SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — With Super Tuesday behind them, presidential candidates are turning their eyes — and campaign buses — toward Michigan.
There’s an ebb and flow to Michigan’s presidential primaries. The state typically gets varying levels of attention from among the candidates, with some placing more importance on it than others. It’s generally accepted that the state will split between a couple of contenders, with one getting bragging rights but both getting delegates.
This year, Michigan — like everywhere else — is different. All of the candidates still vying for the White House are expected to stump in the state between now and the time voters go to the polls on Tuesday, March 8.
It doesn’t hurt that both the Democrats and Republicans are having a primary rather than a caucus. It also helps that both major parties are having nationally televised debates in Michigan — Republicans in Detroit on Thursday and Democrats in Flint on Sunday.
But the real reason Michigan is seeing so much attention is because this unsettled race, particularly on the Republicans’ side, could hinge on every vote and every delegate — and with 59 delegates, Michigan is always a big prize.
A Wednesday morning trip to Ann Arbor for the first visit leading up to the primary turned out to be an exercise in driving on icy roads and little else. Ohio Gov. John Kasich had transportation problems that kept him from the event. He did make it to events in Grand Blanc and Warren.
Those working with his campaign say he will be Michigan all week. The week after Michigan’s primary, Kasich hopes to win his home state in a winner-take-all primary on March 15.
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Voters will likely be bombarded with news of candidates’ visits and advertising leading up to the election. There have even been billboards up for candidates, which is somewhat unusual for a primary.
EPIC-MRA poll numbers released Wednesday show Republican candidates are facing similar numbers in Michigan as they are elsewhere around the country. Businessman Donald Trump led in the poll with 29 percent of respondents saying they would vote for him if the election was held immediately. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rubio are in a statistical tie about 10 points behind Trump, and Kasich is at 8 percent.
Dr. Ben Carson also showed up at 8 percent in the EPIC-MRA poll, but said after a disappointing Super Tuesday that he does “not see a political path forward” in his bid for the White House. He also announced he would not attend Thursday’s debate in Detroit.—–Inside woodtv.com: Complete coverage of Decision 2016