Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October 2017 Michigan State Senate Fundraising

October 25 was the deadline for campaign finance reports for Michigan legislature.  Some races are already well-developed, while in others, candidates have only recently declared or have yet to declare.  Here are summaries of the total cash on hand in Michigan state senate districts.  Totals include state house committees for state representatives.  XX means the report has yet to be filed.

6. (D) Kosowski 35K Geiss 6K
7. (R) Cox 88K
8. (R) Lucido 108K
9. (D) Lane 92K Wojno 104K
10. (D) Yanez 54K
11. (D) Moss 26K
12. (R) Tedder 33K
13. (R) Knollenberg 32K
14. (R) Johnson 6K
15. (R) Runestad 129K Crawford 20K
16. (R) Shirkey 103K
17. (R) Zorn 70K
18. (D) Irwin 50K Zemke XX
19. (R) Callton 133K Bizon 222K
20. (R) O'Brien 126K
21. (R) Pscholka 65K
22. (R) Theis 36K
24. (R) Barrett 47K Roberts 3K (D) Rossman-McKinney 114K
25. (R) Lauwers 31K
26. (R) Genetski 174K Nesbitt 74K
28. (R) MacGregor 80K
29. (R) Afendoulis 201K (D) Brinks 100K
30. (R) Garcia 162K Haveman 18K Victory 68K
31. (R) Glenn 73K Daley 46K (D) Luczak 2K
32. (R) Horn 85K
33. (R) Outman 12K
34. (R) Bumstead 73K Hughes 283K
35. (R) Franz 18K Rendon 30K
36. (R) Stamas 105K
37. (R) Schmidt 60K
38. (R) McBroom 11K (D) Dianda 58K

Monday, October 02, 2017

2018 Michigan Congressional Races

Cross-posted at The Western RightRight Michigan, and Red Racing Horses. This post was last updated on June 1, 2018.

Michigan will see several interesting congressional races in 2018, with one open seat.  Michigan 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) Safe Republican.
CD12: 48.1-47.6 CD14: 52-45 CD16: 55-40 McCain: 48.5 Romney: 53.5 Trump 57.9
Following the retirement of Dan Benishek, conservative retired general Jack Bergman defeated moderate state senator Tom Casperson and former senator Jason Allen 39-32-28 in the R primary. He defeated former Michigan democrat chairman Lon Johnson, a liberal who bought a small house in Kalkaska County, in the general. D veteran Matt Morgan was disqualified because he messed up his petitions, and is running as a write-in.

District 2 (Ottowa, Muskegon) Safe Republican.
CD12: 61-34 CD14: 64-33 CD16: 63-33 McCain: 50.4 Romney: 56 Trump 55.8
Republican former state rep. Bill Huizinga won a close primary in 2010 to replace Pete Hoekstra, and was easily reelected since then. He has generally voted a fairly conservative line. This remains the most Republican district in Michigan.  Robert Davidson will be the D nominee.

District 3 (Kent, Calhoun) Safe Republican.
CD12: 52.6-44.1 CD14: 58-39 CD16: 59-37 McCain: 48.6 Romney: 53.1 Trump 51.6
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 alienated the establishment in Washington and some Trump supporters.  He defeated moderate businessman Brian Ellis, who had significant self-funding, 57-43 in the 2014 primary.  Cathy Albro and Fred Wooden are running for the D nomination.

District 4 (central Michigan) Safe Republican.
CD12: 63-34 CD14: 56-39 CD16: 62-32 McCain: 48.6 Romney: 53.4 Trump 59.5
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 has won easily since then.  Jerry Hilliard and Zigmond Kozicki are seeking the D nomination.

District 5 (Genesee, Saginaw, Bay) Safe democrat.
CD12: 31-65 CD14: 31-67 CD16: 35-61 McCain: 35.4 Romney: 38.4 Trump 45.5
Former Genesee Treasurer Dan Kildee succeeded his uncle Dale Kildee in 2012.  Travis Wines is the R candidate.

District 6 (SW Michigan) Safe Republican.
CD12: 55-43 CD14: 56-40 CD16: 59-36 McCain: 45 Romney: 50 Trump 51.3
Moderate Republican Fred Upton has won by wide margins since defeating conservative Mark Siljander in 1986.  Upton defeated Western Michigan University professor Paul Clements in 2014 and 2016.  Clements tried to run again, but was disqualified due to not having enough valid signatures.  D candidates are former Kellogg lobbyist George Franklin, Matt Longjohn, David Benac, and Rich Eichholz.

District 7 (south-central Michigan) Safe Republican.
CD12: 53-43 CD14: 53-41 CD16: 55-40 McCain: 47.4 Romney: 50.9 Trump 55.7
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 D state rep (12-16) Gretchen Driskell in 2016.  She is running again in 2018, along with Steven Friday.

District 8 (Ingham, Livingston, N Oakland) Likely Republican.
CD12: 59-37 CD14: 55-42 CD16: 56-39 McCain: 46.4 Romney: 51.1 Trump 50.6
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 Macomb County assistant prosecutor Suzanna Shkreli in 2016.  Lokesh Kumar is challenging him in the R primary.  Former DOD official Elissa Slotkin is running for the D nomination, along with professor Christopher Smith.

District 9 (S Macomb, Royal Oak, Bloomfield) Safe democrat.
CD12: 34-62 CD14: 36-60 CD16: 37-58 McCain: 40.4 Romney: 41.8 Trump 43.7
Democrat Sander Levin, who has represented this district since 1982, is retiring.  D candidates include his son Andy Levin, progressive state rep Ellen Lipton (08-14), and Martin Brook.  Macomb state sen. (10-18) Steve Beida withdrew at the last minute, depriving Macomb Ds of the chance to elect one of their own.  Businesswoman Candius Stearns is the R candidate.

District 10 (N Macomb, the Thumb) Safe Republican.
CD12: 69-30 CD14: 69-29 CD16: 63-32 McCain: 50 Romney: 55.2 Trump 63.8
Following Candice Miller's retirement, self-funding businessman Paul Mitchell won the R primary 36-28-16.  Mitchell previously lost the Republican primary in district 4 in 2014 and led the fight to defeat proposal 1, a large tax increase. He beat former state rep Frank Accavitti (02-08) in the general.  Accavitti, Kimberly Bizon, and Michael McCarthy are seeking the D nomination.

