With this move his campaign goes into that popular and successful “hope and a prayer” mode.
From the link:
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.
McCain’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Republicans had been bullish on Michigan, hopeful that McCain’s past success in the state in the 2000 primary combined with voter dissatisfaction with Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm and skepticism among blue-collar voters about Barack Obama could make it competitive.
Below the fold is an ominous, for McCain, report from Florida.
In a blow to Team Clinton, Florida will not re-vote its Democratic primary.
From the link:
WASHINGTON — The Florida Democratic Party chairwoman on Monday officially buried the possibility of redoing the state’s disputed January presidential primary, saying there was no practical or affordable way to conduct a new election.
The chairwoman, Karen L. Thurman, essentially threw up her hands after failing to secure approval for a new election from state officials or the campaigns of Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton
and Barack Obama
She said in a statement late Monday that party officials in Florida had proposed such a plan last week. It was unceremoniously shot down, she said.
Some of Clinton’s high dollar supporters in Florida are demanding refunds of political donations to the Democratic National Committee if delegates from the state are not seated at the convention.
From the link:
Pushing to seat the Florida delegates, at least one top Clinton fund-raiser, Paul Cejas, a Miami businessman who has given the Democratic National Committee $63,500 since 2003, has demanded Democratic officials return his 2007 contribution of $28,500, which they have agreed to do.
“If you’re not going to count my vote, I’m not going to give you my money,” said Mr. Cejas, who was the United States ambassador to Belgium from 1998 to 2001.
Christopher Korge, a Florida real estate developer who is another top fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton, held an event last year in his home that brought in about $140,000 for the national party, which was set aside in a special account for the general election battle in Florida. But he told committee officials this week that if Florida’s delegate conundrum was not settled satisfactorily he would be asking for the money back.
“If we do not resolve this issue,” Mr. Korge said, “I think it’s safe to say there will be a request for a return of $140,000.”
My question here is, where was this outrage when the state was making the decision to change the vote’s date and violate the DNC order? This late-in-the-day pouting sounds a lot like the kid who lets everyone know he’s taking his ball and going home since he’s losing the game.
There is increasing chatter about the “problem” of the Florida and Michigan votes not seating delegates on the Democratic side after breaking party rules on the timing of the vote.
Talks are heating up about doing something in both states. Florida has been particularly vocal in the last few days. Now it looks like Michigan is about to announce a new caucus to get their votes counted at the convention.
If both states can manage to throw a respectable vote together in short order that helps remove one issue facing this onerous primary.
McCain wins the Sunshine State and all 57 awarded delegates. He is in the GOP driver seat heading into Tsunami Tuesday. Giuliani avoided a fourth place finish, but his vote combined with Huckabee’s didn’t match Romney’s second place total.
The final figures (taken from CNN.com — 99% reporting):
- McCain 36% 693,323
- Romney 31% 598,083
- Giuliani 15% 281,744
- Huckabee 14% 259,651
Ron Paul managed a very distant fifth with three percent of the vote. It looks like a two man race for the Republican nomination from here on out considering the margin between second and third place coupled with Rudy and Huckabee’s money problems.
Update: It looks like the right leaning blogosphere is already giving the nomination to McCain. Mostly grudgingly.
Update pt. 2: Make that very grudgingly, particularly at the Corner, Ace of Spades, Power Line and Hugh Hewitt’s Town Hall. Captain’s Quarters is a bit more circumspect. And rumors of Rudy leaving the race look like they will come true as soon as tomorrow followed by a McCain endorsement from the ex-NYC mayor.
… if he comes in the highly expected distant third, or even fourth today in Florida?
This rumor has been kicking around for a few days (link goes to Ace of Spades), and to me is based on some pretty scanty evidence. Basically that on the back of his campaign plane Giuliani said the winner of Florida would go on to win the GOP nomination. The kicker is Rudy said this knowing he is polling very far behind both McCain and Romney in the Sunshine State and in a dead heat with Huckabee for a left-in-the-dust third place at best.
The implication of the statement is he wouldn’t continue even to Tsunami Tuesday and is, in fact, done as a candidate.
In more endorsement news, Florida governor Charlie Crist appears to have pushed McCain over the edge in that state.
From the Reuters article:
McCain gained 3 points overnight after winning the Florida governor’s backing on Saturday. The shift broke a tie at 30 percent and pushed McCain, an Arizona senator, into a 33 percent to 30 percent lead on Romney before Tuesday’s primary.
The margin of error in the poll is 3.4 percentage points.
The backing of Crist particularly helped McCain with conservatives. He wiped out a 6-point lead for Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, among voters who describe themselves as conservatives.