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michigan swing state election 2012 Ford assembley line worker Jeff Danes demonstrates moving a battery charger for a Ford Focus on the assembly line at the FordMichigan Assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan, Wednesday, December 14, 2011. (Photo: AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Election 2012: Possible Toss-Up in Michigan

A tight race for key blue-collar state

By Charlie Kadado | null null , null

A lot has changed since 2008, when Republican presidential nominee John McCain pulled out of Michigan after falling short in the solid Democratic state against Barack Obama. Four years later, Michigan's electoral votes may go to a Republican candidate for the first time since the 1980s.

Michigan may have a Republican Governor, House, and Senate, but for the first time since the 1988 presidential election, polls in Michigan show a tight race for President Obama and Governor Romney.

A poll conducted in early October by the Michigan-based research firm EPIC-MRA showed President Obama with a three-point lead. But on Thursday, the Detroit News, one of Michigan's largest newspapers, endorsed Mitt Romney, citing his business background and economic success. The endorsement could have an impact on the economic aspect of the election.

"Obama said himself in a midterm television interview that if by the end of his first term the economy was still broken, he should not be re-elected," the Detroit News wrote in an editorial. "Well, the economy is still broken, and we have lost confidence in the President's ability to make the necessary repairs."

Romney, who was born in Michigan, hasn't appeared in the state since August and has yet to launch an advertising campaign there. However, the Republican Party says there are no signs he is pulling out, according to Detroit's ABC affiliate, WXYZ-TV.

In fact, the New York Times recently reported that the political action committee Restore our Future is spending $12 million dollars on advertising for the Romney campaign in undecided states like Michigan.

Although the Obama campaign feels confident the President will be reelected, they are still taking the race very seriously.

"There is no indication that (Obama) will pull out of Michigan. We are happy with where we're at in the polls," said Kirsten Alvanitakis, communications director for the Michigan Democratic Party. "We are not taking anything for granted though. The Obama campaign has a number of field offices in Michigan; they're doing phone banks, going door to door, and other activity."

And because Michigan's economy heavily relies on the auto industry, many of the advertisements currently targeting Michigan voters involve Romney's views on the auto bailout.

In 2008, Romney was criticized after writing an editorial titled, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." When the auto industry faced an economic downturn in 2008, the Obama administration implemented an $80-billion bailout for the automakers. Romney was in favor of a "managed bankruptcy" instead.

According to Gallup, Obama is leading the polls of registered voters by one point. In the end, Michigan's 16 electoral votes may be crucial for either candidate.

Read more about the swing states that could determine the winner of the 2012 presidential election in the 2012 Swing States Special Report.


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