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Michigan, it seems, is a battleground no more in the presidential race.
Republican nominee John McCain’s campaign pulled the plug on its Michigan operation today with little to no forewarning to state GOP officials — and on a day when Democrat Barack Obama was already stumping in the state. It wasn’t clear what would be left of the McCain operation in the state, if anything, but it appeared that TV advertising and literature drops by the campaign would end and most of the paid staff would depart.
The decision came out of the blue, given the significance both campaigns had placed on Michigan. Since Obama became the nominee, he has been making regular visits to the state to make up for not campaigning in Michigan during the primary season, when he and others boycotted the state after it scheduled an earlier-than-allowed primary election. McCain, meanwhile, was expected to play well among the state’s key bloc of independents.
Michigan has backed the Democratic nominee in the last four presidential elections, but John Kerry beat Bush by only about 3% four years ago.
“Everybody’s just dumbfounded” by the decision, said a Republican Party source in Michigan.