Michigan State Senate 2018 Preview (all up in 2018)

Michigan State Senate 2018 Preview

The official Michigan State Senate Map is Here – http://www.senate.michigan.gov/2011_maps/Statewide.pdf

In Michigan, the state senate is up in gubernatorial years. All 38 seats are up, as are all 100 state house seats which are 2 year terms. I have a list of the districts (with only brief mentions of the Detroit seats because those are beyond safe for the D’s. I listed the Trump, Snyder (2014), Romney, Obama 08 based on Dave’s redistricting, and the DeVos 2006 numbers to show both good and bad results in the district. In 2006 we kept the State Senate under the old borders by a razor thin margin. 2006 and 2008 are worst case scenarios. If we have a 2006 type year, it will be a disaster across the state, and we could potentially lose 24 districts in a worst case scenario.

Currently R’s are likely maxed out with a 29-11 advantage.  They unexpectedly picked up a seat in 2014 (redistricted open seat Kalamazoo County seat – Seat 20) that replaced a seat that was eliminated due to population shifts.

I have rated the seats (so far) as follows. I don’t rate anything as “likely.” I have Safe, lean, or tossup. 20 seats control the senate.

11 – Safe D – Seats 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 , 11, 18, 23, 27 – Basically Detroit, Wayne County Airport area, South Macomb, SE Oakland, Flint, Ann Arbor, Lansing/East Lansing.

2 – Lean D – 20, 29 – Districts near Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids

6 – Tossup – 10, 13, 17, 32, 34, 38

5 – Lean R – 7, 12, 15, 24, 31

14 – Safe R – 8, 14, 16, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26, 28, 30, 33, 35, 36, 37,

SD-1 – Safe D (70%) – Covers part of Brownstown Twp and  Detroit, all of Ecorse, Gibralter, Grosse Ile Twp, River Rouge, Riverview, Trenton, Woodhaven, and Wyandotte. While Detroit Dems usually struggle in the downriver portion, 50% of the vote is in Detroit.


SD-2 – Safe D (75%) – Covers part of Detroit, Grosse Pointes, Hamtramck, Harper Woods, and Highland Park. About 50% of the vote is in Detroit or Highland Park.


SD-3 – Safe D (80%) – Covers part of Detroit, all of Dearborn, and Melvindale. About 60% of the vote is in Detroit.


SD-4 – Safe D (83%) – Covers part of Detroit, all of Allen Park, Lincoln Park, and Southgate.  About 65% of the vote is in Detroit.


SD-5 – Safe D (80%) – Covers part of Detroit, all of Dearborn Heights, Garden City, Inkster, and Redford Township. About 53% of the district is either Detroit or Inkster. We do have a candidate out working this district much harder than normal for 2018 in Deshawn Wilkins. It’ll be interesting to see what he can do in this extremely difficult district. This Detroit based district also has a white representative.


SD-6 – Safe D (62% Hopgood in2014) Open Seat. Robert Koslowski and Erika Geiss have committees for the D’s.

2010 Demographics – 72.8% White, 17.9% Black, 64.5% Obama 08

Covers Belleville, most of Brownstown Twp (minus precinct 6/7), Flat Rock, Huron Twp, Rockwood, Romulus, Sumpter Twp, Taylor, Van Buren Twp, Westland.

2016 – Trump 42.21%, Hillary 53.16% – Lost by 13,300

2014 – Snyder 40.31%, Schauer 57.32% – Lost by 12,500

2012 – Romney 34.78%, Obama 64.31% – Lost by 33,600

2006 – DeVos 35.72%, Granholm 62.74% – Lost by 22,000


While Trump made good inroads here and did well for an R (His 12000 vote improvement over Romney was the difference in the state), demographics changes make winning this district extremely difficult. Van Buren Twp and Romulus might be majority minority by this point and anchor this seat. Westland, Taylor, and Belleville also have a sizable black population and many of the union members in those three cities are government workers with Metro Airport in Romulus. There’s also a very strong union democrat tradition in all of this district. Only Huron Twp is R leaning, and the union influence is there as well.

If the resources are there, I’d like to see a Trumpist candidate make a serious contest for this seat. I don’t expect to win it, but if redistricting starts shifting, I can see a potential competitive downriver district in the future that is could be lean D or even tossup.


