Recent polling in Michigan suggests President Barack Obama may not be able to count on the state as reliably blue this November, despite his successful bailout of the auto industry and repeated visits to the state.
Citing a number of polls taken over June, the Detroit Free Press
reported Monday that Obama and Mitt Romney are now in a virtual dead heat across the state.
Back in February, Obama was leading in the polls by double digits and Romney was struggling just to win the Republican primary in the state where he grew up as the son of former Michigan Gov. George Romney.
Now, at least four statewide polls have the two candidates within a point or two of each other, with Romney leading in one and ahead of the president among independent voters in two others.
A survey by pollster Steve Mitchell showed Obama ahead of Romney overall by 47 percent to 46 percent, but Romney ahead among independents 43 percent to 38 percent.
In another poll conducted by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA Romney’s lead over Obama among independents was 45 percent to 34 percent.
Mitchell told the Free Press the survey results indicated that Obama “will have to campaign very heavily in Michigan, something he did not want to do.”
“We’re not the only ones showing it’s a close race,” said EPIC-MRA pollster Bernie Porn told the Free Press.
He said he believes negative advertising and a decline in Obama’s favorability has tightened the race, meaning that Michigan could end up being more of battleground state than the Obama campaign had thought.
“Obviously the Obama campaign is in many states trying to battle back and play catch-up and try to equalize advertising,” said Porn. “I don’t think they were planning on doing anything in Michigan. I think they better add it to the list.”
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