<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/29/us/politics/michigan-trump-biden-2020.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Michigan Threatens to Slip From Trump as He Goes Quiet on Airwaves</a> <font color="#6f6f6f">The New York Times</font>
The president has started spending more money on ads in much smaller Electoral College prizes like Iowa and Nevada, and in recent days his campaign stopped buying ads in Michigan entirely.
President Trump’s campaign has quietly receded from the television airwaves in Michigan in recent weeks, shifting money elsewhere as one of the key Midwestern states that powered his surprise victory in 2016 threatens to move more firmly back into the Democratic column in 2020.
Michigan began the year with expectations that it would be one of the most intense battlegrounds in the country, but its share of Trump television advertising dollars dwindled this summer as Joseph R. Biden Jr. built a steady advantage in the polls.
Since the end of June, Mr. Trump has spent more money on ads in 10 other states — with Michigan falling behind even much smaller states like Iowa and Nevada — and in recent days, Mr. Trump’s campaign stopped buying ads in Michigan entirely.
The Biden campaign has more than tripled what Mr. Trump spent on television in Michigan in the last month, by far the most lopsided advantage of any swing state where both are advertising. And in Detroit, the state’s largest media market, the Trump campaign last ran a television ad, outside of national ad buys that include the state, on July 3, according to data from Advertising Analytics.
Mr. Trump faces a trifecta of troubles in Michigan, according to political strategists and state polling: reduced support among less educated white voters in a contest against Mr. Biden compared with Hillary Clinton; motivated Black voters in the state’s urban centers; and suburban voters who continue to flee Mr. Trump’s divisive brand of politics.
“Of all the states he won in 2016, Trump would be most hard-pressed to keep Michigan in his column this time around,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster for Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC.
There are uniquely local factors hampering the president, too: Mr. Trump’s unprovoked and unfulfilled threat this spring to “hold up funding” to the state because election officials planned to send absentee ballot applications to voters, as well as his loud sparring with Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, over her response to the coronavirus pandemic. Voters now consistently rate her performance on the issue positively and his unfavorably.
“The clearest reason why the president is reeling in Michigan is because of his failed coronavirus response,” said Garlin Gilchrist, the state’s Democratic lieutenant governor.
Mr. Trump’s campaign has downplayed any talk of retreat. Republicans are unlikely to jump ship so early on a state worth 16 Electoral College votes, and they are still organizing in Michigan. The campaign continues to deploy door-knocking volunteers during the pandemic, dispatch top administration officials (including the attorney general and the secretary of energy this month) and advertise digitally on Facebook.
But the reality is that Mr. Trump has far more pathways to 270 electoral votes without Michigan than Mr. Biden does. The Trump campaign has been redirecting money to defend other, more conservative states that he won in 2016, like Ohio and Georgia, and to try to find new Democratic states to flip, such as Nevada and Minnesota.