Jonathan Martin at the Politico is reporting that Senator McCain’s campaign is about to go dark in Michigan.
John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play.
McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida. Wisconsin went for Kerry in 2004, Ohio and Florida for Bush.
McCain’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Marc Ambinder is reporting that the McCain camp will not totally disengage:
A McCain adviser confirmed the news but noted that the Republican National Committee’s independent expenditure arm is still running ads there, and that McCain will keep most of his staff in-state. McCain officials and Michigan Republican Party officials declined to comment. Weirdly, McCain’s staff scheduled a surrogate conference call with Mitt Romney for this afternoon, perhaps assuming that their shift in advertising would not be noticed or reported.
Mark Halperin at Time is reporting that the McCain campaign is considering making a play for Maine, presumably in lieu of contesting Michigan.http://thepage.time.com/2008/10/02/michi-gone/
Survey USA last polled Maine on 9/23 and showed the race at 49 Obama to 44 McCain. Rasmussen polled Maine on 9/17 and showed it at 50 Obama to 46 McCain. These numbers are considerably closer than Michigan has been in the last few days. Please note that PPP just showed Michigan as 51O/41M this morning.
Can the McCain campaign get to 270 EV’s without Michigan? Sure, anything’s possible. Can’t say I expected this. I wonder when we’ll get confirmation, one way or another, that this is true or false.