Republican nominee Donald Trump is now within striking distance of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in Michigan, a state that has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988.
In the latest Fox 2 Detroit/Mitchell Poll, Trump trails Clinton by just six points. In the four-way poll, Clinton received 48 percent, Trump received 42 percent, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received 4.5 percent, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein received 1 percent. Clinton led Trump 50 percent to 44 percent, in the head-to-head.
Fifty-nine percent of polled voters said that jobs and the economy are the most important issues, while 29 percent said that national defense and terrorism were most important.
A Detroit Free Press/WXYZ-TV poll places Clinton ahead of Trump by 7 points, which is still a significant narrowing compared to previous polls.
Public backlash against trade deals like President Barack Obama’s Tran-Pacific Partnership – a deal that Clinton once called “the gold standard in trade agreements”– was so fierce that Clinton changed her tune during the Democratic primary where she was defeated by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“Across Michigan, Republicans are coming home and taking a united stand against Hillary Clinton’s radical, open-borders agenda and plan to double-down on failed Obama policies, such as Obamacare. We are also seeing independents, Democrats and union workers saying no to Clinton’s special interest driven agenda, and yes to Mr. Trump’s plan to put America first,” Tim Lineberger, communications director for Trump’s Michigan campaign team told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Hard working Americans will be voting for change in November because they feel like the system is rigged against them, and they know that Clinton and her cohorts are the ones rigging it,” Lineberger added.
Clinton was previously caught on tape telling a group of foreign bankers that her dream was a “hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.” Trump is also hoping to capitalize on the government’s recent report, stating that the price of Obamacare premiums are expected to increase an average of 22 percent. (RELATED: Clinton Surrogates Struggle To Defend Open-Trade, Open Borders Comment)
While Clinton maintains a slight edge in the Mitten state, the new numbers reveal a tightening race. Clinton led Trump by more than twice as many points, 13 to be exact, just nine days ago. The new numbers in Michigan, and other states, including battleground Ohio, have Clinton’s campaign concerned, with the former first lady warning her supporters against overconfidence, which may result in some supporters remaining home on Election Day.
Michigan is considered the birthplace of “Reagan Democrats” after working-class whites began to abandon the Democratic Party in Michigan starting in the mid-1960s. They rejected the anti-war left and rising liberal wing, and instead supported candidates like former presidents Richard Nixon. (RELATED: Trump Heads To Michigan In Appeal To Union Workers)
The political winds in Michigan shifted back to the Democrats starting with former President Bill Clinton in 1992. While no Republican has won the Michigan presidential vote since 1988, Republican activist and former union member Terry Bowman told TheDCNF that the Reagan Democrats are “coming back.”
Bowman, a 20-year employee of Ford Motors and a 19-year member of the United Autoworkers Union, told TheDCNF last month that in all his years working for Ford, he has never seen so many union members separate themselves from leadership and openly support Trump. “I have never seen so many colleagues speaking up and out loud about their support for Donald Trump.”
John Yob, CEO of Strategic National and one of the most respected political operatives in the state, told TheDCNF that states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, “look better for Republicans today than they did at this time four years ago.”
“There is grassroots energy on the ground for Trump [in Michigan], especially in rural areas such as Northern Michigan that simply wasn’t there for Republicans in 2008 and 2012,” Yob, who was deputy political director of John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, told the DCNF.
With just twelve days remaining until Election Day, the Great Lakes state is still within reach for Trump, who has visited the state five times since the Republican National Convention in July. Expect to see Clinton, Trump and their surrogates in Michigan between now and Election Day.
“There is still a chance for Trump to win Michigan and campaigning in Michigan sometime in the final week would make a ton of sense,” Yob said.
“Trump will almost certainly do better in Michigan than the Romney team did in 2012,” the veteran Michigan campaign operative concluded.
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