All Good Naysayers, Speak Up! Or Forever Hold Your Peace!

|

The Politico's Jonathan Martin has the scoop:

John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play.

McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida.

Aside from the obvious, horse race implications (It's gotten 17 electoral votes harder for McCain to reach 270), I think this strikes another blow against the "Bradley Effect" hobgoblin. I'm utterly convinced that the number of white voters who'll lie to pollsters about voting for a black candidate has shrunken to a level that can't affect elections anymore; many people are unconvinced. Just two weeks ago, brainy election guru Nate Silver gave race as a reason why Obama was underperforming in Michigan.

Stemming back to the Detroit Riots of 1967, which triggered massive white flight into the city's wealthy suburbs (Detroit, at 82 percent African-American, remains the country's blackest major city), Michigan is not devoid of racial politics. Just one African American, former Secretary of State Richard H. Austin, has ever held statewide office in Michigan. And the area around Howell in Livingston County is a former Ku Klux Klan hotbed. The racial tensions aren't as overt as they once were, but nevertheless, the de facto segregation between Detroit and the suburbs creates little interaction between the state's black and white communities, and the combination of Kilpatrick and the difficult economic situation may evoke some latent prejudice. Although I am generally not a believer in the Bradley Effect, Michigan is one state where it might be worth keeping an eye out for.

If there are not enough lying whites to defeat Obama in Michigan, where are they? Southeast Ohio? Southwest Virginia?

NEXT: Not Just Wall Street, but Hollywood Blvd., too

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. a post so nice. . .

  2. Good move by McCain. He isn’t going to steal the gay drug-using Muslim vote from Barack Hussein Obama no matter how much campaigning he does.

    (3 points for that one?)

  3. I talked to a lot of guys down at the Scranton lanes, they told me no way would they ever vote for a black guy named BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA. I mean, why can’t he close the deal?

  4. I don’t know that there ever was a Bradley Effect (isn’t it based on like two elections? shouldn’t it be noticeable any time a black guy runs for anything?), or if so it’s less a gauge of “latent prejudice” than of overstated support for a black candidate because he’s widely marketed as the History Making Choice for Those Who Care.

    Think of the people you know (if any) who actually would not be able to bring themselves to vote for a black person. Would any of them have a problem telling a pollster that on the phone? The ones I’ve known would probably have enjoyed it.

  5. It didn’t show up for Harold Ford in a TN Senate race two years ago (a southern state) so I doubt it exists. The examples everyone points to are from at least twenty years ago.

  6. It didn’t show up for Harold Ford in a TN Senate race two years ago (a southern state) so I doubt it exists.

    More than that, Ford outperformed the final polls. He was down by around 6 points and lost by 3.

  7. McCain is a terrible candidate, with the wrong ideas and no base of support, in an already-bad year for the GOP in general. I predict a landslide win for Obama.

  8. So, when does this thread spiral into SciFi wars?

  9. From the front lines. McCain is toast. Michigan may elect a Repulican governor next time (all politics asise, Jenny Granholm sucks as an executive, really) but in presidential politics this is a blue state. Mitt might have had a chance here due to fond memories of his father, but Rudy, or that ignorant hillbilly whackjob preacher would have done no better here than McCain.

    The Bradley effect, even in segregated Michigan, is less than 2%.

    Lastly, the ’67 riots accelerated, not triggered, white flight. It had been going on since about ’55.

    Your Motown reasonoid expert,
    J sub D

  10. I guess you can safely vote for Barr now, J Sub.

  11. (Detroit, at 82 percent African-American, remains the country’s blackest major city),

    I’m confused by this sentence. Shouldn’t it read:

    Detroit, at 82 percent African-American, remains the country’s African-Americanest major city)

  12. I can’t see it being a landslide – there are too many die-hard republicans. Unless they all become so distraught that they don’t even bother to vote, I bet it ends up as a 65-32-3 split.

