If you want to get a good sense of state of a campaign, look for areas that were once considered safe for a candidate which become competitive. In the final weeks of the 2008 campaign, Obama gained ground in “safe” GOP states like Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana and Montana. You didn’t have to be a political veteran to see which way the election was trending. The same dynamic is happening today. Only, this time, i’ts Mitt Romney who is rapidly expanding the campaign’s terrain.
Today, a new poll out of Michigan finds Obama clinging to a slim 3-point lead over Romney. Worse for Obama, his support is only at 44%, a very dangerous number for an incumbent. In other words, a large majority of voters, 56%, aren’t committed yet to voting for him. They’ve had more than four years to get to know him, never mind the fact that he won MI by 16 points in 2008, garnering 57% of the vote.
Romney is helped by his almost 10-point lead among independents.
The poll was conducted by Denno Research. Interestingly, the polling firm is run by Dennis Denno, who is also chief of staff to a Democrat state Senator in the state.
Now, I think Obama still has the edge in the state. But, the fact that we are even talking about it with less than three weeks to go gives you a good indication of the troubles facing Obama’s reelection. A SuperPAC supporting Romney is advertising in the state, so its possible Romney’s numbers will improve even more.
If either of the campaigns send the candidates to the state, you’ll know something’s up in Motor City.