The story

The lock on the gate is rusting, as are the ramps once used to drive shiny new Lincolns onto transport trucks. The giant sign that once carried the Ford logo is painted white, the factory is shuttered, and the jobs gone.

In Michigan, the evidence of economic strain is everywhere -- from the vacant Ford plant in Wixom, to the barren lot a short drive away in Pontiac that was once home to a GM truck assembly line, to the empty storefronts with "For Lease" signs in the windows.

With an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent and an unpopular Republican president, the political climate should favor Democrats, especially in Michigan, where 1988 marks the last time the GOP carried the state in a presidential election. Read full article »

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