  13. So, when does this thread spiral into SciFi wars?

    Please, I’ve had enough Star Trek for one week. I mean, I’m all for letting the kids have their fun, but there is a limit here…

  14. I can’t see it being a landslide – there are too many die-hard republicans. Unless they all become so distraught that they don’t even bother to vote, I bet it ends up as a 65-32-3 split.

    uh… “i can’t see it being a landslide… i just predict the percentages will show it as the biggest presidential landslide in history.”

  15. Paul,

    SciFi != Star Trek!!!!

    Saw a few Snowcrash comments in the past couple of days, how about a little YT chatter, eh?

  16. there are too many die-hard republicans.

    I dunno, jasno. This will be fascinating to watch. A lot of the die-hard’s don’t like McCain, but of course, it’s not like they’re going to cross over to Obama. I have a funny feeling that this is going to be purely a turnout election, and die-hard GOP’ers might just stay home on this one.

  17. I see Democratic turnout being huge and Republicans staying home.

  18. I bet it ends up as a 65-32-3 split.

    That’d be a huge landslide. By “landslide,” I was thinking more like 56-42 or so.

  19. Would it not be the funniest thing ever if it turns out the Bradley Effect is a
    purely localized condition that exist in the state of California? If Obama swept the rust belt and Kentuky and then lost in California? I would laugh, and then cry once it hit me what that meant for January.

  20. It will be an EV landslide with a smaller popular vote margin.

  21. I guess you can safely vote for Barr now, J Sub.

    Barr clincehed my vote the day the Obama campaign started sending threatening letters to broadcasters over NRA ads.

  22. Alan, I think all the pundits on TV would die from aneurysms trying to make that fit their narrative.

  23. People in the hill country weren’t exactly shy about saying they weren’t going to vote for the black guy, and why, during the primary.

    all politics asise, Jenny Granholm sucks as an executive, really I’m sorry to hear that, J sub. Nobody benefits from that. Deval Patrick, too. He’s a talented guy, but he’d make a better judge or legislator.

  24. at McCain 40 and Obama 54 that would mean a lot of liars, at least 7 percent for my stupid scenerio to play out, but
    come on . . .

  25. Saw a few Snowcrash

    Snowcrash was a good early novel from Stephenson (my favorite sci-fi author). It was a great roller-coaster of a novel. But strangely, not his best book. (I’m in the minority there, I’m sure) I really liked Cryptonomicon, although I’m increasingly finding Stephenson’s suggestions about the workings of the world to be slightly off-base– not to take away from the questions and scenarios he posits. My favorite book of his was The Diamond Age.

    I’m still slogging through his mammoth series… gosh, can’t even remember the titles now. They’re thick, long winded… a little slow, but massively well-researched. I’m going to get through them even if they kill me. Because I kind of enjoy them that way.

  26. I can see the graphic now, alan:

    Election ’08
    What The Hell?

  27. I’m not racist, but if I were and I actually wanted some pollster to think I wasn’t, there isn’t a politician on the face of this earth that I couldn’t come up with some reason for voting against.

    I’m guessing that’s true for everyone else, too, and that’s why I’ve always had a hard time buying this “Bradley Effect” – that and the fact that polls are, you know, very frequently wrong.

  28. I think there’s some confusion here about what’s meant by the “Bradley Effect.” A candidate suffering from the effect (if it exists) gets fewer votes on election day than the polls had predicted. So to say that Obama is “underperforming in Michigan” because of the Bradley Effect makes no sense.

  29. Paul,

    I started reading a few pages of Diamond Age before deciding to read Snowcrash instead, then tried to go back and read the other.

    They are both the same formula, just different characters and do-dads. Haven’t picked up any of his work since, but might sometime soon.

  30. McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida.

    If you surrender Michigan, any hopes of carrying Ohio are wishful thinking.

    The race issue in Michigan is alive and well, but it’s buried under bigger fish. East MI is Detroit and the auto industry. Unions and the “Big Three”. They are sucking wind right now. West MI is Dutch Christian Reformed conservatives.

