Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
Stuart Rothenberg says Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm is part of the reason that John McCain has a chance in Michigan:
Finally, Michigan probably is McCain's best chance of picking off a state that has gone Democratic in the past two presidential contests. That is enough to warrant placing the Wolverine State on this short list of predictive states.
But I've picked Michigan because it has something that neither of the other two states has: a weak Democratic governor and a mood of desperation flowing from a decimated economy. The state has been in such serious economic straits for so long -- well before the current economic slowdown -- that Michigan voters might be willing to try something new, including giving McCain a long look.
I'm skeptical that a popular governor can win a presidential candidate a state and I'm just as skeptical that an unpopular one can cost a state. If Michiganders are mad at state Democrats, they'll probably vote out state Democrats, say, in the hot race for control of the Michigan House of Representatives. An effect on the presidential contest, though, is probably a stretch.
That said, it will be interesting to see whether Granholm is at Barack Obama's side whenever he shows up in Michigan.
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