Thursday, January 16, 2014

Michigan The Key To 2016;Mid-Terms To Provide Dramatic Proof Governor Palin Was Prophetically Right in 2008?

Michael Barone " Gallup poll: Obama approval numbers suggest shifting Electoral College map"
at the Washington Examiner LINK has a detailed analysis of the swing states for 2016. He advances the argument that if President Obama's current low ratings are translated into voting patterns in the swing states in 2016 there could be a major shift to the GOP. His analysis adds further credence, in my opinion as expressed below in my original article, that Michigan is in play-very much so at this point. Further the historical element, i.e. the rarity of a party wining three terms in a a row (FDR being exceptional circumstances) and the long term economic decline adds further emphasis to Barone's analysis.

Here are the key states he advances his argument in respect of President Obama's rating having a negative effect for the Democratic party, if, as I set out below, three of the top four in his list go Republican they will win in the Electoral College-by all means read his insightful post.

Colorado: -9 percentage points
Florida: -3 percentage points
Iowa: -10 percentage points
Michigan: -6 percentage points
Nevada: -7 percentage points
New Hampshire: -8 percentage points
New Mexico: -8 percentage points
North Carolina: -8 percentage points
Ohio: -8 percentage points

Abandoning Michigan in the heat of the election was seen by  major observers as presidential candidate John McCain effectively throwing in the towel.It also marked a very severe break with the strategists of McCain team ("McCain's tactically understandable but strategically stupid decision to visibly abandon Michigan was made without Palin."by his running mate Governor Sarah Palin who, very publicly, decried the move.

"Sarah Palin questioned Republican presidential candidate John McCain's decision to abandon efforts to win Michigan, a campaign move she said she learned about Friday morning when she read it in the newspapers.
In an interview with Fox News, the Alaska governor said she was disappointed that the McCain campaign decided to stop competing in Michigan. In an indication that the vice presidential candidate had not been part of the decision, she said she had “read that this morning, and I fired off a quick e-mail” questioning the move.
“Todd and I, we'd be happy to get to Michigan and walk through those plants of the car manufacturers,” Palin said. “We'd be so happy to get to speak to the people in Michigan who are hurting because the economy is hurting.”

Chuck Yob, the Republican National Committee Member from Michigan for nearly twenty years in an heartfelt plea also decried the abandonment of Michigan which he expressed in an open letter to Palin;
"Governor Palin,I saw your comments on Fox News today and described in the Detroit Free Press article below.  I wholeheartedly agree with you that the decision by the McCain campaign to pull out of Michigan was the wrong decision."

Palin continued to show her support for Michigan by, very symbolically, kicking the tour off in Grand Rapids for the massive "Going Rogue (with its echoes of Michigan in the title) book tour launch and in her major support ("Sarah Palin says Republicans should have stayed in Michigan") of the Republican candidates there in the 2010 mid-terms "My heart goes out to you. The rest of us will not abandon Michigan."

So who was right, the McCain team or Governor Palin if the Electoral College future of the GOP is taken into consideration? The subsequent electoral history and immediate prospects give an indication.

The now Governor Snyder won election in 2010 in a landslide, succeeding a Democrat in a state that has gone solidly for the Dem's, the last six presidential elections in a row,  with 58 percent of the vote. With Snyder's election in 2010, Republicans gained a majority in the Michigan House and increased the Republican majority held in the Michigan Senate. 

In a result so unprecedented in its nature that the effects may be profound, the city of Detroit elected its first White mayor in four decades. If Mayor Duggan helps turn around the terrible problems the city faces the comment from one Black voter "It's all about who can do the job. It's not about color" may have statewide, and possibly nationwide, ramifications.

The 2014 mid-terms will be the next test of the possible changing fortunes for the GOP in Michigan; It is significant that Americans for Prosperity see it that way and are providing substantial resources to the campaign.

"The Michigan Senate race was supposed to be an easy win for Democratic Rep. Gary Peters, but former Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land has taken a commanding lead in the latest poll released Monday over her Democratic counterpart." That report was from the conservative leaning Harper Poll which gave Land an eight point lead. On the other hand PPP Polling, the well known Dem leaning outfit, in typical PPP speak, has Land ahead by two (and Snyder also ahead in his bid for re-election) "The somewhat popular Terri Lynn Land edges Gary Peters for Senate, 42-40, and still fairly unpopular Gov. Rick Snyder tops Mark Schauer, 44-40."  If we do an average as per the much vaunted methodology it gives Land a five point lead.

If Governor Palin was right strategically in 2008, and in her remarks in 2010, and there is a marked swing to the Republicans in Michigan what significant effect might that have on the 2016 presidential elections? If there is a continued swing and the previously monolithic Black support for the Democrats eases then the result could be very significant indeed.

If it is assumed that the GOP wins Florida (if Florida is lost then there is no possibility of a Republican win) and Ohio, then even with the loss of Virginia, which even the most sanguine Republic has to view as marginal given the demographic changes in the state, if Michigan can be won the path to Electoral College victory, albeit by the slimmest of margins, is possible-an intriguing prospect. 

Even with the loss of Virginia/Colorado/Iowa/New Mexico/Nevada there would be a tie in the Electoral College. At that point the GOP, with the majority of state delegations in the House of Representatives would have their candidate chosen as per the constitution. A win in any of the four states from Iowa to Nevada assigned to the Dem's in the map below would of course provide a clear win as would Virginia of course.

It might also be considered that given her long standing commitment to Michigan both in the 2008 campaign and subsequently Governor Palin might be the ideal candidate to have the state move to the GOP-perhaps with Governor Snyder as part of the team. The 2014 mid-terms in Michigan will possibly be highly significant not only for possibly providing the GOP with their majority in the senate but also their subsequent majority in the Electoral College in 2016, more than compensating for a possible loss of Virginia.