Michigan will see many important races on the ballot Tuesday.
The premiere attraction in the gubernatorial race between Democrat incumbent Jennifer Granholm and Republican challenger Dick DeVos. The campaign has focused on the poor state of Michigan's economy. Granholm continues to come up with plans, but Michigan still sees no results. This race is expected to be very close.
Following close behind the race between US Senator Debbie Stabenow, the Democrat incumbent, and challenger Michael Bouchard, the Sheriff of Oakland County. Stabenow is a doctrinaire liberal. She even voted to protect social security benefits for illegal immigrants under a proposed amnesty plan. She has tried to make an issue out of Canadian trash imports. Stabenow has been leading, but this race could be closer than expected.
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, the Republican incumbent, faces Democrat challenger Amos Williams. Cox should win a clear, though not huge victory. He benefited when Democrats nominated a weak candidate thanks to their convoluted racial politics.
Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, the Republican incumbent, faces Democrat Carmella Sabaugh. Land should win this race easily.
Two seats on the State Supreme Court are on the ballot. Republican Maura Corrigan and Democrat Michael Cavanagh are almost certain to be reelected. Republican Marc Shulman is challenging Cavanagh.
There are also lower-profile races for the State Board of Education and U of M, MSU, and WSU university boards. You can see the entire statewide Republican ticket here.
Michigan's fifteen seats in the US House of Representatives will also be decided. All of the incumbents of both parties are safe and should be reelected by comfortable margins. The one open seat is the 7th district, where conservative Republican Tim Walberg defeated Republican incumbent Joe Schwarz in the primary. Walberg faces Democrat Sharon Reiner. Walberg is likely to prevail, though he may win by a small margin.
Control of the Michigan Legislature is also at Stake. Republicans hope to retain their majority in the State Senate by holding a few highly contested seats in the Kalamazoo, Troy, Saginaw, Muskegon, Monroe, and Livonia areas. Control of the State House will also come down to a few key seats in areas including Jackson, Muskegon, Monroe, Mackinaw, Grand Rapids, and Lansing. Lists of the key races are available here.
Michigan will also decide five statewide ballot propositions.
Proposal 1 would reserve funds for conservation in the Michigan Constitution.
Proposal 2, the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, would ban discrimination based on race, sex, and national origin in government hiring, contracting, and college admissions. The MCRI has been endorsed by the WMU College Republicans. I have also endorsed it. It has been attacked by a number of people, including the radical communist group BAMN. It has been falsely accused of portending a national disaster, being a secret plot by Californians, imperiling our economic well-being, and being backed by fraud. It has a been leading, but below the key 50% mark. It is more likely than not to pass.
Proposal 3 would allow the hunting of mourning doves in Michigan. This article gives a good summary of the issue. There is no good reason to forbid this hunting. It has been trailing badly, and is likely to fail.
Proposal 4 would restrict the use of eminent domain. It could not be used to aid private developers, and landowners would have to be well-compensated to guard against undervaluing land. This post gives a good summary of the issue. It should pass comfortably.
Proposal 5, the so-called K-16 initiative, would guarantee inflationary spending increases for Michigan schools and colleges. It would cost between 500 and 700 million dollars in its first year and guarantee a large tax increase or painful cuts in necessary services. It is sponsored by the teachers unions, which have supplied 93% of the money for the campaign. The WMU College Republicans oppose this measure. This article summarizes why it would be a disaster for Michigan. It has been trailing, and will probably fail.