GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Blink and you’ll miss a big name campaigning for the presidential race in Michigan.
After a busy weekend of surrogate visits from both camps, Republican candidate Donald Trump visited metro Grand Rapids Monday. Meanwhile, musician Cher campaigned for Hillary Clinton in Kalamazoo. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will stump for the Democratic candidate in the state later this week.
But it appears Trump is focusing more attention on our state in the final stretch before the general election — three of his children and vice presidential candidate Mike Pence will be here this week. It begs the question: Could Michigan surprise the nation on Nov. 8?
Michigan has been a blue state in the presidential race for nearly three decades — George H. W. Bush was the most recent Republican to win the state in 1988.
Grand Valley State University political science professor Erika King said the added attention from the presidential campaigns isn’t by accident and she’s not surprised by it.
“I think both sides, internal polling is telling them that this is a state worth pursuing. They’re not just doing it because they love the beauty of Michigan — even though it’s beautiful this time of the year — they’re doing it because they see an advantage,” King told 24 Hour News 8 Monday night.
The latest poll commissioned by WOOD TV8 shows Clinton has a 7-point lead in the state — well outside the 4-point margin of error. But King wonders if and how the FBI’s renewed investigation involving Clinton’s emails may impact the race.
“We still don’t know what the implication of this last set of information coming out will be,” she said.
And she said Trump’s team can only benefit from spending so much time here.
“I think that the vote for him (Trump) is going to increase,” she said. “The big question that none of us can answer at this point is will it be enough for him to win Michigan?”