The once rock-solid Democratic stronghold of Michigan appears to be signifigantly softer this year for President Obama, at least if you believe any of the polling data from the past month. The most recent poll release shows Romney actually leading the President by 1%, which is of course within the margin of error.
Report from Detroit News:
Two polls released Tuesday give different views of how Michigan may vote in the presidential election.
A survey by Mitchell Research & Communications showed the race is a statistical dead heat between President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican challenger Mitt Romney, with Romney leading, 45 percent to Obama’s 44 percent.
But a poll by Rasmussen gave the edge to Obama, 48 percent to 42 percent.
Both surveys show that Romney, who was born in Michigan, is closing the gap with the president. Last month, Obama had a larger lead in a Rasmussen poll, 50 percent to 42 percent.
Also last month, the Mitchell survey showed Obama in front, 47 percent to 46 percent.
“Mitt Romney’s home state continues to look as though it is going to be a battleground state this year,” said Steve Mitchell of Mitchell Research & Communications.
The results are consistent with other polls showing Romney closing the gap since becoming the presumptive GOP candidate. Obama once had a commanding lead in Michigan, as much as double figures in one May poll.
Mitchell Research queried 825 likely voters Monday in an automated telephone survey. It has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.
Rasmussen questioned 500 likely voters Monday with a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.
The Mitchell poll showed a possible cause for concern for Obama. Romney expanded his lead among independent voters, who are considered a key voting bloc.
In the poll, they preferred Romney by a 44 percent to 34 percent margin. Last month, they liked Romney, 43 percent to 38 percent.
Michigan has not voted for a Republican president since 1988. Then again, Virginia hadn’t voted for a Democrat president since 1964 so pretty much anything can happen given the right circumstances.