Saturday, November 06, 2010

Analysis: Michigan

Republicans in Michigan won a victory of epic proportions in the November election. They won everything. Well, almost every race that they seriously contested.

NY Times: Michigan election results
Statewide offices, ballot proposals, courts, university boards
U.S. House of Representatives races
State Senate races
State House races

Rick Snyder won the governor's race 58.1% to 39.9% over Virg Bernero. This race is analyzed in more detail in a separate post.
Analysis: Governor

Bill Scheutte won the Attorney General race 52.6% to 43.5% over David Leyton. Scheutte's campaign seemed to focus on saying that Leyton is a bad prosecutor.

Ruth Johnson won the Secretary of State race 50.7% to 45.2% over Jocelyn Benson. Benson is a radical leftist supported by George Soros. She would have been the next Jennifer Granholm, but she was stopped this time. Johnson won with the support of the Tea Party after she exposed the Fake Tea Party voter fraud by democrat party officials, one of whom was employed by Benson.

Republicans won both Supreme Court races. Challenger Mary Beth Kelly got 30% and incumbent Robert Young won 28%, outpacing democrat incumbent Alton Davis with 19% and Denise Morris with 17%. Libertarian Rob Roddis got 6%. Young triumphed over a smear campaign engineered by democrat party boss Mark Brewer that falsely claimed he slept on the bench. Davis was the beneficiary of a backroom deal with Jennifer Granholm engineered by renegade moderate Republican Elizabeth Weaver. Republicans have reclaimed a 4-3 majority on the court. This sets Young up to become the Chief Justice next year. This will also protect the rule of law against liberal activists and the market against greedy trial lawyers. It should also protect a Republican redistricting plan.

Republicans swept the education board races. This follows democrat sweeps in 2006 and 2008. These races were somewhat closer. In the closest, Dr. Richard Zeile won second place for State Board of Ed over democrat Elizabeth bauer by 17000 votes. Conservative Mitch Lyons won the seat of moderate Don Nugent at the Republican convention.

Proposal 1, the constitutional convention, lost 67% to 33%. This proposal will come up again in 2026. Proposal 2, banning felons from office, won 75% to 25%.

Republicans picked up two seats in Congress.
1st district (northern Michigan) Tea Party Republican Dan Benishek won 51.9% to 40.9% over Gary McDowell. Northern Michigan swung heavily to Republicans, as did the demographically similar "Northland" (northern Wisconsin and Minnesota) where Republicans picked up two seats in northern Wisconsin and one in the Iron Range of Minnesota. Republican Michigander has a detailed breakdown of the vote in northern Michigan.
A Closer Look at Northern Michigan's results

3rd district (Kent County) Tea Party libertarian Republican Justin Amash won 59.7% to 37.5% over democrat Pat Miles. Amash is a constitutionalist in the mold of Ron Paul. He easily held off a credible challenge by Miles. A hundred or so local RINOs endorsed Miles, claiming Amash is too conservative. Amash is a huge improvement over retiring moderate Vern Ehlers.

6th district (Kalamazoo, St. Joseph) 24-year incumbent Fred Upton racked up another easy reelection, again defeating Don Cooney. He won 62%, up from 59% in 2008. Third party candidates for the Constitution and Libertarian parties won 2% each.

7th district (Calhoun, Jackson) Staunch conservative Tim Walberg won a rematch 50.1% to 45.4% with democrat congressman Mark Schauer, who defeated him 49% to 46% in 2008. Walberg has an ACU rating of 98%. This seat has changed hands each of the last four elections.

9th District (Oakland County) Democrat congressman Gary Peters won a narrow reelection 49.8% to 47.2% over Rocky Raczkowski. Rocky was far from the best possible candidate for this district, and he had to win an ugly Republican primary over Paul Welday. Peters shouldn't celebrate too much, though, as it is likely that his seat will be cut to pieces in redistricting.

Republicans held geriatric democrats Dale Kildee and John Dingell to the mid-50s in the 5th and 15th districts, bu thiey never really had a chance in districts so packed with democrats. There will now be three staunch conservatives (Benishek, Amash, Walberg) in Michigan's delegation, up from zero presently.

Republicans picked up four seats in the state senate. Shockingly, they won three of them by double digits. Tory Rocca won 54% in central Macomb, David Robertson won 55% in western Genesse, Mike Green won 59% in The Thumb, and Tom Casperson won 56% in the UP. Most of supposedly competitive open seats were similarly lopsided. Tea Party Republican Patrick Colbeck won 52% to 41% in Western Wayne, Tonya Schuitmaker won 58% in Kalamazoo, David Hildenbrand won only 52% to 46% in Grand Rapids, and Geoff Hansen won 58% in Muskegon. Republicans now have a 26-12 majority, which is more than two-thirds.

Republicans picked up a shocking 20 seats in the state house, winning a 63-47 majority. They defeated nine democrat incumbents, winning back five of the nine seats they lost in 2008 and narrowly missing the other four. They won five seats in the 1st congressional district in northern Michigan. The seats won were in Northville/Plymouth, south Wayne, St. Claire Shores, northeast Macomb, western Washtenaw, west Monroe, east Monroe, Lenauwee, west Jackson, east Jackson, Montcalm, Sanlilac/Port Huron, Tuscola, Muskegon suburbs, northwest LP shoreline, northcentral LP, Alpena area, Mackinaw area, southern UP, and western UP.

Conservative Jase Bolger will be the next speaker of the Michigan House. Moderate-conservative Randy Richardville will be the next Senate majority leader. Conservatives in the legislature may check Rick Snyder's more liberal impulses. There is a chance of moving major legislation such as right-to-work. Republicans will control redistricting and can draw maps favorable to themselves for the next decade.

Along with power comes responsibility, of course. They must avoid the mistakes that led to the loss of their house majority in 2006. Voters will expect results, and if Republicans can't deliver, they will soon find themselves out of work.

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