With news out today that President Obama will be campaigning for statewide Democratic candidates Gary Peters and Mark Schauer at the end of the month, I thought it would be a good time to revisit a prediction my It’s Just Politics co-host Rick Pluta and I made in September.
That prediction? That, although many political pundits continue to talk about the president’s unpopularity nationwide, Barack Obama would make an appearance in Michigan before Election Day.
President Obama will return to Michigan. Back to campaign and to inspire Obama voters to get out and vote in the mid-terms. (It’s Just Politics, September 27th, 2014)
It is absolutely true that the president’s approval ratings are nothing to write home about (in fact, they appear to be at their lowest level today since he took office) but, as Pluta and I have talked about before on IJP, this is a get-out-the-vote election. Democrats are relying on their core supporters, their base voters, to get them to victory at the polls on Nov. 4.
Though there are more Democrats in Michigan, Republicans do a better job of turning out in mid-term elections, when a president is not at the top of the ballot.
That’s why, although Michigan is a blue-state, we have a Republican governor, secretary of state and attorney general (all positions that are elected in non-presidential years, when Democrats tend to stay home). – It’s Just Politics, Oct. 11, 2014
In order for Democrats to get their voters to the polls they need big names to help excite the electorate and there aren’t bigger Democratic names in this election cycle than President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama (who was in Detroit last Friday) and Hillary Clinton (who will visit Michigan tomorrow).
So, while in some states there are certainly Democratic candidates who are trying to keep their distance from the president, that is not the case (at least not with statewide candidates) in Michigan.