Today it was announced that John McCain is pulling his ads and campaign staff from Michigan and canceling a campaign event planned for next week in Plymouth, essentially giving up hope of winning the state's 17 electoral votes. Until recently many people saw Michigan as an important swing state where McCain had a chance to play offense, given his 2 primary victories in 2000 and 2008, and force the Democratic candidate to defend a "blue" state that John Kerry won in 2004. Both campaigns have blanketed the state's airwaves and made repeated campaign appearances. Obama especially seems to have focused heavily on the state, coming here to receive the important endorsement of John Edwards and then returning to get the endorsement of Al Gore.
According to Five Thirty Eight, the polling average in Michigan is Obama +4.9. New polls have shown Obama with a double digit lead, increasing what had been a fairly consistent lead, except for the bounce McCain received with the announcement of his VP selection and the GOP convention. With the economy coming into play as the major campaign issue, McCain had no chance to win in the state most affected by the failed philosophy of trickle down economics which supports tax cuts for the wealthy and falling wages for workers along with the disastrous effects of globalization which promotes trading high paying American jobs for cheap products made overseas.
Obviously, many Tuesday morning quarterbacks will wonder what nominating Mitt Romney might have done for the campaign campaign. However, I think it's safe to say Romney wouldn't have guaranteed a McCain win in Michigan and certainly wouldn't have garnered the enthusiasm among the right wing base of the Republican Party like the Palin pick was designed to do. However, he may have been able to handle the media and campaign independently of McCain who has been forced to stick close to Palin, thus reducing in half the number of campaign stops the ticket can make in swing states.