MICHIGAN 17 Electoral Votes

Although Bush did not carry Michigan, Bush-Cheney '04 Michigan executive director John Dunagan states that the campaign "kept it close well into August and September" and forced the Kerry campaign to put "time, attention and resources in a state that they should have been able to take for granted."   Thus one of  Sen. Kerry's stops on November 1 was a rally at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.  "He shouldn't have had to come there," says Dunagan.

Dunagan says the Bush campaign took the state "very, very seriously."  The first Bush-Cheney staffer was on the ground in December 2003.  The campaign announced its county leadership team, comprising 114 Bush-Cheney '04 county leaders, on February 17, and was fully staffed by March.  On May 3 President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush did their first bus tour of the campaign in Michigan.  After landing at South Bend Regional Airport in South Bend, IN, the "Yes, America Can" tour ran in a fairly straight line across the southern part of Michigan starting in Niles and continuing with events in Kalamazoo, and Sterling Heights.  The tour was typical of subsequent Bush visits in that it didn't focus all the attention on the largest media markets, but hit smaller communities as well.  A July 13 speech at Northern Michigan University in Marquette marked the first visit by a sitting president to the Upper Peninsula since 1911.  The campaign continued its efforts in Michigan to right to the end, as the Bushes rallied at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids on October 30, the Cheneys made a stop in Romulus on October 31, and Laura Bush wrapped up with a rally in Clinton Township on November 1.

Clinton Township, incidentally, is located in Macomb County, a blue collar area north of Detroit that gained fame as the home of "Reagan Democrats."  Gore won here in 2000, but Bush brought the county back into the red column in 2004.  All told Bush carried nine more counties than he had in 2000.

America Coming Together, the Democrat-aligned 527 organization, was active in the state until the later part of September when, with Kerry looking strong in polls, it shut down operations and sent staff to other battleground states.  ACT opened its first office in Michigan in late April 2004.  ACT Michigan director Lon Johnson said the group aimed "to bring the campaign back to the grassroots levels," particularly targeting drop-off voters and seeking "to engage those voters in July, in August, in September with a personal touch."
Bush-Cheney '04 Kerry-Edwards 2004
Organization details...  details...
BC'04 Executive Director: John Dunagan

Michigan Victory 2004 Executive Director: Beth Thompson

Republican Party of Michigan
State Chair: Betsy DeVos
Exec. Director: Greg McNeilly
Office: 2121 E. Grand River Ave., Lansing 

KE State Director: Donnie Fowler

Coordinated Campaign Director: Jim Sype

Michigan Democratic Party
State Executive Chair: Mark Brewer 
Exec. Director:
Office:  606 Townsend Street,  Lansing 

Travel  compare...
Final Month (Oct. 2-Nov. 2, 2004)
George W. Bush - 3 visits (4 days)
Dick Cheney (and Lynne Cheney) - 4 visits (4 days)
Laura Bush (solo) -  1 visit (1 day)
John Kerry - 2 visits (2 days)
John Edwards - 2 visits (3 days)
Teresa Heinz Kerry (solo) - 0 visits
Elizabeth Edwards (solo) - 2 visits (2 days)
Eight Months (March 2-Nov. 2, 2004)
George W. Bush - 12 visits (13 days)
Dick Cheney (and Lynne Cheney) - 10 visits (10 days)
Laura Bush (solo) - 4 visits (4 days)
Lynne Cheney (solo) - 1 visit (1 day)
John Kerry - 8 visits (8 days)
John Edwards - 6 visits (7 days)
Teresa Heinz Kerry (solo) - 1 visit (1 day)
Elizabeth Edwards (solo) - 4 visits (4 days)

Newspaper Endorsements source: Editor & Publisher
The Grand Rapids Press  (10/17/04)
Kalamazoo Gazette
The Ann Arbor News
The Oakland Press  (10/10/04)
Teh Macomb Daily
Jackson Citizen Patriot
The Herald Palladium (St. Joseph)
Midland Daily News
The Daily Telegram (Adrian)
The Daily Mining Gazette (Houghton)
The Daily Press (Escanaba)
The Daily News (Greenville)
Daily News (Ludington)
Sturgis Journal 
Niles Daily Star
Detroit Free Press  (10/04/04)
The Flint Journal  (10/24/04)
Lansing State Journal  (10/24/04)
The Saginaw News
The Muskegon Chronicle  (10/17/04)
The Bay City Times  (10/24/04)
Time Herald (Port Huron)
Traverse City Record-Eagle  (10/24/04) >
Battle Creek Enquirer  (10/17/04)
Livingston County Daily Press & Argus  (10/17/04) >
The Argus-Press (Owosso)
Petoskey News-Review
The Daily Globe (Ironwood)

Third Party and Independent
Ralph Nader sought to appear on the ballot as the nominee of the Reform Party but that route became entangled in the courts.  On a separate track, in the event the Reform line did not pan out, Nader submitted 5,000 signatures toward ballot access as an Independent, while helpful Republicans collected about 45,000 more signatures.  (1, 2, 3)  On Sept. 3, 2004 a three-judge panel of the State Court of Appeals determined Nader would appear on the ballot as an Independent.  (Nick DeLeeuw v. State Board of Canvassers)

Copyright ©  2004, 2005  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.

The 2004 Campaign on the Web--Michigan 11/01/04
MI Republican Party
MI Democratic Party
Libertarian Party of MI
Green Party of MI
U.S. Taxpayers Party of MI
...Proposal 2
Citizens for the Protection of 
Marriage (Yes on Proposal 2)
The Coalition for a Fair 
Michigan (No on 2)