The Republican National Committee, following the McCain-Palin campaign's decision earlier today to effectively surrender Michigan's 17 electoral votes to Barack Obama and shift its staff and advertising dollars to other states, is likewise ceding Michigan to the Democrats.
In an email to this writer this evening, RNC spokeswoman Liz Mair stated the following:
"The RNC is shifting its focus to blue states like Minnesota and Wisconsin, where the McCain-Palin ticket's commitment to reform will resonate with voters looking for leaders who will shake things up in Washington, rather than simply talk about change."
The capitulation is a striking retrenchment. The G.O.P. previously had high hopes of recapturing Michigan, especially following a bruising disagreement among Democrats over whether or not Michigan, which broke party rules by holding its primary too early, would even be counted in choosing the Democratic candidate. Many commentators said that dispute would drive disillusioned voters to the Republican Party. However, a rise in the state's foreclosure rate, disputed reports that Republicans planned to challenge foreclosed homeowners' right to vote on Election Day, and an industrial slowdown accompanying the ongoing crisis in financial markets all drove Michigan's poll numbers in the Democrats' direction.
Follow M.S. Bellows, Jr. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msbellows