Cross-posted at The Western Right, Right Michigan, and Red Racing Horses. This post was last updated on August 27, 2016.
Michigan will see several interesting congressional races in 2016, with two open seats and possible competitive primary challenges. Michigan now has 14 congressional seats.
There are several articles that analyze the general political leanings of the districts.
Michigan Redistricting: Congressional Map Passed
Republican Michigander Congressional District Profiles (Sidebar at right)
District 1 (Upper Peninsula, Northern Lower Peninsula) Lean Republican.
CD 2012: 48.1-47.6 CD 2014: 52-45 Romney: 53.5 McCain: 48.5
In 2010, Dr. Dan Benishek won an open seat vacated by democrat Rep. Bart Stupak against democrat state Rep. Gary McDowell 52-41 and won the rematch 48.1-47.6 in 2012. He beat former general Jerry Cannon in 2014. Benishek pledged to serve only three terms, but announced that he would run again before changing his mind and retiring. Conservative retired general Jack Bergman defeated moderate state senator Tom Casperson and former senator Jason Allen 39-32-28 in the R primary. Former Michigan democrat chairman Lon Johnson, a liberal who bought a small house in Kalkaska County, beat Cannon 72-28 in the D primary.
District 2 (Ottowa, Muskegon) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 61-34 CD 2014: 64-33 Romney: 56 McCain: 50.4
Republican former state rep. Bill Huizinga won a close primary in 2010 to replace Pete Hoekstra, and was easily reelected in 2012 and 2014. Since then he has generally voted a fairly conservative line. This remains the most Republican district in Michigan. The D candidate is Dennis Murphy.
District 3 (Kent, Calhoun) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 52.6-44.1 CD 2014: 58-39 Romney: 53.1 McCain: 48.6
Republican state rep. Justin Amash won the primary to replace moderate Republican Vern Ehlers, in 2010. Amash is a libertarian in the mold of Rep. Ron Paul. He has made some enemies among the establishment in Washington. He defeated moderate businessman Brian Ellis, who had significant self-funding, 57-43 in the 2014 primary. The D candidate is Douglas Smith.
District 4 (central Michigan) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 63-34 CD 2014: 56-39 Romney: 53.4 McCain: 48.6
Republican state senator John Moolenaar of Midland defeated self-funding businessman Paul Mitchell and Tea Partyer Peter Konetchy 52-36-11 in the 2014 primary to replace retiring congressman Dave Camp. He is unopposed this year.
District 5 (Genesee, Saginaw, Bay) Safe democrat.
CD 2012: 31-65 CD 2014: 31-67 Romney: 38.4 McCain: 35.4
Former Genesee Treasurer Dan Kildee succeeded his uncle Dale Kildee in 2012. The Republican candidate is Al Hardwick.
District 6 (SW Michigan) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 55-43 CD 2014: 56-40 Romney: 50 McCain: 45
Moderate Republican Fred Upton has won by wide margins since defeating conservative Mark Siljander in 1986. Upton became Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 2010. Upton defeated democrat Mike O'Brien 2010, and Western Michigan University professor Paul Clements in 2014. These races were closer than Upton's previous 20-40 point margins. Clements is running again in 2016.
District 7 (south-central Michigan) Lean Republican.
CD 2012: 53-43 CD 2014: 53-41 Romney: 50.9 McCain: 47.4
Republican Tim Walberg defeated liberal democrat Mark Schauer in a hard-fought race in 2010. This followed Schauer's defeat of Walberg in 2008, Walberg's defeat of RINO Joe Schwarz in 2006, and Schwarz's winning a divided Republican primary to replace Nick Smith in 2004. Walberg defeated democrat attorney Kurt Haskell in 2012 and former state rep. Pam Byrnes of Washtenaw County in 2014. He beat Doug North in the primary and faces D state rep (2012-present) Gretchen Driskell, who won 53% and 56% in her Washtenaw district, in the general.
District 8 (Ingham, Livingston, N Oakland) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 59-37 CD 2014: 55-42 Romney: 51.1 McCain: 46.4
Former state senator Mike Bishop of NE Oakland beat state rep. Tom McMillin 60-40 in the 2014 Republican primary to replace retiring congressman Mike Rogers. Bishop defeated Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing in the general. Actress Melissa Gilbert, who recently moved to the district, dropped out of the race claiming health issues after her campaign flopped. Democrats chose Macomb County assistant prosecutor Suzanna Shkreli as their replacement.
District 9 (S Macomb, Royal Oak, Bloomfield) Safe democrat.
CD 2012: 34-62 CD 2014: 36-60 Romney: 41.8 McCain: 40.4
Democrat Sander Levin has represented this district since 1982. Levin is more liberal than the district, but he is popular enough to win here as long as he wants. He may be succeeded by a less liberal Macomb county democrat. Christopher Morse is the Republican candidate.
District 10 (N Macomb, the Thumb) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 69-30 CD 2014: 69-29 Romney: 55.2 McCain: 50
Republican Candice Miller is retiring. Rich self-funding businessman Paul Mitchell, who lost the Republican primary in district 4 in 2014 and led the fight to defeat proposal 1, a large tax increase, won the R primary 36-28-16. He beat state senator (2010-present) Phil Pavlov, who has represented most of the Thumb portion of the district, conservative former senator (2002-2010) Alan Sanborn of northern Macomb County, state rep. Anthony Forlini, and David VanAssche. Former state rep Frank Accavitti (2002-2008) from outside the district is the D candidate.
District 11 (NW Wayne, SW Oakland, Troy) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 50.8-44.4 CD 2014: 56-41 Romney: 52.2 McCain: 48.4
Establishment Republican David Trott defeated Tea Party Republican Kerry Bentivolio 66-34 in the 2014 Republican primary. Bentivolio became an "accidental congressman" in 2012 after incumbent Thad McCotter was disqualified in a petition fraud scandal. Trott defeated former diplomat Bobby McKenzie in the general. Anil Kumar is the D candidate.
District 12 (Downriver, Ann Arbor) Safe democrat.
CD 2012: 29-68 CD 2014: 31-65 Romney: 32.7 McCain: 31.2
In 2014, democrat Debbie Dingell easily replaced her husband John Dingell in Congress after his 58 years (!) in office. Jeff Jones is the Republican candidate.
District 13 (W Detroit, Westland) Safe democrat.
CD 2012: 14-82 CD 2014: 16-80 Romney: 14 McCain: 14
This district has been represented by democrat John Conyers since 1964. Conyers' image has been tarnished since his wife Monica, formerly Detroit city council president, pled guilty to bribery and served time in federal prison. He won only 55% in the 2012 primary. In 2014, Conyers was nearly disqualified due to having signature gatherers who were not registered to vote, but a judge ordered him back on the ballot. He defeated pastor Horace Sheffield 74-26 in the democrat primary. He beat Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey 60-40 in the primary. Jeff Gorman is the Republican candidate.
District 14 (E Detroit, Southfield, Farmington, Pontiac) Safe democrat.
CD 2012: 16-82 CD 2014: 20-78 Romney: 18 McCain: 18
In 2014, Southfield mayor Brenda Lawrence defeated state rep. Rudy Hobbs, and former Congressman Hansen Clarke 36-32-31 in the democrat primary for the seat held by Gary Peters, who was elected to the US Senate. This district has had four different representatives (Lawrence, Peters, Clarke, and Carolyn Kilpatrick) in the last four cycles. Lawrence beat Terrance Morrison and Vanessa Moss in the primary. Howard Klausner is the Republican candidate.