    Back when the Detroit Unions were flush, they saddled the state with their choice for Governor. The ensuing taxing and spending has hobbled the economy of the whole state.

    Upper MI is inhabited by a strange mutation that’s somewhere between hick and redneck with a dash of Canuck. They live the “leave me alone” lifestyle, but who knows how they vote. There aren’t enough of em to make a dent.

  31. Mark – Good point. Silver was more specific than I was. If Obama was only outperforming McCain by a few points (when that article ran the average was about a 44 to 42 lead for Obama), then Democrats, he suggested, should sweat a Bradley Effect of some of their Democrats going back on what they told voters and going for McCain.

  32. McCain should face the hard fact that he doesn’t have a path to victory, and he and Palin should spend the next month campaigning where they could produce the best turnout for down ticket races.

    Imagine how liberating it would be for him to not have to say a single damn word he doesn’t mean anymore, and just go out and Goldwater it for four and a half weeks.

  33. What are all of those angry White Southerners doing in Michigan anyway?

  34. and just go out and Goldwater it for four and a half weeks.

    If only what would come out of his mouth resembled Goldwater.

    Instead, we’d just get more Teddy Roosevelt on crack.

  35. Upper MI is inhabited by a strange mutation that’s somewhere between hick and redneck with a dash of Canuck. They live the “leave me alone” lifestyle, but who knows how they vote. There aren’t enough of em to make a dent.

    The Upper Peninsula tends to vote somewhat reliably Democrat in local races, but is a complete toss-up in Presidential elections. It’s a highly impoverished area, so they like the social welfare candidates, but many will simply vote for whomever the NRA endorses.

  36. I have a funny feeling that this is going to be purely a turnout election, and die-hard GOP’ers might just stay home on this one.

    That, and McCain’s ground game is famously weak. I think all those years as the Big Media Favorite really weakened his appreciation of grass-roots activism and GOTV, and from everything I hear, he’s got nothin’.

    I’m resigned to President Obama. I just hope its fairly close, although given his arrogance and hubris I’m sure he’ll take a 50.1% margin as a mandate to go Full Liberal.

  37. SciFi != Star Trek!!!!

    What part of “stay off my lawn” don’t you grok?

  38. When McCain about a month ago was seen as cruising to victory and Obama was seen as going down in flames, what has happened since?
    The debate. I didn’t see it but the first I heard was that McCain won, then FOX declared McCain the winner and then CNN declared “McCain made some points, but overall a tie.” And then I looked at the Drudge poll 68% said McCain won, 28% Obama.
    And since then, really nothing.
    Has the “crisis” on Wall street really hurt anyone outside of Wall street.
    Remember we still have a month to go.
    Prediction, McCain will still win and we will see what this “panic” is for what it is, MSM propoganda panic. MSM is lying through their collective teeth.
    I haven’t meant one person who has changed from McCain or undecided to Obama. I know two Hillary supporters who we’re luke warm McCain supporters a month ago, to practically fanatically campaigners for McCain now.

  39. R C Dean–

    I actually think he’s going to be extremely cautious, fearing that if he does anything lefty it will be seen as ultra-lefty cause he’s black.

    That’s basically what Doug Wilder thought and did.

  40. Terry,

    You’re forgetting a couple of relevant events.

    Palin tanked in the interviews and became a laughing stock.

    And the Republicans’ convention bounce ended. That was the only lead he ever had, immediately after the convention.

  41. Is manufactured MSM panic making him pull out of Michigan, Terry? Bush never gave up Michigan.

  42. I live in a fairly wealthy suburb in between Detroit and Ann Arbor. I am shocked – shocked – at how many Obama signs I see on lawns here. Michigan has it tough economically and McCain hasn’t been enough of a pander bear to really make a dent in SE Mich.

    And yes, Jenny from the Block is really an aweful executive.

  43. Good point about McCain’s lack of ground game, RC. That’s also an area where the longtime, mutual hostility between him and the Republican Party is hurting him.

