Romney pulls ahead in Michigan; Wisconsin a toss-up
Fox News in Detroit reports that a new poll shows Mitt Romney pulling substantially ahead of Barack Obama in Michigan. Romney is a native of the state, but it looks from this poll as if adding Paul Ryan to the ticket pushed him over the top.
The poll, produced by Foster McCollum White Baydoun, showed Romney leading Obama in Michigan by 47 to 43 percent, which is just outside the poll’s 2.35 percent margin of error.
Paul Ryan was said to make Michigan voters more likely to vote for Romney by an 8 percent margin. Ryan’s budget proposals, which are not quite the same as Romney’s campaign proposals but remain a topic of intense interest, were viewed positively by a plurality of 48 percent.
Eric Foster, president of Foster McCollum White & Associates, said that “Romney has identified a clear game changer if his strategy is to divide the Midwest and blow a bugle in President Obama’s Midwestern Strategy.” It was not clear from his statement if “blow a bugle” is a metaphor commonly employed by Michigan pollsters, or if Foster made it up especially for this occasion.
At any rate, he sees Romney potentially “attempting to isolate Illinois and Pennsylvania by having Michigan and Wisconsin in play.” This would also limit “Obama’s opportunity to strengthen resource and advertising in Ohio and Indiana, if Michigan and Wisconsin are competitive.”
Meanwhile, Foster said “the past week for President Obama was not helpful to his numbers,” and suggested Obama’s campaign “needs to shift its focus towards presenting more of a business case narrative of why voters should re-elect President Obama while better defining why Romney/Ryan is not good for America.”
That would be much more challenging for the Obama campaign than begging to see Romney’s tax returns from 2003, accusing him of giving a woman cancer five years after someone else ordered the closing of the steel mill her husband used to work for, or criticizing the roof-mounted canine transportation methods employed by the Romney family in the 1980s.
Over in Wisconsin, the liberal Public Policy Polling firm finds a statistical tie, with Romney pulling 48 percent to Obama’s 47. The Washington Post notes PPP had Obama ahead 50-44 just a month ago. Ryan was also seen as a factor in Wisconsin’s movement to toss-up status, as his 49 percent approval rating makes him “the most popular person running on either ticket in his home state.”