Michigan has gone blue in four out of the past five presidential elections, but the crucial state is anything but a lock for Barack Obama this year. The Wall Street Journal assesses a slew of factors—the state's highly charged racial politics, John McCain's good standing among GOP moderates and independents, Obama’s absence from the state primary, and his association with the disgraced mayor—and finds that the bellwether state's 17 electoral votes are very much in play.
"Michigan is a challenge for any Democratic candidate," says an Obama worker here. "Everyone thinks it's blue. But you have to work hard to make it blue." Obama holds a slim lead in recent polls and is pushing the McCain-is-Bush theme. But the Journal notes that Michigan is the original home of the so-called "Reagan Democrats," voters willing to jump to the GOP.