  44. Instead, we’d just get more Teddy Roosevelt on crack.

    Well we just getting done with Woodrow Wilson on meth.

    If only we could have a pot smoking Calvin Coolidge.

  45. The polls looked the same in 2004….anyone want to explain why somehow they no longer have a left bias today like they did in 2004?

    We should go back and look at columns by Weigel and how he predicted Bush’s defeat based on polls.

    Joe comments would be fun to read as well.

    Election day decides this…not Weigel kicking the strawman of some Bradly phantom.

    I’m resigned to President Obama. I just hope its fairly close, although given his arrogance and hubris I’m sure he’ll take a 50.1% margin as a mandate to go Full Liberal.

    If he does win i hope he does go full left….the next 2 years will be a gas with a fun punch line at the end.

    The only way a democrat controlled house senate and white house could possibly be palatable to American voters is if they stop acting like democrats.

    These are the same people (congress) who actually have lower favorability ratings then the republican congress of 2006.

  46. “The polls looked the same in 2004”

    No, they didn’t. Go look them up. Bush was slightly ahead, and never relinquished his lead.

  47. Discount the Bradley Effect, you smithering, stinkless targ!

  48. Look, Joshua:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/bush_vs_kerry.html

    Bush was between +2 and +4 at this point.

    McCain is between -5 and -10.

  49. Give it up, Joshua. Barring some outrageous event (on the order of “macaca”), this thing is over.

  50. The final RCP average before the 2004 election was Bush +1.5, which is (surprise) what he won by. So, I don’t see the bias in the polls.

  51. The polls didn’t look remotely the same in 2004, joshua.

    Obama is at 338 EVs on electoral-vote.com today. On this day in 2004, John Kerry was at 238.

    Barack Obama has a 5.8 point lead on realclearpolitics. On this day in 2004, John Kerry was five points behind.

    Joe comments would be fun to read as well. Go ahead, the archives are right there, up and to the right. But “Bush is not pulling away, this is going to be a close election” is neither terribly interesting in its own right, nor something that’s going to look fun in retrospect.

  52. “Good point about McCain’s lack of ground game, RC. That’s also an area where the longtime, mutual hostility between him and the Republican Party is hurting him.”

    Gee, I thought it was McCain’s ground game that won him New Hampshire and the damn nomination.
    How quickly we forget.

  53. No, it was running against a turd like Mitt Romney that won him New Hampshire and the nomination.

  54. FOX News (1,000 LV)

    8/24 – 8/25

    44%

    45%

    Kerry +1
    CNN/USAT/Gallup (709 LV)

    8/23 – 8/25

    50%

    47%

    Bush +3
    Rasmussen (1,500 LV)

    8/23 – 8/25

    47%

    46%

    Bush +1
    NPR – POS/GQR (800 LV)

    8/21 – 8/24

    45%

    50%

    Kerry +5
    LA Times (1,352 RV)

    8/21 – 8/24

    49%

    46%

    Bush +3
    IBD/TIPP (884 RV)

    8/17 – 8/23

    44%

    44%

    TIE
    CBS News (835 RV)

    8/15 – 8/18

    44%

    47%

    Kerry +3
    Battleground Poll (1,000 LV)

    8/15 – 8/17

    47%

    49%

    Kerry +2
    Zogby (1,011 LV)

    8/12 – 8/14

    43%

    50%

    Kerry +7
    Gallup (729 LV)
    8/9 – 8/11

    50%

    47%

    Bush +3
    Dem Corps* (1,013 LV)

    8/2 – 8/5

    45%

    52%

    Kerry +7
    IBD/TIPP (841 RV)

    8/2 – 8/5

    43%

    49%

    Kerry +6
    Fox News (775 LV)

    8/3 – 8/4

    43%

    48%

    Kerry +5
    CBS News (991 RV)
    7/31 – 8/1

    43%

    49%

    Kerry +6
    CNN/Gallup/USAT (LV)
    7/30 – 8/1

    51%

    47%

    Bush +4
    ABC News/WP (LV)
    7/30 – 8/1

    48%

    49%

    Kerry +1
    ARG (776 RV)
    7/30 – 8/1

    46%

    49%

    Kerry +3
    Newsweek (1,010 RV)

