wrongheaded, it reveals out how out of touch he really is,” Obama told more than 15,000 who gathered on a chilly fall afternoon.
Word of the strategy change also came as attention was focused on the vice presidential debate between Republican Sarah Palin and Democrat Joe Biden.

Democrat John Kerry won Michigan in 2004, but McCain had identified it early on as a potential target, particularly in light of Obama’s troubles with white working-class voters. But the terrain in Michigan was never friendly. It has a Democratic governor, and Republican strategists said the state’s poor economy and McCain’s association with the unpopular President Bush proved too much for the GOP nominee to overcome.

Those problems, they said, became more acute for McCain in Michigan following the Wall Street collapse.

That doesn’t bode well for a Republican trying maneuver in an increasingly difficult political environment.

The move came as McCain struggles to gain traction with the financial crisis consuming the presidential campaign and commanding voters’ attention. Polls nationally and in key states show the Democratic nominee with a lead, one that some McCain backers fear and Obama supporters hope may hold.

One GOP official said McCain’s campaign made the decision to pull out of Michigan on Wednesday night, and conveyed the orders to staffers midday Thursday.

Judging from the RealClearPolitcs average of Michigan polls, McCain is making the right move. They’ve moved back to being pretty solidly blue. Other states such as Virginia and Florida are probably more important with regard to their swing status this year.


Video report from Fox News:


Apparently Gov. Sarah Palin does not agree with the decision to withdraw campaign resources from Michigan.

Report from Politico:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Friday that she disagrees with the John McCain campaign’s decision to pull staff and resources out of Michigan.

“I want to get back to Michigan, and I want to try,” Palin said in an interview on Fox News. “Todd and I, we’d be happy to get to Michigan. We’d be so happy to speak to the people there in Michigan who are hurting.”

The McCain campaign confirmed yesterday that it will be moving resources out of Michigan to more favorable terrain in Pennsylvania and Maine.

The Alaska governor first heard the news this morning and fired off a quick e-mail to campaign officials expressing her displeasure with the move.

“Oh c’mon, do we have to?” Palin said she wrote.

The campaign says it will remain “well funded” and “aggressive” through Election Day in target states. During a conference call with reporters following the Michigan move, the campaign said it will focus on Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Hampshire and New Mexico.

I think Palin could benefit the McCain campaign in Michigan considering her family’s blue-collar background. Then again, Michigan is a long shot and resources are probably better spent keeping red states red instead of trying to turn a historically blue state.

This is similar to Obama’s decision in withdrawing resources from Georgia back on September 10th after hopes to turn a red state seemed to fade. You can check that from NBC Augusta.

  • JD

    McCain Campaign also announced that the RNC raised nearly $66 million in September.

    Claiming, “We are very well-funded, and we are looking at a very aggressive last 30 days.”

    The states that now matter most, per McCain officials –

    (Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nevada, Colorado and New Hampshire)

  • bdjnk

    I cannot fathom what possible confusion people could have that would lead them to believe that Obama has a better understanding of the economy, or at least better economic advisers, the McCain.

    It was democratic senators who dismissed the concerns about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back in ’04. It was democrat legislation which forced the banks to give loans and extend credit to risky segments of the population. Now we have a crisis created be democrats, and who are we turning to? The democrats!?

    Obama has no experience in finances at all. He now has financial advisers who were executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, each involved in various financial scandals.

    This is insane! How is Obama getting away with this?

    He has a seemingly unlimited supply of frightening associates with radical ideologies or boundless corruption.

    Obama financial advisers, link –

  • Bubba

    A $25 billion bailout of the auto companies by a Democratic Congress seals the deal for Obama in Michigan!! Spread the love, and spread the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.


    Thanks for the intelligent and “loving” comment bubba.

    Nate, why no Michigan State symbol? Why did you have to use a Wolverines logo!!!!! GO SPARTANS!

  • Bubba?

    McCain also voted for the same bill. The bill had nothing to do with Michigan’s decision.

  • Bruce

    Run McSame Run! Give up Michigan before the race is over. Brilliant strategy, basically reinforce the fact that you’ll give up. I bet that makes Ohio feel good about its chances of you fighting for them….Typical republican response Americans aren’t people they are statistics and demographics first. And btw Sen. McCain you flunked the decision making ability test with Palin. It shows every time you fidget your ass off when asked about her, you can’t look people in the eye, can’t even let her speak for herself. Hand puppet Mcdaddy same. GO Obama/Biden 08

  • Babs

    You know, when Obama essentially pulled out of Georgia a couple of weeks ago after bragging that he could turn my state blue, no one really had anything to say about it. The word around his campaign headquarters here is that he’ll be back for a final push. Won’t do him any good, but nevertheless, they say he’ll be back.

    I think we forget that these campaigns are all about strategy in the separate states. Now I like Fox News, but in the last two days they have spun this announcement from “McCain is pulling out some his staff in Michigan” to “McCain has condeded Michigan”. This is the media.

    I wonder what they’ll say when McCain pushes back into Michigan the last week of the campaign – when it counts the most. If you recall, Hillary used the same strategy and it paid off for her.

  • Babs, good point.

  • Babs

    In an interview with Carl Cameron today, Palin says she doesn’t want to give up Michigan, she wants to go give it a personal try. Good for her. =)

  • Bruce

    Hello babs 🙂

    Just saying here Palin wants to have more power than the vice president already has. She can’t even truly handle the Current position she is in line for. She provides 0 real substance. So if she wants to tackle Michigan on her own Good luck.

  • Geezus more powerful than Dick Cheney?

    She is already aspiring for more power already!

    If i was McCain if she handed me a drink i’d make her taste it first!