Sen. John McCain's campaign is abandoning its efforts in Michigan, according to a report this afternoon in the Detroit Free Press.. McCain's campaign had thought it could win the Democratic-leaning state and its 17 electoral votes. But now, in a stunning move, has pulled up stakes and left the state.
Polling data had been bad for McCain all week nationally since the Wall Street financial crisis became the dominate news story. His suspension of the national campaign to return to Washington did not play well across America as polls indicated that most saw it as a political ploy. In Michigan, the Detroit Free Press-Local 4 Michigan poll last week showed Obama ahead by 13 points. Today, a poll by Public Policy Polling showed Obama ahead by 10. On Sept. 22, Rasmussen Reports had Obama up 51 percent to 44 percent. NBC/Mason-Dixon had it as a tie on Sept. 23. On that same date, CNN/Time reported Obama up by five percentage points.
Here is some of the Free Press report:
Republican nominee John McCain’s campaign pulled the plug on its Michigan operation today with little to no forewarning to state GOP officials — and on a day when Democrat Barack Obama was already stumping in the state. It wasn’t clear what would be left of the McCain operation in the state, if anything, but it appeared that TV advertising and literature drops by the campaign would end and most of the paid staff would depart.
No reason was given for the decision to shut down the Michigan campaign, which was confirmed by state party chairman Saul Anuzis and others. Anuzis, who issued a statement late in the day, said “the winds that drive presidential campaigns can shift and shift suddenly. I have no doubt the campaign will be back.”
Staff will be moved to other battleground states, especially Wisconsin, Florida and Ohio.
... “Everybody’s just dumbfounded” by the decision, said a Republican Party source in Michigan.