District 11 (NW Wayne, SW Oakland, Troy) Lean Republican.
CD12: 50.8-44.4 CD14: 56-41 CD16: 53-40 McCain: 48.4 Romney: 52.2 Trump 49.7
Establishment Republican David Trott, who defeated Tea Party Republican Kerry Bentivolio 66-34 in the 2014 Republican primary, has announced his retirement after two terms.  Bentivolio, who ran as a write-in in 2014 and libertarian in 2016 (taking 4.37%) is running.  Also running are pro-Trump businesswoman Lena Epstein, moderate state senator Mike Kowall (10-18), state rep (12-18) Klint Kesto, and former state rep (96-02) Rocky Raczkowski.  State rep Tim Greimel of Auburn Hills, who represents 3% of the district, Suneel Gupta, businesswoman Haley Stevens, Nancy Skinner, and Fayrouz Saad are running for the D nomination.  Leonard Schwarz is the Libertarian candidate.

District 12 (Downriver, Ann Arbor) Safe democrat.
CD12: 29-68 CD14: 31-65 CD16: 29-64 McCain: 31.2 Romney: 32.7 Trump 34.5
In 2014, democrat Debbie Dingell easily replaced her husband John Dingell in Congress after his 58 years (!) in office.  Jeff Jones is the R candidate.

District 13 (W Detroit, Westland) Safe democrat.
CD12: 14-82 CD14: 16-80 CD16: 16-77 McCain: 14 Romney: 14 Trump 18
This district has been represented by democrat John Conyers since 1964. Conyers has declined in recent years, winning only 55% in the 2012 primary due to a scandal involving his wife and nearly being disqualified due to having signature gatherers who were not registered to vote in 2014.  In November 2017, Conyers announced his resignation in a sexual harrassment scandal.  He endorsed his 27-year-old son John Conyers III, who failed to make the ballot due to not having enough signatures.  There are six D candidates:

  • Conyers' grand-nephew, 29-year-old State senator Ian Conyers (16-P), who made the challenge that got his relative kicked off the ballot
  • Detroit council president Brenda Jones, who was elected citywide
  • state sen Coleman Young (10-18), who badly lost a challenge to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in 2017
  • rep Shanelle Jackson (06-12), the only pro-life D running
  • rep Rashida Tlaib (08-14), a Muslim who lost a state senate race in 2014
  • Westland Mayor William Wild, the only suburban candidate

All but Jackson and Young are running for a special election held on the same day.

District 14 (E Detroit, Southfield, Farmington, Pontiac) Safe democrat.
CD12: 16-82 CD14: 20-78 CD16: 19-79 McCain: 18 Romney: 18 Trump 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.  Marc Herschfus is the R candidate.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

2017 Kalamazoo Election Preview

This article was last updated November 2, 2017.

Michigan will see several elections in 2017. This is a preview of elections in Kalamazoo County.   The November election will have Kalamazoo and Portage city elections.

May 2: Kalamazoo County rejected a tax increase to fund consolidation of 911 service 37.9% to 62.1%.  A renewal of the KRESA tax that was first passed in 2005 passed with 61.7%.

November 3: This is the day for local city elections.

Kalamazoo City Commission

The mayor and three seats on the Kalamazoo City Commission are up for election. The seven commissioners are Mayor Bobby Hopewell (on since 2003), Don Cooney (1997), David Anderson (2005), Shannon Sykes (2015), Erin Knott (2015), Jack Urban (2013), and Matt Milcarek (2015).

In 2014, Kalamazoo voters passed a charter amendment changing the charter by electing the mayor separately and implementing staggered four-year terms for the other seats (similar to the system Portage uses).  In 2015, Cooney, Anderson, and Sykes got four-year terms, while Knott, Urban, and Milcarek got two-year terms.

Hopewell, who has been mayor since 2007, will run again.  He is a liberal democrat.

Urban and Knott are running for reelection; Milcarek is not.  Eric Cunningham, who was appointed to a commission seat but narrowly lost in 2015, is running again.  Also running are
Charley Coss, former R candidate for county commission
Leona Carter, previous candidate for city commission

Portage City Council

The mayor and three seats on the Portage City Council are up for election. Peter Strazdas, who has been mayor since 2005, is retirng.  The other councilmembers are Terry Urban (2001), Claudette Reid (2005), Patricia Randall (2009), Jim Pearson (2011), Nasim Ansari (2013), and Richard Ford (2013).  In recent years, a divide has developed on the council between two factions.  One faction consists of Strazdas, Reid and Urban.  The other has been Randall, Pearson, Ford, and Ansari.

Councilmember Patricia Randall is running for mayor.  Randall had to resign her position to run for mayor.  Councilmember and former county commissioner (2002-2012) Nasim Ansari is also running.  Ansari is a conservative Republican.

The three seats up for election are held Ansari, Reid, and Urban.  Reid and Urban will both run again.  Nonincumbent candidates are
Jim Stephanak, former Kalamazoo Gazette publisher
Phil Stinchcomb, a conservative former Kalamazoo County Commissioner (2010-14)
Lori Knapp, a lawyer
Tim Earl, fire safety consultant
Chris Burns, accountant
Wayne Stoffer, business consultant, who suspended his campaign

Friday, June 09, 2017

2018 Michigan Primary Election Races

This post was last updated April 29, 2018.

Michigan's top constitutional offices, congressional seats, and the entire state legislature will be up for election November 2018.

US Senate: Likely democrat
Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow is seeking reelection.  She won 50-48 in 2000, 57-41 in 2006, and 59-38 in 2012.  She has mediocre approval ratings.

Businessmen John James and Sandy Pensler are running for the R nomination.  James is appealing more to movement conservatives, and has the Right to Life endorsement.  Pensler is self-funding and is positioning himself as a Trump-friendly businessman.

Governor: Tossup
Moderate Republican Governor Rick Snyder is term limited.  Snyder won 58-40 in 2010 and 51-47 in 2014.  The favorite for the R nomination is Attorney General Bill Schuette, who is fairly conservative.  Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, who inherits Snyder's disadvantages without his advantages (rich outsider, nonpartisan image) is his main competition.  State senator Patrick Colbeck, a Tea Party favorite, who led the fight for Right to Work, is the most conservative candidate.  Doctor Jim Hines of Saginaw is the fourth candidate.

Former state senator Gretchen Whitmer of Ingham County is the establishment favorite for the D nomination.  Businessman Shri Thanedar has spent 7 million dollars so far portraying himself as a more progressive alternative.  Detroit health official Abdul Al-Sayed has support from many Bernie Sanders supporters, but faces questions over his residency after recently voting in New York.

Libertarians are now on the primary ballot thanks to the relatively strong showing of Gary Johnson in 2016.  Their voters will choose between Bill Gelineau and John Tatar.

Attorney General: Lean Republican
Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette is term limited and running for governor. He won 53-44 in 2010 and 52-44 in 2014.  Both nominees will be decided at party conventions.  Republican house speaker Tom Leonard and State senator Tonya Schuitmaker are running.  Leonard has a more conservative record.  He has most grassroots support and the majority of establishment support, which makes him the favorite.

