Open Thread: More States in Play Now?

Since Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan was announced as Mitt Romney's running mate, the situation in the various states seems to have changed a bit. Ryan's home state of Wisconsin has tightened up quite a bit, moving from solid Obama to a tossup. Mitt Romney's birth state of Michigan has also become more competitive:

Most polls show Obama leading here narrowly, but Romney strategists point out that their man is nearly tied with the president before the TV ad war between the campaigns has even begun. Michigan is one of 11 states where the Romney campaign is fully staffed with a battleground footprint and money flowing in.

So can Romney pull an upset here? While he emphasized his Michigan roots this weekend with an ill-considered birther joke, his favorite-son status gets him only so far. After all, most Michigan voters have only distant memories of his father’s tenure as governor in the 1960s, and Romney barely squeaked out athree-point primary win over Rick Santorum in his home state.

But a number of factors suggest that Romney has a shot in Michigan. For one thing, since Obama’s 2008 victory, Michigan voters put the House in GOP hands and have elected a Republican governor, Rick Snyder, who campaigned (like Romney) on his experience in the private sector. Since taking office, Snyder has erased a $1.5 billion budget deficit and cut corporate taxes by $1 billion a year — and Michigan’s unemployment rate dropped from over 13 percent in 2010 to 8.6 percent in June. If Michigan voters are comfortable enough to put a chief executive in charge in Lansing, it stands to reason they would also put a chief executive in charge in Washington.

All of the above may be true, however, the state of Michigan has often been a bit of a white whale for Republican presidential candidates. None has won it since George H. W. Bush in 1988 although it's been close several times since that time. Do you see Mitt Romney as having a chance at winning Michigan or not?

Open Thread