Both parties are making their final big push to get their supporters to the polls and are bringing out the big guns to do the work. Former President Obama and the former First Lady have been making the rounds and making headlines, sometimes not always for the reasons they intended. Obama’s latest gaff: he urged Michigan voters to go out and do something they can’t really do — vote early.
Here’s the moment highlighted by one young political commentator (h/t Twitchy):
Is he right that Michigan doesn’t have early voting? Here’s the office of Michigan’s Secretary of State on the question “Does Michigan allow early voting?“
No. While some states allow all voters to cast ballots prior to Election Day, Michigan does not have early voting. Of course, qualified Michigan voters can cast absentee ballots prior to Election Day.
Some defenders of Obama noted that while Michigan doesn’t have early voting, it does have extensive absentee voting, which is handled similarly to early voting.
Polling shows Michigan’s Sen. Debbie Stabenow ahead of Republican John James, but her once sizable lead appears to have diminished in recent weeks. A Mitchell Research poll conducted last week found James within 6 points. An Emerson poll conducted around the same time, however, found Stabenow ahead by 9 points. An EPIC/MRA poll conducted 10/18-23 gave Stabenow a 7-point lead.
Two of Michigan’s House seats are considered “toss-ups”: the races between Republican incumbent Mike Bishop and Democrat Elissa Slotkin and Lena Epstein (R) and Haley Stevens (D). Also close, but leaning Republican, are the races between incumbent Fred Upton (R) and Matt Longjohn (D) and incumbent Tim Walberg (R) and Gretchen Driskell (D).
Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight gives Republicans a 5 in 6 (82.2%) chance of maintaining control of the Senate, with the most likely outcome that Republicans actually gain one seat, which would give them a 52-48 majority. According to Silver, Democrats have slightly better odds of taking control of the House, 6 in 7 (86.3%), with the most likely outcome that Democrats end up with a 235 – 200 majority.
Obama has been making appearances in many of the battleground states, including a recent trip to Nevada, where he made headlines for spending more time defending his own legacy than promoting the Democratic candidate his party so desperately needs to win to try to flip the Senate.