Trump, the Republican nominee, has been trying to make a late push in the state as a potential way to come from behind in the hunt for electoral votes. In addition to running the table of traditional battleground states, he would also probably need to pick off a Democratic state to prevail.
A Washington Post average of recent polls in the state Saturday showed Clinton leading Trump in Michigan, 43 percent to 41 percent.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told reporters Saturday that the campaign is not worried about losing Michigan, attributing the slew of late appearances to the fact that the state does not have early voting. Clinton aides have said they are putting a premium on visiting those as Tuesday nears to provide a burst of momentum.
“We have tried to calibrate our schedule to be in states at the peak time for voting,” Mook told reporters aboard Clinton’s plane en route to Philadelphia.
Mook acknowledged that polls have has tightened in Michigan, but added: “I feel very confident about how we’re going to do.”
Michigan voters have not supported a Republican for president since 1988. But backlash against globalization has made trade deals a major issue in parts of the state where Trump expects to do best, especially among white, non-college-educated voters.
With an electorate that is 72 percent white, Michigan is also one of the least diverse battleground states, blunting Clinton’s strength among minorities.
Stephen Neuman, a senior adviser to the Democratic coordinated campaign in Michigan, noted that this will be Clinton’s fourth visit to the state in recent weeks and that her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, and top surrogates have also been traveling regularly to the state, where the campaign has 35 offices.
“I wouldn’t characterize this as a late surge,” Neuman said. “We’ve been focused on Michigan all along.”
On Monday, Clinton plans to visit Grand Rapids, while Obama will travel to Ann Arbor. Bill Clinton is scheduled to appear Sunday in Lansing.
Hillary Clinton was just in the state Friday for an event in Detroit, where the campaign is seeking to motivate African American voters, many of whom are less enthusiastic about her candidacy than they were about Obama’s bid.
“We’re going to energize and mobilize voters all over the state,” Neuman said. “That includes African Americans.”
The state dealt a surprise blow to Clinton in the Democratic primary, in which Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont prevailed after trailing significantly in the polls.
As part of its focus now on states without early voting, Mook noted that Clinton will also appear in Pennsylvania twice in three days and in New Hampshire.
Over the past two weeks much of Clinton’s focus has been on Florida and North Carolina, as well as Nevada, where early voting is now winding down, Mook said.
The addition of Michigan will cap three days of heavy campaigning for the Democratic nominee heading into Tuesday.
Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri told reporters Saturday that in addition to a previously announced stop in Manchester, N.H., on Sunday night, Clinton will add a rally in Cleveland earlier Sunday.
On Monday, in addition to her Michigan event, Clinton will add a midnight rally in Raleigh, N.C. A large evening rally has also been announced for Philadelphia that night.