Last Tuesday, Republicans in Michigan were preparing for Democratic gains statewide. In a shocking turn of events, Trump won the Great Lake State that has gone blue in presidential elections since 1988. Donald Trump won MI by 13,707 votes, according to Secretary of States office.
Republicans maintained the majority in the state house by holding onto 63 of the 110 seats. The Democrats gained one seat, but lost another, so essentially saw no gains in the state house. The Republican Party also won education positions. Republicans Tom McMillin and Nikki Snyder both gained seats on the board of education.
Michigan Republicans have been pushing to eliminate straight ticket voting in the State, but ironically benefited from it. As voters move down the ballot, they tend to have little knowledge about candidates and will vote with the party they identify with.
The results in Michigan speak volumes about Democratic lack of enthusiasm regarding Hillary Clinton. Republicans had a higher turnout rate in 76 of the 83 MI counties. Democrats across the state focused their resources on creating attack ads associating republican candidates with Trump.
This strategy didn’t work, and may have helped the Republicans retain their positions. Despite low turn out for Democrats, this election had the second largest turnout in the history of Michigan behind Obamas election in 2008.
President-Elect, Donald Trump, was able to energize white working class voters, and won over rural areas. He directly attacked Ford and other motor companies for expanding productions outside the country. Trump is ready to fight for their jobs. He did particularly well in Macomb County receiving 54% of the votes, which is the best a Republican candidate has done in four election cycles.
Third party candidates obtained a portion of the votes, and may have contributed to the Trump victory. Johnson received 3.6% of votes at 172,711 total, and Stein received over 1% of votes at 51,414 total votes.
The Democratic Party made the mistake of disregarding Michigan as a battleground state; while Republicans fought for it as the true purple state it has proven to be.