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Time Magazine: The New Battlegrounds Oakland County, Mich.

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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-03-08 08:21 PM
Original message
Time Magazine: 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 voters this year, one fact reveals all: two months after the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup, there is no waiting list for season tickets.

Michigan has gone Democratic in every presidential election cycle since 1988--but it could surprise this time around. While Democrats usually benefit when economic concerns dominate an election, Barack Obama is running only a few points ahead of John McCain in statewide polls, a margin neither side considers safe. Adding to Obama's challenges is the fact that several of the state's Democratic leaders are wildly unpopular, under indictment or both.

The battle for Michigan is coming down to leafy, affluent Oakland County, a once solidly Republican bastion that has grown more Democratic in recent years. Oakland is one of the new battlegrounds of 2008--a handful of counties in must-win swing states that weren't pivotal a decade ago but are where the election will be lost or won this year. Though nearby Macomb County gave rise to Reagan Democrats nearly 30 years ago, it is the more upscale Oakland that holds the key to Michigan now.

<snip>

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,182830...
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-04-08 06:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. And they get no left-wing radio there. /nt
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-04-08 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Sure we do
Thom Hartmann and Rachel Maddow are still on here, as is Stephanie Miller. Of course, in order to get Randi instead of Ed, I have her stream her from NovaM.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-04-08 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. We do? On regular AM/FM?
Since I'm no longer a member of the Commuter Brigade, I guess I miss it. I tune to NPR (UofM or WSU) or Classic Rock (Dick Purtan's station... 94.7?) ... I've never heard liberal talk when I scan.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-04-08 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. WDTW 1310 am
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-05-08 03:03 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Gotcha. Tried it today. Very poor reception in my LeBaron pervertible.
The last guy to work on my car seemed younger than the car (a 1990)... and even less agile. :shrug:
I think my AM antenna is still FUBAR.
:cry:
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-04-08 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
4. I think the Democrats have a bigger challenge here than they think.
While I don't see much signage support for McCain (lots for Ron Paul), I also don't see much Obama support. The only Obama signage I see is in an occasional car window. I see lots of Ron Paul signage and a few McCain signs. Person to person, it's overwhelmingly Obama ... but I'm leery about the GOTV. This area is really unpredictable. Macomb County is worse. The Democrats better stifle the Rodney Dangerfield posture around here, imho.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-04-08 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Oh, I think we all know we have a challenge
but we're up to the task.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-04-08 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I hope so. I see far too much overconfidence here on DU.
I think the "rust belt" (and Michigan, in particular) is the biggest challenge facing the Democrats. When voters get angry they throw their votes like Molotov cocktails ... not under the assumption that it'll do a direct good ... just out of anger.
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susanna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-04-08 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I agree with you, TahitiNut.
Edited on Mon Aug-04-08 10:32 PM by susanna
I'm not at all comfortable that the national party operatives have a clue in Michigan. I'm hearing ugly rumblings from Oakland (I'm in Wayne, we're pretty solid Dem) that don't sound good to me at all. They are not happy about the national Democratic stance that the auto industry is the worst thing to ever happen; IMHO, it's going to be much closer than people think. I am not a pessimist by nature, but this is unlike anything I've ever experienced.

I'm one of the 300,000 auto jobs lost the past decade, though I made it until June of this year. I'm voting for Obama. I know that McCain is more of the same and I can't tolerate that. Obama's speech today here might win some converts, but this is a really ugly time here, and people elsewhere in the country don't get that. I will go out on a limb here and say that I think Michigan may be the dark horse this election. It's that bad.

on edit: clarification
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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #6
25. What has he done?
I'm a 'newby' here, so this is just a suggestion. It might help if more people knew of Senator Obama's rrcord in the senate. I have noticed on other blogs (debate blogs) that few people, including Dems, are aware of his impressive record.
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Royal Oak Rog Donating Member (506 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-06-08 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. Tahiti, don't you live in Royal Oak?
I see all kind of signage around here, including the one on my front lawn I count at least 5 lawn signs on 2 or 3 blocks in my neighborhood. I still plan on knocking on doors around here, but I think Obama is solid in south Oakland. IMHO.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-07-08 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Yup. I'm in north R.O. ... 13 1/2 and Crooks (aka the "Vinsetta" neighborhood)
I'm near Oakridge Market and the signage is slim. This is the Knollenberg Royal Oak and not the Levin Royal Oak.
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-22-08 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. I live in the Levin part of Warren, so I know what you mean.
North Warren is part of Candace Miller's district. I think Obama will do well in my part of town.
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-07-08 07:41 AM
Response to Original message
11. Other than the die hards on either side of the aisle, any vote in Mi. is up for grabs.
Unless or until one of the candidates provides hands on programs or policies to absorb the mess of the shock of Shafta, no one is certain. And I'm not talking about some stupid jobs program that barely meets the needs of a small slice of residents.

