So much for inevitability

Cross-posted on Right Michigan at www.RightMichigan.com.

Maybe the election isn’t over after all?  A new poll just released by the Detroit News pegs the state of Michigan as an official battleground in this year’s Presidential contest.  Obama 43, McCain 41, Undecided 12 and my boy Ralph Nader, officially a part of “other” comes in at 5 percent.  Margin of error, 4.  

In other words we’ve got ourselves a tie.  Wasn’t but a couple of weeks ago that the Barackstar emerged from a bitter Democratic primary with an overwhelming lead in public opinion polls including those conducted here in Michigan.  Of course a certain Dem candidate had similar sized leads at the same time of the year back in 1984 and we all know how that one turned out… hopefully we all know how that one turned out.  

OK, maybe there are a few Detroit Public School alums or administrators reading this and you probably don’t know how that one turned out.  Walter Mondale, the Democrat, only won Minnesota.  The Republican, down double-digits months earlier, won the other forty-nine states.

Point is, all of the electoral doom and gloom is pretty worthless at this point.  There’s a long way to go and if today’s numbers are any indication we could have ourselves a barn burner.  Think of the attention Michigan received back in 2004 and then add steroids.  Because it’s no coincidence that McCain’s sudden rise in the local polls comes after several weeks of intense campaigning across the state.  The man held town hall meetings, round-tables, fundraisers, made unscheduled stops at local restaurants to shake hands and through it all he has talked about Michigan issues.  

Obama’s lead?  As a certain sports radio host would say, quoting a certain Major League pitcher… “Boom.  Outta here.”

Read on…

Expect more visits.  Expect more attention.  Expect to see and hear those TV and radio ads from now until the first Tuesday in November.  And believe me, both candidates could go up on the air that long and they wouldn’t run out of important local issues to talk about.

Like the continued contraction of Michigan’s automobile industry, for example.  While states like Tennessee get new Volkswagen manufacturing plants (yeah, that Tennessee) we get news that Ford is offering a new round of buyouts to enable them to eliminate jobs.  The Ann Arbor News reports:

Earlier this year, Ford announced corporate-wide buyout and early retirement offers for U.S. hourly workers. But only 4,200 took the offers, far below what the company had wanted.

Now they’re asking workers in 17 plants in Michigan and Ohio to voluntarily walk away from their work.  

Even that almost qualifies as good economic news in a state ravaged by tax and spend Democrats and their job killing economic policies.  Listen, we all know things are bad but I’m not sure anyone really knows exactly how bad.  If you can read this story in the Ivory Tower and not shake your head in frustration you’re a more patient man than I…

See, the feds just extended unemployment payments for folks who find themselves out of a job.  You can get an extra 13 weeks worth of free money.  But here in Michigan they have to preface that sort of news with a statement like this:

In all, the state mailed applications to 212,000 residents whose benefits expired during the eligibility period, which goes back to benefits that began May 7, 2006. That means if your full 26 weeks of regular benefits expired as of Nov. 5, 2006, you’re probably eligible; earlier than that, you’re not.

They honestly, legitimately, have to inform people that if they’ve been unemployed and unable to find work for more than two full years they’re out of luck.

Two full years.  That includes Obama’s pair of recent Michigan campaign stops, the entire year-plus he avoided us like the plague and his appearance before the Detroit Economic Club where he told the Big 3 to go jump in the lake (and that he was going to tax them through the arched marble ceiling at the DAC).  In other words, that’s a long time.

With stubborn joblessness wrought under Democratic leadership it was only a matter of time before that polling evened out.  We’re starting to get there now.  Now come the real fireworks.