Michigan has a pretty good record. In the last nine presidential elections, we've voted for the winner two-thirds of the time. But there are states with better records. Six states, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee, have perfect records. In this group, only Ohio had a significant amount of electoral votes on the line (20) and a popular vote that was almost too close to call (Bush won the Ohio popular vote by only 2.1 percent).
Like Ohio, Michigan's 17 electoral votes are also highly prized by the candidates. Only seven states have more electoral votes at stake, and of those, only Ohio and Pennsylvania were very close races in 2004. Although Bush won the popular vote in Florida by over five percent in 2004, we all know how close the 2000 presidential race was in that state. So count Florida in this elite group of "must win" states.
History of Political Activism
Michigan is definitely on the political map. Both McCain and Obama headed to Michigan after their respective conventions concluded. Both know that not only are Michigan's 17 electoral votes up for grabs but Michiganders know how to get out the vote. In 2004, 72 percent of Michigan's citizens were registered to vote. The national average is about 66 percent. There was a time when Michigan's voter registration numbers pretty much mirrored the United States.' But as registration declined nationwide, Michiganders remained committed to the election process.
The same holds true for voting. Slightly more than 58 percent of U.S. citizens voted in the 2004 presidential election, compared to almost 65 percent of Michigan residents. Not that many states have higher voter turnout, and they seem to be concentrated in the northern tier of states. The states with the highest voter turnout were Minnesota, followed by Wisconsin, Maine, North Dakota, Oregon and New Hampshire
While Michigan's number of electoral votes and high voter registration and turnout records make us a popular stop on the campaign trail, Michigan's political clout has been...