    7/29-7/30

    44%

    52%

    Kerry +8
    Zogby (1,001 LV)

    7/26-7/29

    43%

    48%

    Kerry +5
    ABC News/WP (909 RV)

    7/22-7/25

    49%

    48%

    Bush +1
    IBD/TIPP (883 RV)

    7/19-7/24

    43%

    46%

    Kerry +3
    Time/SRBI (882 LV)

    7/20-7/22

    44%

    48%

    Kerry +4
    Quinnipiac Univ. (1551 RV)

    7/18-7/22

    43%

    46%

    Kerry +3
    Fox News (767 LV)

    7/20-7/21

    44%

    45%

    Kerry +1
    CNN/Gallup/USAT (709 LV)

    7/19-7/21

    47%

    49%

    Kerry +2
    NPR – POS/GQR (800 LV)

    7/18-7/20

    46%

    47%

    Kerry +1
    LA Times (1,529 RV)

    7/17-7/21

    46%

    48%

    Kerry +2
    IBD/TIPP (842 RV)

    7/12-7/17

    41%

    44%

    Kerry +3
    CBS/NYT (823 RV)
    7/11-7/15

    44%

    49%

    Kerry +5
    Dem Corps* (1,010 LV)
    7/10-13

    46%

    51%

    Kerry +5
    CNN/Gallup/USAT (706 LV)
    7/8-11

    46%

    50%

    Kerry +4
    IBD/TIPP (800 RV)

    7/6-7/10

    44%

    49%

    Kerry +5
    Newsweek (1,001 RV)

    7/8-7/9

    45%

    51%

    Kerry +6
    Time (774 LV)
    7/6-7/8

    45%

    49%

    Kerry +4
    Zogby (1,008 LV)
    7/6-7/7

    44%

    46%

    Kerry +2
    CBS News (462 RV)
    7/6

    44%

    49%

    Kerry +5
    NBC News (504 RV)
    7/6

    43%

    54%

    Kerry +11
    ARG

    7/1-7/3

    45%

    49%

    Kerry +4
    CBS News/NY Times

    6/23-6/27

    44%

    45%

    Kerry +1

  55. The press is so much more damn bias today then in 2004. They are campaigning for Obama and making no secret of it.
    So how can you trust the damn polls now going into the home stretch.
    They have lied for Obama, what do you think they’ll suddenly start telling the truth down the homestretch.
    THINK.

  56. You’re using polls from July 2004 to make your point?

  57. There is exactly one person that came from behind in October to win–Dewey.

    Or, Gore, too, if you think he won.

  58. Er, should have said TRUMAN.

  59. If you do not vote in favor of gridlock, I will rip the skin off your ridges with my teeth and throw you out the nearest airlock!

  60. No, they didn’t. Go look them up. Bush was slightly ahead, and never relinquished his lead.

    And even in the places where Kerry was ahead, it was a very near thing. This time in ’04, he didn’t even have Maryland reliably in his pocket. Maryland! Seeing this election just drives home how much Kerry sucked.

  61. Right Shem. Also in 2004 Bush never had to defend Virginia, let alone Indiana and North Carolina.

  62. Gee, I thought it was McCain’s ground game that won him New Hampshire and the damn nomination.

    You thought wrong, Terry. McCain won the nomination on the strength of his debate performances and the weakness of his opponents. He ran a national race.

    Joshua, why are you listing polls from July and August 2004? You know it’s October, right?

  63. “The debate. I didn’t see it but the first I heard was that McCain won, then FOX declared McCain the winner and then CNN declared “McCain made some points, but overall a tie.” And then I looked at the Drudge poll 68% said McCain won, 28% Obama.”