Progressive lesbian attorney Dana Nessel defeated former US attorney Pat Miles for the D nomination.  She may be a weaker general election candidate.

Secretary of State: Lean democrat
Conservative Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is term limited and running for state senate. She defeated democrat Joscelyn Benson 51-45 in 2010 and Godfrey Dillard 54-43 in 2014.  Benson is running again in 2018, and is a strong candidate.

Shelby Township clerk Stan Grot, MSU professor Joseph Guzman, Johnson chief of staff Mike Senyko, and accountant Mary Treder Lang are running.  Moderate state senator Mike Kowall announced a run, but later dropped out.

Michigan Supreme Court Lean Republican
Republicans currently hold a 5-2 majority on the court.  There are two full-term seats up for election on the Michigan Supreme Court. They are those of Elizabeth Clement and Kurtis Wilder.  Clement was appointed in November 2017 to replace Joan Larsen, who was appointed to a seat on the federal appeals court by President Trump.  Wilder was appointed in May 2017 to replace the retiring Robert Young.  Democrats nominated attorney Megan Kathleen Cavanagh and University of Michigan professor Samuel Bagenstos for Supreme Court.

Other Statewide Offices
Two seats on the state Board of Education and boards of trustees of U of M, MSU, and WSU will be up for election. All eight seats up are held by Republicans. Democrats have swept these elections in 2006, 2008, and 2012, while Republicans swept in 2010.  The candidates are
State Board of Education:
Republicans: Eileen Weiser, Richard Zeille
Democrats:
UM Board of Regents:
Republicans: Andrew Richner, Andrea Newman
Democrats:
MSU Board of Trustees:
Republicans:
Democrats:
WSU Board of Governors:
Republicans:
Democrats:

Ballot Propositions
A part time legislature initiative failed to make the ballot.  An initiative to legalize recreational marijuana will be on the ballot.  There are also pending initiatives to
  • shut down the pipeline that runs under the Mackinac Straits
  • change redistricting in ways beneficial to democrats
  • repeal the prevailing wage law
  • change voting rules in ways beneficial to democrats
Michigan Congressional Seats
Republicans hold a 9-5 majority in Michigan's congressional delegation, which is unchanged since 2012. The 11th district is open due to the retirement of Rep. David Trott, and will be competitive.  The post below examines these races in detail.

2018 Michigan Congressional Races

Michigan Senate
All 38 seats in the Michigan state senate are up for election, and 26 have no incumbent due to term limits and retirements. Republicans currently hold a 27-11 supermajority after winning landslides in 2010 and 2014. Democrats will likely target Republican-held seats in NW Wayne (7), Macomb (10), Monroe (17), Kalamazoo County (20), Grand Rapids (29), Bay County (31), Saginaw (32), Muskegon (34), and the UP (38). There will be competitive R primaries in districts 12, 19, 21, 24, 26, 30, 31, 34, 35 to determine the ideological composition of the senate.  The post below examines these races in detail.

2018 Michigan State Senate Elections

20th District (Kalamazoo County) Tossup
Kalamazoo County is a battleground, with Ds usually winning the top of the ticket, and Republicans doing better at the bottom.  In 2014, Margaret O'Brien (10-14) defeated D state rep Sean McCann (10-14) by just 61 votes, with Libertarian former R state rep Lorence Wenke (04-10) taking 9%.  McCann and Wenke are running again, setting up a three-way rematch of 2014.

Michigan House
All 110 seats in the Michigan House of Representatives are up for election. Republicans won a 63-47 majority in 2016.  There will be 42 open seats due to term limits and candidates running for other offices.  Both parties have potential targets to pickup.

2018 Michigan State House Races

60th District (Kalamazoo City) Safe democrat
Democrat state rep Jon Hoadley was first elected in 2014.  William Baker is the R candidate.
61st District (Portage, Oshtemo) Tossup
Republican state rep Brandt Iden was elected 48-43 in 2014 and 49-44 in 2016, defeating D Pastor John Fisher both times.  Ds will choose between Alberta Griffin, Corey Kendall, and Thomas Whitener.
63rd District (E Kalamazoo, S Calhoun) Safe Republican
R state rep David Maturen was first elected in 2014.  He is being challenged by Republican official Matt Hall and Richland Township Trustee Paul Foust.  Jennifer Aniano is the D candidate.
66th District (Van Buren, Cooper) Safe Republican
R state rep Beth Griffin was first elected in 2016.  The D candidate is Dan Seibert.

Kalamazoo County Commission
All 11 seats on the Kalamazoo County Commission will be up for election. Ds hold a 6-5 majority. Republicans will target democrat Michael Quinn (district 10). Democrats will target Republican Scott McGraw (district 11).

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Michigan House Passes Constitutional Carry

On Wednesday, the Michigan state house passed a package of bills to implement constitutional carry in Michigan.  Constitutional carry means that the government does not impose any permits or fees before citizens can exercise their constitutional right to carry firearms. Around five years ago, support for constitutional carry moved from the fringe to a mainstream Republican position.  Twelve states now have constitutional carry, and more are considering it.

The four bills received 59 to 61 yes votes, and 47 to 49 no votes.  Three democrats voted for all four bills.  They are
  • John Chirkun - district 22 (Roseville)
  • Phil Phelps - district 49 (Flint suburbs)
  • Scott Dianda - district 110 (western UP) - running for state senate (district 38) in 2018
Seven Republicans voted against some or all of the bills.  They are
  • Kathy Crawford (against 3 of 4) - district 38 (Novi) - termed out in 2020
  • Michael McCready (against all 4) - district 40 (Bloomfield) - termed out in 2018 - may run for senate (district 12)
  • Martin Howrylak  (against 2 of 4) - district 41 (Troy) - termed out in 2018
  • David Maturen (against all 4) - district 63 (E Kalamazoo) - termed out in 2020
  • Chris Afendoulis (against all 4) - district 73 (GR Township) - termed out in 2020 - may run for senate (district 29)
  • Rob Verhuelen (against all 4) - district 74 (Walker) - termed out in 2018.  Verhuelen ran against Tom Leonard for Speaker last year.
  • Dave Pagel (against all 4) - district 78 (S Berrien) - termed out in 2018
The bills now go to the state senate, where it is not certain whether they will be taken up.  It is also unclear whether Governor Snyder, who has a mixed record on gun rights, would sign them.  Nonetheless, Speaker Tom Leonard and most Republicans in the state house deserve credit for getting them this far.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2018 Michigan State Senate Elections

Last updated May 5, 2018.

Cross-posted at The Western RightRight Michigan, and RRH Elections.

All 38 seats in the Michigan Senate are up for election in 2014.  Republicans currently have a 27-11 supermajority, and have controlled the senate since 1983.  Republican control of the state senate has prevented democrats from complete control of Michigan's government in some years, and stopped a lot of bad things from being passed.

