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September 22, 2004

Michigan No Longer a Swing State

By Byron LaMasters

In the big picture, the current small Bush lead doesn't mean that much. Basically, it has one real consequence. There are less states in play. Red states that Democrats were hoping would be competetive such as Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Missouri and Arizona are less likely to be as seriously contested. The playing field has shrunk, and both Bush and Kerry are diverting resources to the other states. So - advantage Bush, but the same basic electoral axiom applies that existed several months ago. It's pretty much a certainty that whoever wins two of the three of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania wins this election. Both Bush and Kerrry can win by only winning one of those three states, but in order to do so, they must each be able to cobble together a combination of the vast majority of remaining swing states.

The three state trifecta in 2000 was Michigan, Florida and Pennsylvania. But in 2004 - even as Kerry has sunk in some polls, he's remained relatively strong in Michigan. Now, it's begining to look as if Michigan is joining several of the above red states in its removal from the electoral playing field. In fact, ACT is pulling out of Michigan:


Americans Coming Together (ACT), the political fund-raising group behind high-profile rock concerts meant to increase turnout for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, is closing all 10 of its offices in Michigan and reassigning most of its 100 staff members to other battleground states.

The shift comes as polls show Kerry still holding a lead ranging from 4 to 6 percentage points over President George W. Bush in Michigan, but with Kerry trailing in other states considered must-wins for the Democrat.

[...]

ACT staffers are being deployed to other states, such as Florida, because Michigan's labor unions are experienced in massive get-out-the-vote efforts to back Democratic candidates.


Not only is labor strongly getting out the vote for John Kerry, but the Muslim vote probably makes a big difference in one state - Michigan. And they're polling heavily for Kerry:



American Muslim voters are overwhelmingly supporting Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry over Republican George W. Bush, according to a new American Muslim Poll conducted by Zogby International for Georgetown University’s Muslims in the American Public Square (Project MAPS). By a margin of 76% to 7%, Muslims back the Kerry/Edwards ticket over the incumbent Bush/Cheney ticket. This is a stark reversal of fortunes from the 2000 election for Mr. Bush. The poll consisted of a telephone survey of 1,700 Muslims, and an over sample of 146 face-to-face interviews of African-American Muslims. The margin of error is +/-2.3 percentage points.

“This contrasts sharply with the 2000 election, when Mr. Bush garnered 42% of the Muslim vote versus 31% for Democrat Al Gore,” said Dr. Zahid Bukhari, director of Project MAPS.


Nader received a substantial portion of the Muslim vote in 2000 as well. But these numbers suggest a phenomenal shift of +45% for Democrats and -35% for Republicans. In Michigan, that's enough to skew the entire voting population several points towards Kerry.

So for Democrats wanting some good news in the presidential race, here you have it. Michigan is looking pretty solid for Kerry.

Update: Just read Kos, and he's got more.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at September 22, 2004 11:58 AM | TrackBack


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