Could Romney Carry Michigan?
In a word: yes.
Though there is much shock and disbelief regarding today’s Freep poll showing Romney narrowly ahead in Michigan, I am not at all surprised.
Michigan went heavily for Obama in 2008 in large part because McCain openly abandoned the state. It was a mind-bogglingly stupid decision by a mind-bogglingly stupid campaign and down-ticket Republicans paid a heavy price for it.
But now things are different. Mitt Romney was born in Michigan and all he needs to do is wax nostalgic about Mackinac Island and how the last time he lived here the Lions had a winning team to rebuild that Native Son vibe.
Michiganders cordially despise Ohio*, and it galls us that so many Ohioans were elected president yet no one born in Michigan has yet achieved that distinction (Gerald Ford was not elected, so he doesn’t count).
With minimal effort, Romney can make Michigan competitive, and careful deployment of Michigan lore (maybe snack on a bowl of Better Made potato chips and wash it down with a cool glass of Vernors) would at least make the state competitive.
I’m not kidding about that, by the way. As the lovely Sithkitten (who hails from Kentucky) has repeatedly noted, Michiganders have an odd superiority complex and insist that Michigan is better at everything.
With the collapse of the auto industry and the ruin of the state economy, Michigan’s sense of importance has waned and having Romney on the ticket and potentially in the White House would do wonders for state pride.
It is also worth mentioning that the state GOP is experiencing somewhat of a resurgence here thanks to Gov. Rick Snyder. His sweeping reforms have brought sanity to the state budget for the first time in a decade. The success of Snyder – a former executive like Romney – has likely made Romney a more attractive candidate. Many voters hope he will do for the U.S. what Snyder has done for Michigan.
(Ironically, Barack Obama did for the U.S. what ex-Gov. Jennifer Granholm did for Michigan – run it into the ground).
The poll is terrible news for Obama - Romney's 1-point lead is far less significant than the fact that Obama can only garner 46 percent support. An old political rule of thumb is that an incumbent's support is within a point or two of it's upper limit, not matter how big the apparent lead over a challenger. To put it another way, the undecided 7 percent are almost certainly going to vote for Romney, but they aren't willing to commit yet.
If Romney carries Michigan, the election is over, and the Dems will have taken their worst defeat in more than 20 years. Here's hoping.
*Spartans do enjoy it when OSU thumps the Skunk Bears, however.