Fortunately for Republicans, the Michigan state senate is up only in midterms, which usually favor Republicans much more than presidential years.  Republicans had a good year in 2014, picking up one state senate seat, following four pickups in 2010.

The 2010 redistricting produced a map that was moderately pro-Republican, while complying with all relevant laws.

Michigan Redistricting: Official Republican State Senate Map Released
Michigan Redistricting: Republican State Senate Map Passed

There are 26 open seats due to term-limits, 7 D and 19 R.  All current state senators are former state representatives except three (Colbeck, Conyers, Hertel).  This pattern held in the past, and most credible candidates this time are current or former state reps.

For the past few years, the state senate has been more moderate than the state house.  This cycle, there are several ideologically split Republican primaries that will determine how conservative the state senate will be next year. These will be in districts 12, 21, 24, 26, 30, 31, 34, and 35.

I have included election data for the 2014 state senate election, and McCain (2008), Romney (2012), and Trump (2016) results in each district.  More data is available from Republican Michigander and RRH Elections.

Republican Michigander district profiles (see sidebar)
RRH Michigan Senate Data File
Michigan State Senate 2018 Preview (all up in 2018)

The McCain numbers look terrible for Republicans because he collapsed after publicly pulling out of Michigan.  The largest McCain percentage in any Michigan state senate district won by a democrat in the past twelve years is 46.2% in (old) district 31.

Here is a breakdown of the individual races.  State reps years in office are listed after their names, with P meaning present.

2018 Candidate List (Michigan Secretary of State)


1. [Detroit riverfront, Downriver] Safe democrat
SS 2014: 28-72 McCain: 22.0 Romney: 21.5 Trump: XX
Incumbent: Coleman Young (D term-limited)
Analysis: One of five black-majority districts based in Detroit.  Young, who lost badly in his bid for Detroit Mayor, is now running for Congress.  State reps Stephanie Chang (14-P), Bettie Cook Scott (06-10, 16-18), and Alberta Tinsley-Talabi (10-16) are running for the D nomination, along with James Cole, Nicholas Rivera, and Stephanie Roehm.  Pauline Monte is the R candidate.

2. [NE Detroit, Grosse Pointes] Safe democrat
SS 2014: 25-71 McCain: 20.1 Romney: 19.3 Trump: XX
Incumbent:  Bert Johnson (D term-limited)
Analysis: One of five black-majority districts based in Detroit.  Johnson pled guilty to theft (hiring a fake employee to pay a debt).  There will be a special election at the same time as the general election.  Incredibly, eleven Ds are running.  Leading the pack is eight-time felon and disgraced former rep Brian Banks (12-17), who resigned in a plea bargain.  Former rep George Cushingberry Jr. (74-82, 04-10) is running after losing his seat on the Detroit city council due to scandal.  Former rep John Olumba (10-14) is running as a D after becoming an independent in 2013.  Former state rep Lamar Lemmons (it isn't clear which one) is running.  Abraham Aiyash, Tommy Campbell, Lawrence Gannon, Adam Hollier, Anam Miah, William Phillips, and Regina Williams are also running.  Rs John Hauler and Lisa Papas are running.

3. [West-central Detroit, Dearborn, Melvindale] Safe democrat
SS 2014: 20-80 McCain: 16.3 Romney: 14.5 Trump: XX
Incumbent: Morris Hood (D term-limited)
Analysis: One of five black-majority districts based in Detroit.  Detroit State rep Sylvia Santana (16-P) is the leading candidate.  Former R state rep (98-04) and D county commissioner (04-P) Gary Woronchak of Dearborn is also running, along with Anita Bella and Terry Burrell.  The R candidate is Kathy Stecker.

4. [Central Detroit, Lincoln Park, Southgate, Allen Park] Safe democrat
SS 2014: 16-84 McCain: 18.5 Romney: 16.7 Trump: XX
Incumbent: Ian Conyers (D)
Analysis: One of five black-majority districts based in Detroit. Virgil Smith resigned after pleading guilty to shooting at his ex-wife.  The 2016 special election was won by Ian Conyers, defeating State rep Fred Durhal (14-P).  Conyers, the great-nephew of Congressman John Conyers, is now running for Congress.  Durhal is running again, and is likely favored over Marshall Bullock and Carron Pinkins.  The R candidate is Angela Savino.

5. [W Detroit, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, Inkster, Redford] Safe democrat
SS 2014: 18-82 McCain: 20.6 Romney: 18.4 Trump: XX
Incumbent: David Knezek (D)
Analysis: One of five black-majority districts based in Detroit.  Knezek, who is white, won a split primary with 29% in 2014. His primary opponent is Betty Alexander.  The R candidate is DeShawn Wilkins.

6. [SW Wayne, Westland, Taylor] Safe democrat
SS 2014: 38-62 McCain: 34.3 Romney: 35.1 Trump: XX
Incumbent: Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D term-limited)
Analysis: Moderate D state rep Robert Kosowski (12-18) and liberal rep Erika Geiss (14-P) are running.  The R candidate is Brenda Jones.

7. [Livonia, Canton, Plymouth, Northville, Wayne city] Lean Republican
SS 2014: 52-48 McCain: 47.3 Romney: 50.0 Trump: 49.0
Incumbent: Patrick Colbeck (R term-limited)
Analysis: State rep Laura Cox (14-P), who represented more than half of the district on the Wayne County commission, is the R candidate.  D Ghulham Qadir, who has raised significant out of state money, faces Dayna Polehanki in the primary.

8. [N/E Macomb] Safe Republican
SS 2014: 62-38 McCain: 50.3 Romney: 54.0 Trump: 62.4
Incumbent: Jack Brandenburg (R term-limited)
Analysis: R state rep Peter Lucido (14-P) is the favorite over former rep Ken Goike (10-16), who represented only 5% of the district.  Ds will choose between Patrick Biange, Raymond Filipek, and Paul Francis.

9. [Warren, Roseville, Eastpointe, Fraser, S Clinton] Safe democrat
SS 2014: 32-68 McCain: 37.7 Romney: 36.7 Trump: 44.2
Incumbent: Steven Bieda (D term-limited)
Analysis: D state rep (96-02) and Warren city clerk Paul Wojno is the favorite against Kristina Lodovisi. Rs will choose between Jeff Bonnell and Fred Kuplicki.

10. [Sterling Heights, Macomb, N Clinton] Tossup
SS 2014: 63-37 McCain: 47.8 Romney: 51.1 Trump: 58.4
Incumbent: Tory Rocca (R term-limited)
Analysis: Republicans suffered a significant recruitment failure here.  The R candidates are Doctor Michael Macdonald, former state house candidate Michael Shallal, and Joseph Bogdan.  D state rep Henry Yanez (12-18) is a strong candidate who has held a swingy district.

