As of now, the polls look promising for Romney. He’s neck and neck with President Obama right now, according to a new poll by Mitchell Polling of East Lansing. And some in the national punditocracy seem to think that it’s a state that Romney could actually carry. While it’s certainly within the realm of possibility, I have to conclude that it’s a remote one.
Michigan, much like Pennsylvania, is a state that Republicans should have a chance at carrying. Demographically speaking, they’re older states, which plays to the GOP. It’s a state that’s suffered more than most, economically speaking. I would have to say that at least half, if not more, of the state would be considered socially conservative. Romney was also born in Detroit, and grew up here, where he still has politically active family members, and his father was a popular governor. So, there are a number of factors that should ostensibly play in Mitt’s favor.
But at the end of the day, I don’t think that Michigan is going to go for Romney. First off, despite having been considered a ‘swing state’ for about as far back as I can remember, it hasn’t actually gone for a Republican candidate since George H.W. Bush in 1988. When something seems like it’s something else, but hasn’t been that in nearly a quarter century, it’s time to think of it as whatever it actually is. I don’t think that Michigan is a swing state.
Also to consider is Romney’s stance on the bailout. Even by his standards of verbal contortions, he has a pretty impressive record of changing on the topic, usually depending on who his audience is. At the end of the day though, he did author a New York Times column, which was titled ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.’ So despite whatever rhetorical acrobatics he performs, he’s on the record as having opposed the auto bailout. Which, regardless of political affiliation in Michigan, was not wildly popular, but seen as being vitally necessary. Michigan is growing again today, not because of liquidating the Big Three, but because of a massive financial injection by the federal government to save an industry that employs not just hundreds of thousands in Michigan, but millions across the nation.
Michigan, theoretically, could go for Mitt Romney, but, at the end of the day, I doubt that it’ll happen. For whatever advantages the Romney campaign has here, they’re annihilated by his position on the auto bailout, which we didn’t really want to have to ask for, but, frankly, there was no other alternative, other than an economic apocalypse in Michigan, to which we had been skirting perilously close.