The Battle for Michigan

A dreadful economy has Michiganders looking for change in Washington, but doubts about Obama make this Democratic state a toss-up

Jason Reed / Reuters / Corbis

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama speaks to the press outside the Rite Aid Distribution site in Waterford, Michigan.

The New Battlegrounds Oakland County, Mich.

To get a fix on just how thoroughly the slumping economy has clobbered the state of Michigan, consider first some traditional indicators: Nearly 300,000 manufacturing jobs have disappeared in the past decade. Ford just posted the worst quarterly loss in its 105-year history, and GM announced it was closing or converting plants. More than 1 of every 20 mortgages is in or near foreclosure, and at 8.5%, Michigan's unemployment rate is the highest in the nation.

But to fully grasp why the economy is the first, last and only issue on the minds of Michigan...

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