McCain quits Michigan

Post by kos from Dailykos:

Yesterday we discussed McCain's precarious electoral situation, under siege in way too many Bush states, making in roads in way too few Kerry states. Given his tighter financial picture, McCain had to make some decisions and refocus his campaign.

Today, he made the first of what should likely be many such decisions:

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.   Wisconsin went for Kerry in 2004, Ohio and Florida for Bush [...]

A McCain event planned for next week in Plymouth, Michiigan, has been canceled.

Ohio and Florida make sense. McCain can't win without them. But Wisconsin? That might just be misdirection on the part of the GOP because that would make little sense. Look at our chart from yesterday (with updated averages, including Ohio tipping over to Obama):

State  EVs  Poll  Total EVs
Safe Obama states    193

NM      5   O+7.1 202
WI     10   O+6.1 212
MN     10   O+5.1 222
PA     21   O+4.4 243
MI     17   O+4.5 260
CO      9   O+1.8 269
NH      4   O+1.8 273
FL     27   O+1.1 300
VA     13   O+0.9 313
OH     20   O+0.2 333

NV      5   M+1.5 205
NC     15   M+2.5 200
IN     11   M+2.2 185
MO     11   M+3.4 174
WV      5   M+4.6 163

Safe McCain states   158

Total: Obama 333, McCain 205

McCain is actually significantly more competitive in Michigan than he is in Wisconsin. Looking at Nate Silver's numbers (probably the best anywhere), he gives Obama a 91 percent chance of winning Wisconsin, projecting a 9-point Obama victory. Michigan is looking better for McCain, at 88 percent. Pennsylvania isn't much different, at 86 percent likely Obama.

With New Mexico and Iowa safely Obama, Obama gets to 266 EVs including the rest of the Kerry states. Throw in any other (competitive) Bush state and Obama gets to 270, and Obama has plenty of targets for those final EVs -- Colorado, Virginia, Nevada, etc. And while New Hampshire hasn't been locked down yet, its 4 EVs wouldn't buy McCain much breathing room.

If it was up to me, I'd pull out of every Kerry state except one, probably Pennsylvania, not to win, but to draw a disproportionate amount of Obama's deep resources. Then I'd focus on defense. It'll be far easier to hold Florida, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Indiana, Missouri and West Virginia, than win any single Kerry state. And McCain can win if he holds the line.

But really, McCain is screwed. This whole electoral firewall is on the verge of collapse, and even a gangbusters Palin performance tonight can't save him.