After winning Michigan by less than 1 percentage point in 2016, it would be natural to assume that President Trump and the eventual Democratic nominee will make numerous campaign trips to Michigan in 2020.
But, maybe not.
The danger for the incumbent is that Michigan could be out of reach a year from now.
As the president trails in several polls in battleground states, a new Michigan survey suggests that his re-election chances are sliding in the Great Lakes State.
The poll released today by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA indicates that Trump has fallen behind several Democratic rivals in the all-important state of Michigan. The survey found former vice president Joe Biden had a 51-41 percent lead over Trump in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup in Michigan.
In addition, the surging campaign of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren holds a 49-43 percent edge over the president in our state while Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Kamala Harris of California maintain margins of 3 to 4 percentage points.
A national poll by Quinnipiac made public this morning has Biden leading by 16 points, over Trump, with Sanders, Warren and Harris also enjoying double-digit spreads over the presumptive Republican nominee.
The nationwide polls include staunchly anti-Trump big Blue States like California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey. But the numbers in a tossup state like Michigan certainly must have the Trump team worried at this early stage.
What’s more, the Christian Science Monitor came to Michigan this month to talk with Macomb County voters and they found a detectable softening of support for Trump compared to three years ago, when Trump carried the county by a comfortable margin.
The Monitor’s reporter went to St. Clair Shores, which the publication aptly described as a “swing city, in a swing county, in a swing state.”
Savvy GOP activists know that Clinton Township, Sterling Heights and Chesterfield Township are also must-win communities in the county.
“A Republican can’t win the state without winning Macomb County,” said longtime Republican strategist Jamie Roe, former congressional chief of staff for Candice Miller.
While Trump remains popular in Macomb with most Republicans, the Monitor found that some voters – particularly female voters – are not so sure they will vote for him again, especially if he takes the low road:
Many feel it’s important that candidates be direct about what they want to accomplish and work hard to do it – just as they do. But at the same time, Macomb County voters don’t want their president to abandon “Midwestern nice” values. (Of course, political campaigns in Macomb often are anything but nice.)
“I voted for Trump in 2016 because I thought he was saying what everyone was thinking. But I’m disappointed,” says Debbie Dymek, an estate sale manager, as she pushes her cart through the aisles of a Meijer grocery store in Sterling Heights. “The bashing of everything and everyone, is that necessary? I’m an outspoken person, so when he says things that bother me, I know it must bother others.”