I think the unemployment figure is very deceptive. Most people I know, and I know many and across the various political terrain, are scared to death of losing their jobs and homes.

The patient is in critical condition and the Doctors have visited a handfull of times while pelting us with their advertisements of the crummy job the other guy will give?

Give me a break. Nobody and I mean nobody in Michigan is going to buy this crap. Sure Biofuel initiative are great but what will it do for jobs,homes, medical care and schools? Not much.

The Obama campaign should pay close attention to the proportion of likely voters in Michigan, review and review again the viability of the registered voters (Republicans will have tricks up their sleeve) and promote a point by point 4 year plan for Michigan inclusive of regional differences.

At this point I suspect McCain is farther ahead in the thinking of families than Obama.

Wake up Democrats!

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Royal Oak Rog Donating Member (506 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-08-08 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Really?
Edited on Fri Aug-08-08 03:45 PM by Royal Oak Rog
"At this point I suspect McCain is farther ahead in the thinking of families than Obama."

Eight years of jobs being lost by the boatload overseas, gas prices more than doubling, and the foreclosure rate one of the highest in the country, and you think that McCain is farther ahead in the thinking of families? Ok, do me a favor and repeat after me: I will never watch Fox News channel and take it seriously again.

I have no doubt that people will have to get to work for Obama, but come on now, think about that for a second?
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-09-08 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Nobody on DU argues that others SHOULD vote for McCain ... it's about whether they WILL.
Each time this it's noted that Michigan, for WHATEVER reason, seems to be too inclined to vote for McCain (or Barr or Nader but not Obama) the 'argument' that it's not reasonable or rational has NOTHING to do with whether folks WILL vote that way.

We saw it in 2004. Despite a FUBAR of a first term, people got it in their minds that "Kerry would be worse." Now, we can disagree all we want about the REASON but the FACT remains that enough people vote GOP that it's insane.
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Royal Oak Rog Donating Member (506 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-09-08 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. I disagree
Edited on Sat Aug-09-08 12:03 PM by Royal Oak Rog
We didn't vote for Bush in '04, the gas prices, the job loss, the economy (housing and otherwise) are much worse than they were in '04, '00, '96, you can probably go right back to Hoover. I'm not saying there's no way that we won't go republican, I'm just saying the odds say we won't, they strongly say we won't.

That being said I hope everyone gets out there and works for Obama, but I'm confident that he wins this state,this county, this nation, probably in a landslide. And I don't think that's the least bit "pie in the sky". Any other scenario just doesn't make any sense, not that it has to.
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maddogesq Donating Member (915 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-07-08 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
13. After Tuesday, I am feeling a bit optimistic about OC.
Edited on Thu Aug-07-08 04:57 PM by maddogesq
At least in terms of the County Commission.

Consider this:

The 14th district seat is the pivotal one for the commission to go Democratic. L. Brooks has got to be messing his pants, because about the same number of voters voted in the 4 way Dem primary race (won by Steve Schwartz) as those that voted for the uncontested Republican, Mike do-nothing Rogers. This is the first time the GOP has ever had a challenger in the 14th (my turf in west Farmington Hills), and there will be a lot of interest.

I got twice as many votes as I did in 2006 this time for my usual uncontested delegate seat in The Hills pct. 6. That may not sound like much, but it tells us the demographic out here is changing.

With lots of forclosures and a sucky economy, I think people will still look to the Bush years and think twice in that voting booth whether they think Grampy McShame will be any different than Jr. Now if we could just stop this crap that comes from the main stream media...a subject I have ranted about for years.

I guess what I am saying here is that Sharon is right, we have work to do...but ALL politics IS local. That concept has been around for a long time, and will be around for a long time to come.