11. [Farmington, Southfield, Oak Park, Madison Heights] Safe democrat
SS 2014: 24-76 McCain: 25.8 Romney: 26 Trump: 25.6
Incumbent: Vincent Gregory (D term-limited)
Analysis: D State rep Jeremy Moss (14-P) of Southfield is the favorite to replace Vincent Gregory, who is running for Moss' house seat.  The other D candidates are Crystal Bailey, Vanessa Moss, and James Turner.  The R candidate is Boris Tuman.

12. [NE Oakland, Pontiac, Bloomfield Twp.] Likely Republican
SS 2014: 57-43 McCain: 46.4 Romney: 50.2 Trump: 50.3
Incumbent: Jim Marleau (R term-limited)
Analysis: Conservative state rep Jim Tedder (14-P) and moderate state rep Michael McCready (12-18) will run, along with Vernon Molnar and Terry Whitney.  The D candidate is Rosemary Bayer.  Low turnout in Pontiac usually hurts Ds in midterms in this district.

13. [Troy, Rochester, Royal Oak, Birmingham] Likely Republican
SS 2014: 58-42 McCain: 46.5 Romney: 50.4 Trump: 46.9
Incumbent: Marty Knollenberg (R)
Analysis: Knollenberg won a very close primary in 2014.  The D candidate is businesswoman Mallory McMorrow.

14. [SW Genesee, NW Oakland, Waterford] Safe Republican
SS 2014: 58-42 McCain: 48.5 Romney: 51.9 Trump: 58.9
Incumbent: David Robertson (R term-limited)
Analysis: Surprisingly, Secretary of State (10-18) Ruth Johnson, who once represented this area as a state rep (98-04), will move down to the state senate.  Katherine Houston will also run in the R primary.  Ds will choose between Cris Rariden, Jason Waisanen, and Renee Watson.

15. [SW Oakland] Safe Republican
SS 2014: 58-42 McCain: 48.3 Romney: 52.9 Trump: 52.2
Incumbent: Mike Kowall (R term-limited)
Analysis: Kowall beat Tea Party leader Matt Maddock only 50-43 in the 2014 primary.  Conservative state rep Jim Runestad (14-P) will run, and Maddock will run for his house seat.  Moderate state rep Hugh Crawford (08-14) announced a run, but later dropped out to run for reelection to the Oakland County Commission.  Mike Saari dropped out after making controversial comments, but will remain on the ballot.  The D candidate is Julia Pulver.

16. [Jackson, Hillsdale, Branch] Safe Republican
SS 2014: 61-39 McCain: 50.8 Romney: 55.6 Trump: 64.8
Incumbent: Mike Shirkey (R)
Analysis: Shirkey, who led the fights for both Right to Work and Medicaid expansion, is the presumptive favorite to be the next senate majority leader.  Matt Dame is also running in the R primary.  The D candidate is Val Toops.

17. [Monroe, Lenawee] Lean Republican
SS 2014: 51-46 McCain: 47.6 Romney: 49.9 Trump: 61.5
Incumbent: Dale Zorn (R)
Analysis: Rs have held this competitive district for at least the last five elections.  Zorn defeated rep Doug Spade (98-04) in 2014.  The D candidate is state rep Bill Lavoy (12-16), who lost his 2016 reelection by 8%.

18. [Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti] Safe democrat
SS 2014: 28-72 McCain: 24.9 Romney: 27.0 Trump: 23.6
Incumbent: Rebekah Warren (D term-limited)
Analysis: Ann Arbor loves electing left-wing feminist state senators, including Warren, Liz Brater, Alma Wheeler Smith, and Lana Pollack.  D state rep Jeff Irwin (10-16) is probably the favorite.  Ge faces Washtenaw County Commissioner Michelle Deatrick, Matthew Miller, and Anuja Rajendra.  The R candidate is Martin Church.

19. [Calhoun, Barry, Ionia] Safe Republican
SS 2014: 62-38 McCain: 49.6 Romney: 53.4 Trump: 61.8
Incumbent: Mike Nofs (R term-limited)
Analysis: Moderate R state rep Mike Callton (10-16) of Barry County faces Calhoun County state rep John Bizon (14-P) in an expensive primary.  The D candidate is Jason Noble.

20. [Kalamazoo County] Tossup
SS 2014: 45.5-45.4 McCain: 40.1 Romney: 43.3 Trump: 43.2
Incumbent: Margaret O'Brien (R)
Analysis: Kalamazoo County is a battleground, with Ds usually winning the top of the ticket, and Republicans doing better at the bottom.  In 2014, O'Brien (10-14) defeated D state rep Sean McCann (10-14) by just 61 votes, with Libertarian former R state rep Lorence Wenke (04-10) taking 9%.  McCann and Wenke are running again, setting up a three-way rematch of 2014.

21. [Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph] Safe Republican
SS 2014: 64-36 McCain: 48.1 Romney: 54.6 Trump: 60.5
Incumbent: John Proos (R term-limited)
Analysis: Conservative state rep Kim LaSata (16-P) and moderate state rep Dave Pagel (12-18) are competing for the R nomination.  The D candidate is Ian Haight.

22. [Livingston, W Washtenaw] Safe Republican
SS 2014: 59-41 McCain: 52.8 Romney: 57.2 Trump: 59.2
Incumbent: Joe Hune (R term-limited)
Analysis: R state rep Lana Theis (14-P) is heavily favored over Joseph Marinaro.  The D candidate is Dreher.

23. [Ingham] Safe democrat
SS 2014: 34-66 McCain: 31.9 Romney: 34.5 Trump: 34.6
Incumbent: Curtis Hertel Jr. (D)
Analysis: Hertel, then Ingham Register of Deeds, won this seat in 2014.  The R candidates are Nancy Denny and Andrea Pollock.

24. [Eaton, Clinton, Shiawassee, NE Ingham] Likely Republican
SS 2014: 56-44 McCain: 47.1 Romney: 50.1 Trump: 56.1
Incumbent: Rick Jones (R term-limited)
Analysis: Conservative state rep Tom Barrett (14-P) is the favorite over moderate state rep Brett Roberts (14-P), who represents only 7% of the district.  D Public affairs specialist/lobbyist Kelly Rossman-McKinney is running, and has raised a lot from her Lansing contacts.

25. [St. Clair, Sanilac, Huron] Safe Republican
SS 2014: 56-44 McCain: 50.1 Romney: 55.6 Trump: 68.4
Incumbent: Phil Pavlov (R term-limited)
Analysis: House majority leader Dan Lauwers (12-18) is the R candidate.  Debbie Bourgois is the D candidate.

