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For most of the early part of the cycle, there's been talk that Obama could be forced to break a sweat in Michigan under the right conditions. Well, the latest poll from Public Policy Polling just blew apart that talking point. Obama isn't just leading the entire Republican field, he's leading big.
The big story here is that Mitt Romney would get destroyed 54-38--in his home state. By comparison, last summer Obama only led Romney 47-42. I think it can be safely said that any talk of Romney being more electable is officially dead and buried. Obama also leads Rick Santorum 50-39 and Newt Gingrich 56-34.
How did this happen? Well, it turns out that Michiganers really don't like any of the GOPers. All three serious candidates have approval ratings in the red--Santorum at 40 percent, Romney at 29 percent and Gingrich at 21 percent. At the same time, they love Obama a lot--the president's approval ratings are at 53 percent. And it doesn't look like Michigan voters blame Obama for the economy--53 percent think he's been good for the state's economy.
Something else that looks encouraging--it looks like the racial gap has pretty much disappeared in the Wolverine State. Obama runs away with the white vote against all three major GOP candidates, despite having only a 46 percent approval rating among white voters.
Given PPP's track record, there's little reason to doubt that this is accurate. We can only hope these numbers hold--if they do, it'll be a very good night in November.