EAST LANSING, Mich. - Republican presidential candidate John McCain conceded battleground Michigan to the Democrats on Thursday, GOP officials said, a major retreat as he struggles to regain his footing in a campaign increasingly dominated by economic issues.
These officials said McCain was pulling staff and advertising out of the economically distressed Midwestern state. He also canceled a visit slated for next week. Michigan, with 17 electoral votes, voted for Democrat John Kerry in 2004, but Republicans had poured money into an effort to try to place it in their column this year.
The decision marked the first time either McCain or his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, has tacitly conceded a traditional battleground state in a race for the White House with little more than a month remaining.