John McCain's path to the 270 electoral votes he must secure in order to win the White House may have just gotten a little bit harder.
ABC News can confirm a Politico report that the McCain campaign is pulling the plug on trying to flip the state of Michigan from Blue to Red and locking up those key 17 electoral votes. According to Republicans familiar with the McCain campaign's plans in the Wolverine State, McCain has canceled a planned event in the state and is expected to halt his television advertising there.
Although McCain's move does not deliver a net gain of electoral votes into Obama's column, the significance of taking the populous state off the battlefield cannot be overstated.
A senior McCain adviser, however, played down the significance of the move by stating that Michigan was more about spreading the field of play on Obama rather than a needed state for their campaign to get the needed 270 electoral votes.
As the general election began to take shape in early summer, McCain campaign aides saw Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire as their best opportunities to take some states that John Kerry won in 2004 and place them in the GOP column. Losing one of those key targets of opportunity while still having to defend a slew of Red states such as Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, and Indiana is a tough blow to the McCain campaign as it seeks to maintain viable paths to 270 electoral votes.
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