SD-7 – Lean R (52.74% Colbeck in 2014) Open Seat. Laura Cox has committee for the R’s. Dayna Polehanki and Ghulam Qadir have committees for the D’s.

2010 Demographics – 81.6% White, 6.3% Black, 7.3% Asian. 51.9% Obama 08

Covers Canton Twp, Livonia, Part of Northville, Northville Twp, Plymouth, Plymouth Twp, and Wayne.

2016 – Trump 46.53%, Hillary 48.35% – Lost by 2700

2014 – Snyder 59.44%, Schauer 38.96% – Won by 21,300

2012 – Romney 49.58%, Obama 49.66% – Lost by 116

2006 – DeVos 46.91%, Granholm 51.80% – Lost by 5500


Whether this is tossup or lean R depends on matchups. If Laura Cox is the nominee for the R’s, I’ll go lean R because she can get the margins out of Livonia to win, while at the same time be acceptable to most factions in Plymouth/Northville. Canton and Plymouth City will be big problems. They are treading away from us. Wayne is and was solid democrat as well. Trump was a disaster in Plymouth/Northville/Canton, but improved in Wayne and held his own in Livonia (won by 4000). Romney was a disaster in Canton, but won Livonia by 2000. R’s usually do better than the top of the ticket in Canton and (if a local) Livonia. Livonia’s the biggest key to this district. It’s usually light R leaning. Plymouth and Northville townships are also key and usually base areas, but Granholm won Plymouth Township in 2006 (her home).


SD-8 – Safe R (61.73% Brandenburg in 2014) Open Seat. Peter Lucido has committee for R’s

2010 Demographics – 88.4% White (includes Chaldean), 5.4% Black, 49.2% McCain 08

Covers Bruce, Chesterfield, Macomb portion of GP Shores, Harrison Twp, Lenox Twp, Mt Clemens, Ray Twp, Shelby Twp, St Clair Shores, Utica, and Washington Twp.

2016 – Trump 59.61%, Hillary 35.90% – Won by 34,500

2014 – Snyder 59.57%, Schauer 38.36% – Won by 22,900

2012 – Romney 53.40%, Obama 45.54% – Won by 11,900

2006 – DeVos 50.41%, Granholm 48.02% – Won by 2,400


I like to say that nothing is safe in Macomb County, but if anything is close to safe there, it is this district. Shelby Township is the largest municipality and is a base GOP township. St Clair Shores is swingish tilting D  and the 2nd largest municipality. Bruce, Washington, and Ray townships are also GOP base. Chesterfield and Harrison are usually light red as is Utica although occasionally goes big for us. The D base is Mt Clemens (always) and to a lesser extent swingish Lenox Twp and St Clair Shores.


SD-9 – Safe D (67.96% Bieda in 2014) Open Seat. Paul Wojno and Marilyn Lane have committees for D’s.

2010 Demographics (approx) – 76.9% White, 15.1% Black, 61% Obama 08

Covers Center Line, part of Clinton Twp, Eastpointe, Fraser, Roseville, and Warren.

2016 – Trump 42.25%, Hillary 53.35% – Lost by 13,600

2014 – Snyder 42.94%, Schauer 54.61% – Lost by 8900

2012 – Romney 36.26%, Obama 62.60% – Lost by 31,800

2006 – DeVos 38.33%, Granholm 59.90% (not count Clinton Twp which reprecincted) – Lost by over 20,000


This was a union Democrat vote sink to try and get 2 seats winnable for R’s in Macomb County. Most Gerrymandering claims are BS in Michigan, but splitting swingish/regional Clinton Township by putting the most D part in this seat made some angry D’s in Macomb. Trump made some good inroads here running 8000 votes ahead of Romney.  Like the 6th, I’d like to see some serious contest here if the resources are available, more for 2020+ redistricting prep than anything else. Eastpointe (70%D), South Warren, and SE Clinton Twp makes this seat a bridge to far I think.


SD-10 – Tossup (62.66% Rocca in 2014) Open Seat. Michael Shallal and Stojadin Naumovski have committees for R’s. Henry Yanez has committee for D’s.

