06/24/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Does Obama have a thing for Michigan?

More newsworthy than Al Gore's endorsement of Obama last night, may be the fact that the formal endorsement occurred in Michigan -- the site of John Edwards announcement back in May.

The point of true interest follows from an article published yesterday by AP, which states:

"Barack Obama's campaign envisions a path to the presidency that could include Virginia, Georgia and several Rocky Mountain states, but not necessarily the pair of battlegrounds that decided the last two elections -- Florida and Ohio."

If Obama aims to win in November without having to carry Florida and Ohio, then Michigan and its 17 electoral votes will be absolutely critical. Such a strategy would explain the campaign's continued presence in the state it was earlier forced to abandon.

Michigan is already considered a battleground state, and for the first time since 1988 appears decisively purple. Recent polls place McCain and Obama within the margin of error of one another, but, like elsewhere, the money seems to be favoring Obama. The McCain campaign has been spending roughly $500,000 per week on TV ads in Michigan since May 28. Whereas the Obama campaign has yet to infiltrate the market. On top of that, Obama's name didn't even appear on the ballot in the renegade Michigan primary. Still, polls show the two relatively deadlocked.

If Obama can remain competitive for this long without major advertising in a politically volatile state, then it may just be special attention like Gore's visit to Detroit last night that will seal the deal.