Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Kerry Opens a Lead in Michigan

From the Traverse City Record-Eagle/AP:

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who has been locked in a tight state race with President Bush for months, now leads in the latest poll of Michigan voters.

Forty-nine percent of the 600 likely voters surveyed statewide by Lansing-based EPIC/MRA say they back Kerry and running mate John Edwards, while 42 percent say they back Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, who was scheduled to campaign Wednesday evening in Battle Creek.

Three percent say they support independent candidate Ralph Nader and his running mate, Peter Camejo. Six percent are undecided. The poll was conducted from Aug. 4 through Tuesday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

A poll conducted by EPIC/MRA on July 6-8, just after Kerry picked Edwards as his running mate, had Kerry-Edwards at 47 percent and Bush-Cheney at 44 percent, with Nader and Camejo getting 3 percent. Six percent were undecided.

The August poll showed 46 percent had a favorable opinion of the president, with 52 having an unfavorable opinion and 2 percent undecided. Fifty percent had a favorable opinion of Kerry, while 39 percent had an unfavorable opinion and 11 percent were undecided.

Michigan would be a huge win for Kerry. It’s a mix of just about every voter type in the country: urban and ethnic votes in the Detroit area, the university and young vote in Ann Arbor and East Lansing, traditional values religious in the west (Grand Rapids), rural in the center and Upper Peninsula (the “Yoopers”), retired gentry along the shores of Grand Traverse Bay and Houghton Lake, and just about every other kind of sampling of “likely voters” you can find. And it’s also a microcosm of the national economy with rust-belt job losses and soft-patch jobs in the service industries in the tourist areas. If Michigan stays in the Kerry column, Bush is going to start smelling like the second week of deer camp.