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Electoral College Analysis: Michigan

Michigan's Electoral Votes: 17

Washington Post Analysis

The auto industry capital hardly looked like inviting territory for Bush. He lost it in both the primary and general election in 2000, and Michigan's unemployment has been persistently and significantly higher than the national average throughout the last four years. But to the surprise even of some White House insiders, both public and private polls early this month showed the president running even with Kerry. The campaign boosted its TV buy and added stops for Bush and Cheney, forcing the Democrats to respond on the air and to bring Kerry back for two late appearances in the Detroit area.

Going into the final days, most neutral polls show Kerry with a small lead, but Bush strategists continue to find hopeful signs in their polls.

Some independent analysts speculate that Kerry's protracted absence from the state -- when Democrats believed the outcome was not in doubt -- allowed Bush free rein to campaign unopposed in Republican-leaning northern and western communities, where an initiative to ban same-sex marriage is expected to find strong support. Some polls show Kerry lagging behind previous Democrats among older voters, perhaps because he has emphasized national security issues more than Social Security and other traditional issues. But with every indication pointing to a big black vote in Detroit, Michigan "remains Kerry's to lose," say most observers.

Former state senator John "Joe" Schwarz, the leader of Arizona Sen. John McCain's successful run in the 2000 GOP Michigan primary, came through a crowded Republican primary and is a solid favorite over paralegal Sharon Renier (D) to succeed retiring Rep. Nick Smith (R) in the state's south-central district.

Overview
Bush, Kerry in Reach of Electoral Win
By David S. Broder, Dan Balz and Charles Babington
(The Washington Post, Oct. 31, 2004)

Recent Polls

Source: Reuters/Zogby
Respondents: 601 likely voters
Time: Oct. 29 - Nov. 1
Margin of Error: +/- 4.1

Kerry 52%
Bush 46%
Other 1.3%
Undecided 1.1%

Source: MSNBC-Knight-Ridder (by Mason-Dixon)
Respondents: 626 likely voters
Time: Oct. 26 - 29
Margin of Error: +/- 4

Kerry 47%
Bush 45%
Nader 1%
Undecided 8%

Source: Detroit News (by Mitchell Communication)
Respondents: 600 likely voters
Time: Oct. 26 - 28
Margin of Error: +/- 4

Kerry 43%
Bush 41%
Nader 2%
Undecided 12%

Source: The South Bend Tribune-WSBT-TV (by Research 2000)
Respondents: 600 likely voters
Time: Oct. 25 - 27
Margin of Error: +/- 4

Kerry 50%
Bush 46%
Nader 1%
Undecided 3%

Source: WXYZ-TV (by Epic-MRA)
Respondents: 610 likely voters
Time: Oct. 18-21
Margin of Error: +/- 5

Kerry 49%
Bush 43%
Nader 1%
Undecided 7%

Is Nader on the ballot: Yes

Past Presidential Vote Breakdowns

2000
Gore (D): 51%
Bush (R): 46%

1996
Clinton (D): 52%
Dole (R): 39%

1992
Clinton (D): 44%
Bush (R): 36%
Perot (I): 19%

1988
Dukakis (D): 46%
Bush (R): 54%

Current Elected Officials

name (party), year last elected, percent won

Governor:
Jennifer M. Granholm (D), 2002, 51%

Senators:
Carl M. Levin (D), 2002, 61%
Debbie Stabenow (D), 2000, 49%

House:
6 Democrats
9 Republican

More on Michigan

Churches Key to Mich. Fight on Gay Marriage (The Washington Post, Oct. 28, 2004)

All Politics Is as Local as Ever, and So Are Issues (The Washington Post, Aug. 30, 2004)

In Mich., Bush Reaches Out to Rural Voters (The Washington Post, July 14, 2004)

All Michigan Races

Discuss the Race to Win Oregon

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