If you’d asked me a few months ago, I’d have said that Bush’s chances of winning Michigan were about the same as the Detroit Lion’s winning three straight road games this season. Ooops.
National Review notes that Kerry is going to be campaigning here on Sunday or Monday. National Review quotes a Bush campaign volunteer as saying internal polls show Bush ahead in Michigan, which they pretty much were guaranteed to say regardless, but Kerry making a last minute stop here is a bit odd given that it should be a shoo-in for Kerry.
Or to put it another way, if Kerry can’t win Michigan he has little chance of capturing the presidency. This is a state that has lost thousands of manufacturing jobs, is heavily union and has a substantial urban minority population. If Kerry can’t win in this state, he’s going to have a horrible election night.
Kerry’s probably coming here late to try to boost turnout. Bottom line — if he can get heavy turnout in Wayne County (Detroit), Kerry’s going to win. If people think he’s faltering or don’t find him that compelling and don’t turn out, he’s going to lose.
And unlike the 2000 election, there isn’t any major contentious statewide ballot issue to drive voter turnout (in 2000 there was hotly disputed school choice proposal). This year the only major statewide ballots are related to gambling and gay marriage, neither of which has caused anywhere near the level of controversy that the school choice measure did.