Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election


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Senatorial Forum: Michigan

Taking a moment to look at the Senate races heating up across the country, its easy to miss the one going on in Michigan. The Michigan senate race between United States Senator Debbie Stabenow and former Congressman Pete Hoekstra is now becoming a little one sided for the current two-term Senator who is seeking her third election.

Michigan Live reports that the Stabenow camp is ahead in fundraising, cash on hand, and overall visibility.

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“It’s going to be a battle for who can turn out the vote…The ground game becomes more important if you don’t have an air war taking place”

Michigan, once a state that was led by Mitt Romney’s father, is looking like a tougher sell for this presidential hopeful. For those of you out there that are counting every last electoral vote in this presidential election, it’s time to focus your attention to the peninsular state of Michigan.

In this millennium, Michigan has proven to be a blue state. This is for a litany of reasons, like its heavy union base and large urban centers like Detroit. However, finding a Republican in this state isn’t exactly hard. Their current Governor, Rick Snyder, their past two Attorneys Generals, and both majorities in the House and State Senate legislatures are controlled by the GOP. One would think that these trends would mean an easier go for Romney. However, this race, as of now, is looking as if President Obama might be keeping that blue state trend.

Steve Mitchell, a pollster in East Lansing, told the The Detroit News, “It’s going to be a battle for who can turn out the vote…The ground game becomes more important if you don’t have an air war taking place,” meaning that Romney could have a fighting chance in the race for his home state.

This is not what the polls are reflecting. As of today, Politico is projecting a 48/41.7 vote leaning towards Obama. The 538 Blog is also relatively definitive in claiming that the state is “safe Obama.” Finally, to round out the forecasters, Roadto270 has also labeled the state “leaning Obama.”

That’s no major shock after the reintroduction of Detroit to the media message during the Democratic National Convention a few weeks ago. The message was brought to light with Jennifer Granholm’s speech in which she strategically yelled out how many jobs were saved during the hotly contested auto bailout. It was also a chance for Obama to argue brass tacks about the bailouts he initiated soon after his inauguration—something that was further capitalized on in this ad directly targeting Michigan voters.

Overall, in Great Lakes region, it looks like President Obama may not have to let water pass under the bridge, for now. Instead, those 16 votes make the dream destination of 270 electoral votes that much closer.