26. [Van Buren, Allegan, Kentwood] Safe Republican
SS 2014: 61-39 McCain: 51.5 Romney: 55.4 Trump: 58.9
Incumbent: Tonya Schuitmaker (R term-limited)
Analysis: Tonya is running for Attorney General. Conservative former state rep (08-14) and Allegan County Clerk Bob Genetski faces state rep (10-16) and lottery commissioner Aric Nesbitt, with Don Wickstra also running.  D Garnet Lewis, who lost the primary for the 32nd district in Saginaw in 2014, is running.

27. [Flint, central Genesee] Safe democrat
SS 2014: 23-77 McCain: 24.0 Romney: 25.0 Trump: XX
Incumbent: Jim Ananich (D)
Analysis: Ananich, who won a special election in 2013, is now the D state senate minority leader.  The R candidate is Donna Kekesis.

28. [N Kent, Walker] Safe Republican
SS 2014: 66-34 McCain: 56.5 Romney: 61.1 Trump: 61.9
Incumbent: Peter MacGregor (R)
Analysis: MacGregor, who was elected in 2014, holds one of the safest R districts in Michigan.  The D candidates are Craig Beach, Gidget Groendyk, and Ryan Jeanette.

29. [Grand Rapids, SE Kent] Lean democrat
SS 2014: 58-42 McCain: 42.8 Romney: 46.8 Trump: 41.9
Incumbent: Dave Hildenbrand (R term-limited)
Analysis: This district has been trending away from Rs at the top of the ticket, but has more R strength downballot.  Moderate R state rep Chris Afendoulis (14-P) is favored over Daniel Oesch.   State rep Winnie Brinks (12-18) is the D candidate.

30. [Ottawa County] Safe Republican
SS 2014: 71-29 McCain: 62.1 Romney: 67.4 Trump: 66.3
Incumbent: Arlan Meekhof (R term-limited)
Analysis: Ottawa County is usually the most Republican in Michigan.  The R candidates are state reps Daniella Garcia (14-P), Joe Haveman (08-14), and Roger Victory (12-18), and conservative activist Rett DeBoer.  The D candidate is Jeanette Schipper.

31. [Bay, Tuscola, Lapeer] Lean Republican
SS 2014: 55-45 McCain: 47.2 Romney: 52.0 Trump: 64.4
Incumbent: Mike Green (R term-limited)
Analysis: This district has alternated between parties every 8-10 years since the 1980s.  Mike Green narrowly won the 2014 primary 50-46 over state rep. Kevin Daley (08-14) of Lapeer County, who is running again.  He faces conservative state rep Gary Glenn (14-P), who recently moved to Bay County.  D Bay County Clerk Cynthia Luczak is the favorite over Joni Batterbee, Bill Jordan, and Chuck Stadler.

32. [Saginaw, W Genesee] Lean Republican
SS 2014: 54-46 McCain: 43.1 Romney: 45.9 Trump: 53.2
Incumbent: Ken Horn (R)
Analysis: Incredibly, despite D dominance of Saginaw County, Rs have won this district for the last seven elections.  D state rep Phil Phelps (13-18) of Flushing is running, despite representing only 3% of the senate district.  Henry Gaudreau is also running.

33. [Montcalm, Isabella, Gratiot, Mecosta, Clare] Safe Republican
SS 2014: 57-43 McCain: 46.8 Romney: 51.5 Trump: 62.3
Incumbent: Judy Emmons (R term-limited)
Analysis: R state rep Rick Outman (10-16) faces former state house candidate Greg Alexander.  The D candidates are Mark Bignell and John Hoppough.

34. [Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana] Tossup
SS 2014: 56-44 McCain: 39.8 Romney: 46.0 Trump: 55.5
Incumbent: Geoff Hansen (R term-limited)
Analysis: R state rep Jon Bumstead (10-16) of Newaygo, an early endorser of Trump, and State rep. Holly Hughes (10-12, 14-18) of Muskegon County will run.  Bumstead is somewhat more conservative.  D state rep Collene Lamonte (12-14), who defeated Hughes in 2012 and lost a rematch in 2014, faces Poppy Sias-Hernandez.

35. [NC Lower Peninsula] Safe Republican
SS 2014: 60-40 McCain: 49.8 Romney: 54.5 Trump: 64.6
Incumbent: Darwin Booher (R term-limited)
Analysis: Conservative R state rep Ray Franz (10-16), rep Bruce Rendon (10-16), rep Curt VanderWall (16-P), who succeeded Franz, are running, along with Cary Urka.  Franz and VanderWall will probably split the vote on the eastern side of the district, allowing Rendon to win.  The D candidate is Mike Taillard.

36. [NE Lower Peninsula, Midland] Safe Republican
SS 2014: 61-39 McCain: 50.8 Romney: 56.0 Trump: 65.4
Incumbent: Jim Stamas (R)
Analysis: This district was competitive in 2002, but has moved right since then.  Stamas is in line to be the next appropriations committee chairman.  The D candidate is Joe Weir.

37. [NW Lower Peninsula, E Upper Peninsula] Safe Republican
SS 2014: 61-39 McCain: 51.9 Romney: 56.8 Trump: 61.1
Incumbent: Wayne Schmidt (R)
Analysis: Schmidt won a bitter primary in 2014.  He is being challenged in the primary by conservative teacher Jim Gurr.  The D candidate is Jim Page.

38. [Upper Peninsula excluding Mackinac, Chippewa, Luce] Tossup
SS 2014: 62-38 McCain: 46.2 Romney: 51.0 Trump: 59.0
Incumbent: Tom Casperson (R term-limited)
Analysis: This district was held for Ds for decades until Casperson won it in 2010.  R state rep Ed McBroom (10-16) of Dickinson County faces moderate Mike Carey in the R primary.  Moderate D state rep Scott Dianda (12-18) from western UP is a strong candidate.

Summary of Ratings:
Safe democrat: 11
Lean democrat: 1
Toss-up: 4
Lean Republican: 4
Likely Republican: 3
Safe Republican: 15

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2016 Election Results in Kalamazoo County

The trends that led to Donald Trump's statewide victory in Michigan also affected Kalamazoo County.  Trump did well in rural areas.  He also did much better in downscale areas of Comstock and Galesburg.  He did badly in Kalamazoo and underperformed in upscale areas of Portage and Oshtemo.
Compare Romney (2012) and Trump (2016):
Trump got the same two-party percentage (43.2%) as Romney in Kalamazoo County.  The following map compares Trump and Romney.  More green is better for Trump, more yellow/orange is worse for Trump (better for Romney).
Trump did best relative to Romney in Galesburg, Comstock 1-3, and K Township 1, all downscale areas.  Trump did worst relative to Romney in Portage 18 (Moorsbridge), Oshtemo 3, suburban Texas, and Bronson Boulevard, all wealthy upscale areas.

