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More political heavyweights in Michigan, poll updates and 11th hour campaign strategy

Oct 23, 2014

Former President Bill Clinton was in Flint on Wednesday, where he spoke to a crowd of hundreds of Democrats.
Credit Jake Neher / MPRN

This Week in Michigan Politics, Emily Fox and Jack Lessenberry discuss what it means for Michigan when big name politicians campaign for local candidates, the outlook for the state’s major races, and what political parties are up to as Nov. 4 draws near.


Big-name politicians

Former President Bill Clinton is the most recent in a string of political heavyweights who’ve visited Michigan to rally voters.

First Lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have also dropped in to support Democrat candidates, and President Barack Obama is expected to make an appearance next week.

On the Republican side, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have all visited Michigan to boost their party’s candidates.

Lessenberry said there’s likely more to these visits than getting out the vote.

“They certainly want to get credibility and build up IOUs with the parties. Some of these folks are running or may run for president again,” he said.  

Election outlook

As Election Day draws near, many are watching over the polls to see which candidates are pulling ahead.

While some polls for some races show much wider margins than others, Lessenberry said many of the numbers have been tricky to interpret.

“These things are fluid and chaotic and there’s a million polls. Probably too many polls,” he said.

Final days

In order to “close the deal” for their respective candidates, both parties are trying to make the most of the last days before voters head to the polls.

So what does that mean for campaign strategy? Well, an increase in negative political ads, for starters.

“Nobody really thinks they’re going to change anyone’s mind, but if they (voters) get discouraged with their candidate, they just might stay home,” Lessenberry said.

Lessenberry said at this late stage, voter turnout is key to winning the election.

– Rebecca Kruth, Michigan Radio Newsroom