The political world was abuzz last week with the news that John McCain is suspending campaign activities in Michigan. Michigan is one of the few states that normally votes Democratic that McCain thought he could flip Republican. With this development McCain is not only effectively ceding 17 electoral votes to Obama, but he has drastically reduced the number of strategies that can get him to the magic 270 votes needed to win.
With all the focus on the ramifications of this development on the Presidential race, it is only today that the media has started looking at how this plays out in races for the Senate and House of Representatives. Today’s Wall Street Journal took a look, and the short answer in Michigan Republicans are Freaked Out:
The presidential candidate’s decision last week to stop campaigning in Michigan and scale back advertising there triggered complaints from state party leaders that the withdrawal could undercut in particular two Republican members of Congress facing tough re-election challenges at a time when the party is struggling to contain its losses on Capitol Hill.
“I am sure you’ve heard the news by now that the McCain Campaign decided to pull out of Michigan,” Chairman Saul Anuzis, chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, wrote in a fund-raising email to supporters marked URGENT. “This move leaves a tremendous hole in our ground campaign that we must now fill.” Mr. Anuzis cited the potential fallout for the re-election drives of Reps. Joe Knollenberg and Tim Walberg.
Candidates down the ballot count on the Presidential campaigns to keep local activists excited and to fund and direct get-out-the-vote efforts.
With the McCain camp publicly admitting defeat, funding and volunteers for these critical on-the-ground efforts will be in short supply. In short, two very close races just got a whole lot closer.
Council for a Livable World has endorsed Gary Peters, the Democrat running against Rep. Joe Knollenberg.
You can read more about his campaign here.