The State Board of Education can be used as a measure of generic R and D vote since almost nobody is familiar with the candidates.  The two-party percentages are Trump 43.2%, SBOE 48.1%.

Trump underperformed Republicn SBOE candidates everywhere except Comstock and Lakewood.  He did especially poorly in Western Portage, southern Kalamazoo, Texas, Oshtemo, and Gull Lake (all wealthy upscale areas).

The following maps show how local Republicans did in Kalamazoo County.  Kalamazoo County Treasurer Mary Balkema led Republicans in Kalamazoo County with 54.7%.
The GOP average (President/Congress/Clerk/ Prosecutor/Sheriff/Treasurer) was 45.6%.
The Republican party continues to lose ground in the City of Kalamazoo.  The results in the city are
34.0% Balkema
31.7% Upton
32.1% Snow
27.4% SBOE
23.1% Trump
22.4% Smith
22.2% Heppler
The most R precinct was #4 (Knollwood).  I suspect this was due to Fraternity Village supporting Trump.

The City of Portage saw many voters split tickets.
59.4% Balkema
57.6% Upton 
56.2% Snow
52.4% SBOE
45.9% Trump
40.9% Smith 
39.1% Heppler

Oshtemo Township has moved left in recent years.  The top of the ticket was too much for local candidates to overcome.
52.1% Balkema
50.2% Upton 
48.9% Snow
46.8% SBOE
40.0% Trump
35.9% Smith 
35.7% Heppler

Oshtemo Township official candidates:
42% Nieuwenhuis
43% Solarek
40% Zondervan
49.3% Carr
44% Corakis
42% Lefler
42% Clem

Federal Judge Gershwin Drain extended straight ticket voting in Michigan after the legislature passed a law to eliminate it.  After the election, some observers claimed that straight ticket voting benefited Republicans since in some counties (e.g. Macomb) more Republicans voted straight ticket.

However, we don’t know what people would have done in its absence.  In Kalamazoo, more democrats voted straight ticket (33218) than Republicans (25159).  The following map shows which party had more straight ticket voters in each precinct.

Monday, January 09, 2017

How Trump Won Michigan

Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the 2016 presidential election was capped off by winning Michigan. The vote total was
Trump 2279543 (47.50%)
Clinton 2268893 (47.27%)
The margin was only 10704 votes. Michigan had the closest percentage margin of any state in the nation.

Analyzing the election results nationwide leads to four basic observations:
1. Trump won huge margins in rural areas.
2. Trump improved significantly in downscale (white working class) areas.
3. Trump did poorly in upscale (wealthy, highly educated) areas.
4. Clinton won blacks by large margins, but turnout was significantly down.

The following maps show Trump/Clinton and Romney/Obama by county.
Trump did significantly better than Romney in the rural Northeast and Midwest.  This allowed him to pick up five states (and Maine 2) in this region.  Trump did worse than Romney in many suburban counties.  The following map compares Trump and Romney’s performance by county.  More red means Trump performed better.
Zooming in to Michigan, we compare Romney 2012 and Trump 2016.
Trump overperformed in most rural counties, particularly in northern Michigan and the Thumb.  He underperformed in Kent, Ottawa, and Washtenaw counties.

To better understand Trump's performance, consider the following map of southern Michigan.  More red indicates a higher Trump percentage, and more blue/black indicates a higher Clinton percentage.  The key is
DarkRed >65%
Red 60-65
Salmon 55-60
Pink 50-55
LightBlue 45-50
DeepSkyBlue 40-45
CornflowerBlue 35-40
SlateBlue 30-35
Blue 25-30
DarkBlue 20-25
MidnightBlue 15-20
Black 0-15
Results are broken down to the precinct level, except in Wayne, Macomb, Ingham, Livingston, and Montcalm Counties, where they are broken down to the municipality.  All maps use 2-party totals.  Some results are approximate due to changes in precinct lines.
Rural areas are overwhelmingly red; cities are blue to black.

Let’s take a closer look at some key areas of the state, starting with Detroit.
Year – GOP (2-party %) and Dem (2-party %):
2000 – 15688 (5.22%), 282111 (93.88%)
2004 – 19343 (5.93%), 305258 (93.65%)
2008 –   8888 (2.65%), 325534 (96.99%)
2012 –   6018 (2.09%), 281743 (97.63%)
2016 –   7682 (3.11%), 234871 (94.95%)
The percentages are about the same, but D turnout was down 46872 votes in 2016.

Here is Wayne county, broken down by municipality.
Here are the numbers for Wayne outside Detroit.
Year – GOP (%) and Dem (%):
2000 – 207333 (45.5%), 248303 (54.5%)
2004 – 238407 (44.7%), 294789 (55.3%)
2008 – 210694 (38.6%), 334551 (61.4%)
2012 – 207796 (39.8%), 314103 (60.2%)
2016 – 221311 (43.7%), 284573 (56.3%)
Trump improved by 43045 votes in Wayne outside Detroit.  Trump gained in Downriver, a downscale union area.  Trump declined in upscale areas – the Grosse Pointes, and Plymouth/Northville.

Macomb County, by municipality:
   Year – GOP (%) and Dem (%):
2004 – 202166 (50.2%), 196160 (48.7%)
2008 – 187663 (44.8%), 223784 (53.4%)
2012 – 191913 (47.5%), 208016 (51.5%)
2016 – 224665 (53.6%), 176317 (42.1%)
Trump gained 64451 votes over 2012.  He improved substantially in the downscale union areas of the county.