    Don’t forget that the Hannity & Colmes text message poll had McCain winning by a solid 82%-14% margin. 4% were undecided. So McCain has that going for him

    “Has the “crisis” on Wall street really hurt anyone outside of Wall street.”

    Do people w/ 401k’s count?

    “I haven’t meant one person who has changed from McCain or undecided to Obama. I know two Hillary supporters who we’re luke warm McCain supporters a month ago, to practically fanatically campaigners for McCain now.”

    The plural of anectdote is not data.

  64. Is anyone else going to play Palin Bingo tonight?

    Remember, the center square (your “airspace”) is always free!

  65. There is exactly one person that came from behind in October to win–Truman.

    And Dewey ran an incomparably bad campaign in the stretch. He took days off the trail. He didn’t attack Truman directly. He thought he was coasting. But McCain and Obama both have their feet on the gas pedals.

  66. You’re using polls from July 2004 to make your point?

    That, and a LOT of whitespace!

  67. I live in a moderately affluent neighborhood, almost entirely white, and the number of Obama yard signs outweigh the McCain yard signs at least ten-to-one.

    Where are all these whites who are reluctant to vote for a black man again?

  68. The wealthy tend to have guilt, so they love underdogs of all forms.

    I think everyone who isn’t delusional wants someone like themselves in the running.

  69. BDB,

    “Gosh”

    That is all.

  70. Air pressure: not a punch line.

    Air space: punch line.

  71. Oh, now according to politico Governor Airspace’s new strategy is to “attack Biden”. I don’t think she wants to do that.

  72. And attack him on foreign policy.

  73. What are all of those angry White Southerners doing in Michigan anyway?

    There’s a reason why US 23 was known as the Hillbilly Highway. Think cars.

  74. I live in a moderately affluent neighborhood, almost entirely white, and the number of Obama yard signs outweigh the McCain yard signs at least ten-to-one.

    Where are all these whites who are reluctant to vote for a black man again?

    Yeah, nothing at all to do with painting your door with blood in order to avoid the riot.

  75. Uh, race riots happen in black neighborhoods (one of the great ironies of life).

  76. Oh, now according to politico Governor Airspace’s new strategy is to “attack Biden”.

    That cannot be true. If she attacks him, he can go right back at her, and the whole “You wouldn’t hit a girl, with glasses, would you?” thing is out the door.

    Maybe they’re thinking her best chance is to stay on offense and make him respond.

  77. Here it is, joe.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1008/14220.html

    They apparently think they can still cry SEXISM! even when she attacks him, because its like you never hit your wife even when she hits you, or something.

  78. Look at this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QIGJTHdH50&eurl=http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/1/22234/6599/102/617219

    I can’t stop watching it. This guy isn’t attacking his opponents; he’s saying this to his own people.

    It’s like watching your country become a better place, right in front of your eyes.

  79. When are we going to see video of a conservative or Republican figure doing something like that?

  80. What are all of those angry White Southerners doing in Michigan anyway?

    There’s a reason why US 23 was known as the Hillbilly Highway. Think cars.

    Residents of Taylor, Michigan are known locally as Taylortuckians.

  81. Didn’t know you were such a big fan of Bob Dole, joe.

    “the exits are clearly marked if you think the Republican Party is someplace for you to come if you’re narrow-minded or bigoted or don’t like certain people in America. The exits are clearly marked for you to walk of, as I stand here without compromise because this is the party of Lincoln.”

    1996 Debate

  82. Awww, don’t make me start missing Bob Dole.

  83. Joe just needs to remember the crack about how all those “Democrat Wars” killed and wounded enough people to “fill the City of Detroit” to stop missing Bob Dole, I’m sure.

  84. Awesome Sufjan Stevens reference. Michigan is still one of my favorite albums.

  85. No, it was running against a turd like Mitt Romney that won him New Hampshire and the nomination.

    You’re all wrong. I could probably win New Hampshire. That’s why it’s such a lousy predictor of who becomes president.

  86. Good video joe… except I can’t help but wince at affected ‘folksiness’ in his speech. Still, his message is solid.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.