Electoral votes: 17
2004 result: Kerry 51%, Bush 48%
2000 result: Gore 51%, Bush 46%
Most recent Republican win (1988): Bush 54%, Dukakis 46%
African American percentage: 14.3% (national average is 12.8%)
Link to polls in Real Clear Politics
Currently, the polls indicate that Michigan is very much a toss-up. Why aren't the Democrats doing better in a place that rivals the financial district of Manhattan for current economic troubles? Is it true that Barack Obama, with his arugula diet, is having trouble connecting with blue-collar voters?
One odd effect might be making itself known in Michigan, a state with a substantial Muslim population. There is some anecdotal evidence that Muslim voters are disenchanted because Obama supposedly feels a need to distance himself from Muslim would-be supporters. It would be ironic if Obama who, although a practicing Christian himself, has Muslim ancestry on his father's side, were having difficulty with that particular group of Michigan voters.