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?