Steve Kornacki’s latest Salon.com article: Michigan and surprise swing states

Updated

It’s hard to say where, exactly, the presidential race stands in Michigan.

A poll from Mitchell Research, a Republican outfit, made some waves yesterday morning by showing Mitt Romney ahead of Barack Obama by a point in the state, 45 to 44 percent. Later in the day, Rasmussen put out numbers that gave Obama a six-point edge, while pegged the president’s lead at 14, 53-39 percent. This all came a week after an EPIC-MRA poll put the GOP challenger up 46 to 45.

The lack of clarity is a result of a lack of quality polling. States that are universally regarded as prime general election battlegrounds, like Virginia and Ohio, are regularly surveyed by the most credible independent polling outlets. But Michigan, which has sided with the Democratic nominee in five straight presidential elections, is seen as a fringe target – at best – for the Romney campaign. So we have infrequent polling in the state, often from firms with limited track records.

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Steve Kornacki's latest Salon.com article: Michigan and surprise swing states

Updated