2010 Demographics (Approx) 85.4% White (includes Chaldean), 5.9% Black, 51.6% Obama 08

Covers Macomb Township, Sterling Heights, and 2/3 of Clinton Township.

2016 Trump 56.06%, Hillary 39.98% – Won by 21900

2014 Snyder 56.61%, Schauer 41.55% – Won by 13000

2012 Romney 50.59%, Obama 48.51% – Won by 2700

2006 DeVos  48.97%, Granholm 49.66% (not including D leaning Clinton Twp which reprecincted) – Lost by a couple of thousand.


This seat was made much more R after redistricting. The old district had Sterling Heights, Utica, Clinton Twp, and Roseville and leaned D. It did not have base R Macomb Twp.  Roseville was the most D part and gone. Utica leaned R and is gone. Some of the more D parts of Clinton Twp are gone.  Obama and Granholm (Who won all of Clinton Twp by 3-4K) won the district. Romney won it barely based on Macomb Twp alone. Snyder and Trump won all areas. Torry Rocca is a pro-gun moderate, but is a good fit for Macomb County.


SD-11 – Safe D (73.28% Gregory in 2014). Open Seat. Jeremy Moss has committee for D’s.

2010 Demographics – 56.5% White, 33.8% Black, 5% Asian, 73.3% Obama 08

Covers Farmington, Farmington Hills, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Lathrup Village, Madison Heights, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak Township (not City), and the City of Southfield in Oakland County.

2016 – Trump 24.62%, Hillary 71.50% – Lost by about 70,000

2014 – Snyder 33.97%, Schauer 64.56% – Lost by 31,000

2012 – Romney 25.76%, Obama 73.41% – Lost by 70,700 (Romney actually did worse than Trump here)

2006 – DeVos  27.14%, Granholm 71.66% – Lost by 54,000


This seat is the self-packing of a lot of Oakland County Democrats. Farmington and Farmington Hills lean D. The rest are base D areas. Southfield alone gives 30,000+ margins to the D’s. I’m surprised Romney did worse than Trump here, but that’s because of black turnout.


SD-12 – Lean R (57.55% Marleau in 2014) Open Seat. Jim Tedder has Committee for R’s. Jeremy Ross Haines and Rosemary Bayer have committees for D’s.

2010 Demographics – 71.5% White, 15.7% Black, 6.6% Latino, 52.9% Obama 08)

Covers Addison Twp, Auburn Hills, Bloomfield Twp, Clarkston, Independence Twp, Keego Harbor, Oakland Twp, Orion Twp, Oxford Twp, Pontiac, Southfield Twp (Bingham Farms, Franklin, Beverly Hills – not to be confused with City of Southfield), and Sylvan Lake in Oakland County.

2016 – Trump 47.97%, Hillary 47.42% – Won by 707

2014 – Snyder 55.73%, Schauer 42.47% – Won by 10,900

2012 – Romney 49.80%, Obama 49.32% – Won by 648

2006 – DeVos 49.81%, Granholm 48.80% – Won by 965.


I have this as “lean” because nothing with Pontiac is safe. It’s an 82-88% D majority minority city in the middle of Oakland County and is capable When it GOTV’s, things get difficult. Pontiac turns out in presidential years more than off years. Snyder had an 8300 deficit to make up. Trump had a 13,600 deficit. Romney had a 16,500 deficit to make up. Pontiac’s not the largest municipality, but it’s so blue, that it takes all of the big 4 of the North Oakland base to county (Independence, Orion, Oxford, Oakland).

The blue anchor in this district is Pontiac and Auburn Hills. Keego Harbor leans D, although Trump won it. Southfield Twp is tilt R swingish when the candidate isn’t Trump. Trump was smoked there and in light red Bloomfield Township. Trump made up for it in Keego Harbor  and the northern tier. Romney did well in Bloomfield and Southfield Twp, but got his clocked cleaned in Pontiac worse than most.  The good news for R’s is that the biggest R base in Oakland County is also in this district. Independence Township around Clarkston anchors the R’s. Orion, Oxford, Oakland, and Addison Townships also form the North Oakland anchor. These are all growing areas and Trump held his own here. That’s why he won the district.


