I think there are two big mistakes here. The first mistake is pulling back from here. The bigger mistake is announcing it to the media.
I long thought that Obama could not win Michigan. I still think he can't win Michigan, but McCain can lose Michigan if he can not seal the deal to why people should vote for him. So far, I don't think he has sealed the deal, and the window is a lot smaller than it was a week ago. Right now it's closed, and it needs to get broken open. I'll no longer comment on the bailout, but I think that hurt badly.
Michigan likes fighters. They don't respect "let's be nice" which is the McCain we've been seeing lately. Michigan respects the McCain that we saw on the debate. "Fight with me. I'll make them famous." That needs to come back, fast.
It's the economy stupid. James Carville understood it. There is no reason why McCain should concede this issue to a effeminate, elitist, arrogant, big mouthed, wuss who never struggled in his life like Obama. Obama has no blue collar appeal whatsoever. He's not man enough for this area. McCain needed to, and needs, to take advantage of that. He paid his dues. Obama has not. That opens a window and is nearly shut. Break it open.
My gut tells me that Michigan would have gone McCain as recently as last week. Not today. I think Obama would win here right now by 5-6%, similar to Gore in 2000 or Clinton in 1992. Today. There is still a month to go. McCain can not play prevent (from winning) defense and put all his eggs into Ohio, Florida, and Colorado. He's still in Pennsylvania, but that's a similar state demographically and culturaly to Michigan, especially in Western and Northeastern PA. Socially moderate conservative, economics moderally liberal and very populist. If he's struggling here, he's struggling there too, and a lot of the same issues here are factors there. Obama isn't man enough to win there or here, but that doesn't mean he won't get enough of those votes by default, because McCain is not hitting the right issues.
If I were Mac's campaign manager, I'd do this whether it be here or elsewhere:
1. FIGHT! Less Bob Dole. Less of either George Bush. More Harry Truman. Be the Maverick.
2. Jobs, jobs, jobs. Most people are not overly concerned with Wall Street. We're concerned about main street, our jobs, and eventual retirements.
3. Experience. Obama had a chance to change four years ago and failed. I brought change, by fighting for it.
4. Expose what a radical Obama is. Total handgun ban. Failed to protect babies that survived abortions. Big giveaways of our tax money. Leftist judges. Worked for ACORN and their crookedness. Tied to the Chicago machine. Tied up with the scandals and golden parachute of Jim Johnson and Franklin Raines. Tied with slumlord Tony Resko. Tied up with terrorist Bill Ayers. We should be seeing TV ads with Obama and Ayers and their work together on two boards of directors, and fundraisers at Bill's house.
5. Let Palin be Palin. Stop having Bush's people manage her and let her be herself. Why was she picked and not others, including other women. She was a reformer in Alaska. Don't let the cocktail party types influence you. Fight them too if you have too.
It's the 4th Quarter. Are we going to depend on John Elway taking shots downfield, or are we going to depend on the Detroit Lions secondary? Outside of the little I can do, it's not my call to make. This campaign has had a nasty week, but it is winnable with a little work and a little more aggressiveness.