Oakland County by precinct:
   Year – GOP (%) and Dem (%):
2004 – 316633 (49.3%), 319387 (49.8%)
2008 – 276956 (42.0%), 372566 (56.5%)
2012 – 296514 (45.4%), 349002 (53.4%)
2016 – 289203 (43.2%), 343070 (51.3%)
Trump lost upscale areas, including Bloomfield, West Bloomfield, Troy and Novi, where Republicans usually win.  He gained in Waterford.  The following compares Romney (2012) and Trump (2016).
Genesee County:
Year – GOP (%) and Dem (%):
2004 – 83870 (39.2%), 128334 (60.0%)
2008 – 72451 (32.9%), 143927 (65.5%)
2012 – 71808 (35.4%), 128978 (63.6%)
2016 – 84175 (42.9%), 102751 (52.4%)
Trump improved by 38594 votes over 2012.  Trump gained significantly in the downscale union-heavy suburbs of Flint.  He won Burton and the entire outer ring (except Grand Blanc).  Republicans came within 4% of picking up state house district 50 in the suburbs, which was completely unexpected.  Here is a closer look at Flint.
St. Clair:
Trump even won Port Huron.
Saginaw:
Trump won everything except the minority areas.
Bay:
Midland:
In past elections, the city of Midland has been more Republican than the surrounding areas.  Not this time.
Tri-cities:
Isabella:
Schiawasee:
Clinton:
Eaton:
Ingham by municipality:
Washtenaw:
Monroe:
Lenawee:
Jackson:
Southwest Michigan:
Calhoun:
Kalamazoo:
St. Joseph:
Cass:
Berrien:
Van Buren:
Allegan:
Kent:
Year – GOP (%) and Dem (%):
2004 – 171201 (59.1%), 116909 (40.4%)
2008 – 148336 (48.9%), 149909 (49.4%)
2012 – 155925 (53.2%), 133408 (45.5%)
2016 – 148180 (48.3%), 138683 (45.2%)
Trump declined by 13020 votes in Kent County.  He lost Kentwood and did poorly in Wyoming.
Muskegon:
Ottawa:
 Year – GOP (%) and Dem (%):
2004 – 92048 (71.6%), 35552 (27.6%)
2008 – 83330 (61.2%), 50828 (37.3%)
2012 – 88166 (66.6%), 42737 (32.3%)
2016 – 88467 (62.3%), 44973 (31.7%)

Ottawa County is usually the most Republican in Michigan.  Why did Trump decline in Kent and Ottawa?  Ottawa, Kent, Allegan, and Missaukee are the only Dutch majority counties.  Dutch Americans tend to be Calvinists (Reformed/CRC) and solid Republicans.

Consider this list of Trump's best counties in 2016.
73.8% Missaukee
70.9% Hillsdale 
70.0% Oscoda
69.9% Sanilac
69.8% Montmorency
69.3% Kalkaska
69.2% Osceola
68.2% Luce
68.0% Alcona
67.2% Huron
67.1% Newaygo
66.8% Branch
66.6% Lapeer
66.4% Tuscola
66.0% Otsego
65.7% Ogemaw
65.4% Wexford
65.3% Dickinson
65.1% Gladwin
64.3% Arenac

Ottawa County dropped to number 32!  Livingston dropped to 34 and Allegan to 48!
Twelve of Trump’s 20 best counties are in the northern lower peninsula.  Four of the top 14 are in the Thumb.  Two (Luce, Dickinson) are in the UP.  Two (Hillsdale, Branch) are on the IN border.  Trump got 60-70% in 43 of 83 Michigan counties.  He got 50-60% in 23 counties.  These are almost all rural areas.

I have explained where Trump got his votes, but not how he got them.  Trump appealed to rural and working class voters with immigration restriction, opposition to free trade agreements, and concern for manufacturing jobs.  These voters were alienated from the democrats due to social justice warriors and environmentalism.

Bernie Sanders’ primary win in Michigan foreshadowed trouble for Hillary.  Rural democrats are not primarily socialists.  Many were clearly disenchanted with Hillary.

Why did Trump do better than Romney, who had a somewhat similar profile (rich businessman, Washington outsider)?  Rick Snyder won Michigan in 2010 on a similar platform.  Republican Michigander writes:
“The other thing that helped Snyder is that while he was a businessman, he ran as a CEO of Gateway. People remember Gateway Computers. That’s a difference with your venture capitalist types who are widely distrusted (with Dan Gilbert a major exception due to his Detroit investments and building). The Midwest respects builders. You’ll hear a different opinion of George Romney than Mitt. Builders built America and builders built Michigan. This is the land of Henry Ford, Roger Penske, Ransom Olds, Mike Illitch, Louis Chevrolet, Pete Karmanos, Fred Meijer, Tom Monaghan, and the Dodge brothers. It’s the cornerstone of this state and one of the rare things that can take root in the very different political factions in this state that are extremely tough to unite. It’s something our pols should remember in 2020 before either putting a bunch of money here, or before writing off altogether. The most important thing here is the job itself and the ability to do it.”
This obviously applies to Trump as well.

Trump’s winning coalition was laid out by several commentators.  Steve Sailer wrote after the 2000 election,
“The reason George W. Bush struggled so much to eke out a 271-267 win in the Electoral College … is not that he got crushed in the minority vote 77% to 21%. No, it`s that he commanded only a measly 54% of the white vote. …
What if Bush II had won 57% of the white vote? … he would have cruised to an Electoral College landslide of 367 to 171. …
So where could Bush have picked up an additional 3 percent of the white vote? The most obvious source: white union families. …
Immigration should be the perfect issue for the GOP to use to split the rank and file from their Democratic bosses.  Since union efforts cost Bush Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin (at a minimum), you`d think that the GOP would be hot to win back the Reagan Democrats.”
 After the 2012 election, he wrote
“Romney could have won the Electoral College in what can be called the Big Ten states … He did win Indiana, and he lost Obama’s home state of Illinois badly. The other six states in this region, however, all slipped through his fingers: Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
In each of these Slippery Six states, Romney won at least 45 percent of the vote. … If Romney, rather than Obama, had won all six, he’d be President. …
According to Reuters, Romney lost the Slippery Six states because … he did badly there among white voters—winning only 52 percent, six points worse than nationally. …
But, how much did Romney offer working class whites in this swing region? Did they have much cause for hope that he’d take a strong stand against legal and illegal immigration?”
“These voters were largely downscale, Northern, rural whites. In other words, H. Ross Perot voters.” 
“One option is to go after these downscale whites. … It means abandoning some of its more pro-corporate stances. This GOP would have to be more "America first" on trade, immigration and foreign policy; less pro-Wall Street and big business in its rhetoric; more Main Street/populist on economics.”
Demographics are the biggest factor affecting election results.  For example, some areas have voted for the same party since the Civil War, until very recently.  Dutch Americans have voted conservatively since immigrating here.  Often, changes in election results are the results of demographic changes rather than ideological changes.

Demographic groups can change voting patterns (e.g. downscale whites going for Trump), but such changes are neither easy nor inevitable.  Democrats have been using immigration from left-leaning groups to bring about electoral victories they could not win by persuasion.  Trump and his supporters need to stop this for conservatism to remain viable in America.

Donald Trump is now the face of the Republican party.  His supporters should do what they can to encourage him to adopt sound conservative policies.  There are no permanent majorities.  Republicans should be careful not to overreach (as Obama did with Obamacare).  Conversely, Republicans should accomplish what they can while the opportunity exists, as democrats will come back sooner or later.

Republicans should welcome Trump’s downscale supporters into the party and try to address their concerns on trade and immigration while upholding conservative values.  Upscale voters were likely alienated by Trump’s rhetoric and character.  If Trump is successful, many will come back.  We should run candidates who emphasize competence to appeal to this demographic.