SD-13 – Tossup (58.14% Knollenberg in 2014) Mallory McMorrow has committee for D’s

2010 Demographics – 82.1% White, 9.6% Asian, 52.7% Obama 08

Covers Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Clawson, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak, and Troy.

2016 – Trump 44.44%, Hillary 50.39% – Lost by 9200

2014 – Snyder 62.08%, Schauer 36.26% – Won by 28,000

2012 – Romney 49.90%, Obama 49.11% – Won by 1200

2006 – DeVos 48.38%, Granholm 50.19% – Lost by 2200


This district has scared me for awhile. Birmingham (most social liberal traditional R area in the state) and Troy (demographics) have been trending away from us. Royal Oak and Berkley are blue anchors and getting more blue. Clawson has been stable, but difficult (lean D). Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Bloomfield Hills have to carry this district now. Troy is also a must win and infighting there hasn’t helped matters. Whomever the R candidate is here has to win Birmingham and Troy while running up the score in Bloomfield Hills and the Rochesters to have a chance against the hipsters and yuppies of Royal Oak and Berkley.

Rick Snyder had a unique appeal to this district. A Snyder type candidate could hold this seat.


SD-14 – Safe R (57.57% Robertson in 2014). Ruth Johnson has committee for R’s

2010 Demographics – 87.9% White, 50.5% Obama 08

Covers Atlas Twp, Davison, Davison Twp, the City of Fenton, Grand Blanc, Grand Blanc Twp, and Mundy Twp in Genesee County. Covers  Brandon Twp, small part of Fenton in Oakland County, Groveland Twp, Highland Twp, Holly Twp,  Lake Angelus, Rose Twp, Springfield Twp, and Waterford Twp in Oakland County.

2016 – Trump – 55.65%, Hillary 38.88% – Won by 22,200

2014  – Snyder – 56.44%, Schauer 41.18% – Won by 13,100

2012 – Romney – 51.31%, Obama 47.57% – Won by 4,800

2006 – DeVos – 49.13%, Granholm 49.37% – Lost by 255


This seat has moved in our direction some, partly due to trends in Waterford,  partly due to redistricting, and mostly due to growth in Northern Oakland County. There is a counter-balance away from R’s in the Grand Blanc area due to demographic changes (Flint residents moving there).  Waterford is between 1/4 and 1/3 of the district and is swingish to light red although it does have a union tradition. Holly is swingish. The rest of North Oakland (and West Oakland in Highland’s case) is strong base R.  In Genesee, there’s a long D tradition throughout, although Grand Blanc was formerly light red, now light blue. Fenton City is light red. The Davison area and Mundy Twps are blue, although they are Trump democrats there. Generally, the Oakland part can cancel out the Genesee Part of the district with Waterford usually determining the winner.  DeVos won Waterford, but was smoked in Genesee (D’s took 60% in Davison/Mundy that year).  I have this as Safe R with the expectation that Secretary of State Ruth Johnson will be the nominee. She’ll have little trouble locking down this seat.


SD-15 – Lean R (58.48% Kowall in 2014) Open Seat. Jim Runestad, Hugh Crawford, and Mike Saari have committees for the R’s. Julia Pulver has committee for D’s

2010 Demographics – 82.9% White, 5.9% Black, 6.6% Asian – 51% Obama 2008

Covers Commerce twp, Lyon Twp, Milford Twp, Part of Northville in Oakland County, Novi, Novi Twp, Orchard Lake, South Lyon, Walled Lake, West Bloomfield Twp, White Lake Twp, and Wixom.

2016 – Trump 49.81%, Hillary 45.68% – Won by 6100

2014 – Snyder 62.60%, Schauer 35.93% – Won by 25,800

2012 – Romney 52.47%, Obama 46.66% – Won by 8200

2006 -DeVos 49.06%, Granholm 49.67%, Lost by 654.


I’m going to go out on a limb and call this a lean R district. It should be ours, but we’re going to have to work for it. If it is a wave year, look out. DeVos lost the district due to a big West Bloomfield cratering (worse than Trump’s by percentage) and a low base turnout, despite DeVos winning Novi and Wixom.