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tokenlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-09-08 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
16. That poll where Granholm and Bush split blame for the economy should be a warning...
Edited on Sat Aug-09-08 11:16 AM by tokenlib
Granholm is becoming a scapegoat for a lot of people and not just republicans. One poll had the blame split 50-50 between Granholm and Bush. It is irrational and unfair to the governor--but a reality. With over one tenth of the population unemployed (the state unemployment office was swamped with UI extension applicants), and even higher numbers underemployed--the bitter, despairing and angry could turn the state.

Obama in his economic speech promised to rejuvenate the auto industry--but there are a lot of us, even strong Obama supporters who think McCain was actually closer to the truth (though an idiot for saying it) when he said the jobs aren't coming back. Jobs of the future are a great long term solution---but what about the masses here that need real relief right now--not everone has the freedom to go back to school even if the state pays for it--those are the votes that could win or lose the state. And it is a large proportion of the state that has yet to be measured or reported on.

I'm not trying to be a wet blanket--I just know we have a fight on our hands..

Lastly--do not fret about the lack of Obama signs and stickers--they are not widely available yet at offices---if you don't see them after they are easily obtainable--then you can be concerned. Most people wait to get them from offices.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-23-08 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. Luckily, they were scapegoating her even before her re-election....
and she still won HANDILY over that idiot-son, DeVos!

Hopefully we will see the same dynamic with McCaint....
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dzhuang Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-10-08 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
18. Fortunately For Us
Youth political activism is extremely high in Oakland county. I have several friends participating in political events and even volunteering for Obama's campaign. It's really fantastic to see so much voter encouragement for youth and all ages. There is high motivation for kids to spread the word so you can see and hear about Obama all the time.

Of course, most of the youth's reasonings as to why they love Obama do not come from his economic positions. To really make a difference, Obama really needs to shift his economic policies to be more appealing to the public (even though McCain knows close to nothing about economics).
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-23-08 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
20. Hey! They told US that MACOMB COUNTY was the "battleground"!!1!
WTF???

Want to form an alliance?
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-24-08 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Get those Hummers in working order then. :)
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Hidden Stillness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-29-08 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
23. I Think Oakland County has Been Getting More Liberal for Some Years Now
As usual with "Time" Magazine, the article is so badly written that it is hard to find the substance there sometimes, but I think Oakland County has actually been turning gradually, slowly Democratic for many years. Democrats have won some races up there that they never used to win, etc. Also, Oakland County voted for Kerry four years ago, too.

"Adding to Obama's challenges is the fact that several of the state's Democratic leaders are wildly unpopular, under indictment or both." Asshole--do they mean "several of" Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick "are" under indictment? Fucking stupid media. I am actually proud, now, of the way Detroit is handling this, getting rid of the "thug" (remember Sharon McPhail's comment a few years ago) crook. I hope people are aware that it is the capitalist, union-hating, Democrat(IC!)-hating commercial media that attacks and slants everything against Granholm, no matter what she does. She had the entire corporate/business tax killed by a then-Republican State Legislature, and had to re-work the entire budget with that disaster caving in on us all, and a Republican Party that even the Millikens have said publicly has been largely destroyed by an extremist element for some 25+ years now.

A big challenge for Obama is that Hillary Clinton got the blue-collar/union, unemployed vote all across the Midwest and Northeast, and Obama got the "computer/college/environmental" young group; they are not the same. Obama has to show some understanding of threatened, middle-class life. Also, as a note, I have never heard anyone refer to anything as "Reagan Democrat"; I don't know what the fuck that is, but the media will not let it go! Never hear "Kerry Republicans," though, do you, and I do remember those.

I think Obama/Biden will win Michigan and I don't think we are even really a "swing" State, which all the media still tries to claim about Democratic States; McCain didn't do well here, as compared to the Democrats of the Primary. It might be close, and I am nervous, but I actually believe we will win regardless. Just please, God--don't start talking "centrist," and give it all away...

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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. I need a Obama/Biden campaign lawn sign!
The nearest campaign headquarters to West Bloomfield seems to be NW highway in Southfield. I tried calling Friday, but no answer. Does anyone know exactly where, on NW highway???
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. I don't think there's an office on NW Highway.
There's one at 10 Mile and Southfield in the strip center just west of the CVS at the corner.

The Oakland County Dems office in Royal should have some now. Or, you can order from the Obama website like I did. I think the West Bloomfield office at 4123 Orchard Lake Rd. may have just opened.
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