The base D area is West Bloomfield which is the largest municipality in the district. It’s been democrat for years with a large Jewish population, but is also is about 20% minority (black and Asian) as Farmington Hills moves north, and Southfield moves northwest. It also has a significant Chaldean population (which supported Trump), which may have stopped Trump from doing even worse.  Novi (2nd largest municipality), Walled Lake, and Wixom are swingish. Novi used to be base R around 2000, but demographics are making things difficult there as Farmington Hills moves West. Walled Lake is always close. Trump, Romney, Obama, Granholm, Bush, and Gore won it. Wixom flipped after the Ford plant closed and the low rent apartments started to vote more. Wixom will be more trouble in presidential years.

The R base in the district is the zigzag shape region from Commerce, White Lake, Milford, Lyon Twp, and South Lyon. Lyon Twp is one of the fastest growing areas in the state. This is all 57%+ R territory there  outside of 54-56% South Lyon. Trump did exceptionally well in White Lake and I wonder if that’s the old Waterford union influence. Novi, Wixom, and West Bloomfield are 1/2 of the district’s population, so R’s better be prepared to work here. I know one candidate would. I also think the other would not.


SD-16 – Safe R (60.84% Shirkey in 2014) I think Mike Shirkey has another term.

2010 Demographics – 88.6% White, 5.6% Black, 49.8% McCain 08

2016 – Trump – 61.22%, Hillary 33.24% – Won by 30,000

2014 – Snyder – 57.92%, Schauer 39.62% – Won by 13,000

2012 – Romney – 54.93%, Obama 43.83% – Won by 11,700

2006 – DeVos – 50.39%, Granholm 48.05% – Won by 2000.


Jackson County is a light red county (although Trump got 57% there) that only flips when it is a d wave year (2006 and 2008). It does have a union tradition and a very high number of independents, but it is also quite conservative and has a free soil tradition being the birthplace of the GOP. The city itself is strongly democrat (about 25% minority), but usually not to the level of many other Michigan core cities.  Branch and Hillsdale Counties are base R counties and even in bad years, can counter Jackson County.


SD-17 – Tossup (51.13% for Zorn in 2014). I think Zorn has another term.

2010 Demographics – 90.5% White, 51.4% Obama 08

Covers all of Lenawee and Monroe Counties

2016 – Trump 58.00%, Hillary 36.30% – Won by 26,000

2014 – Snyder – 52.38%, Schauer 44.84% – Won by 5700

2012 – Romney – 49.28%, Obama 49.40% – Lost by 142

2006 – DeVos – 47.10%, Granholm 51.29% – Lost by 3800


Do I call this tossup or lean R with the strong incumbent who beat the D’s best in 2014 and the Trump numbers of this district? The D’s had this district in the 80’s. Historically, Monroe County is light blue, but is winnable for R’s (Trump, Richardville). Lenawee County is light red, but winnable for D’s (Spade brothers, Obama 08) . Both areas had state rep seats flip there.


SD-18 – Safe D (72.11% for Warren in 2014). Open seat. Jeff Irwin, Michelle Deatrick, and Anuja Rajendra have committees for D’s.

2010 Demographics – 67.4% White, 15.6% Black, 9.1% Asian – 74.1% Obama 08

2016 – Trump 22.24%, Hillary 73.19% – Lost by 73,000

2014 – Snyder 36.54%, Schauer 61.58% – Lost by 22,200

2012 – Romney 26.66%, Obama 71.98% – Lost by 61,800

2006 – DeVos – 26.59%, Granholm 71.99%, lost by 46,000


In 2016, Washtenaw County was the most D county in Michigan beating Wayne County for the first time since I don’t know when. This district is the Eastern Washtenaw County self packing of the Ypsi and Ann Arbor areas, along with poor Salem Twp (an extension of South Lyon) and York Twp. Every community here except those two township leans democrat, although Saline and Augusta Twp are winnable by R’s in good years. Union D Augusta Twp went for Trump and (very slightly) reduced his cratering here.  Ann Arbor is academia personified (UM) as well as the center of Planned Parenthood strength in MI. Ypsilanti is a mix of academia (EMU) along with union and and inner city democrats. It’s usually more D than Ann Arbor except in 2016. This area is a black hole for R’s. Not even Snyder could win it, and he’s from here. That said, Snyder did exceptionally good, getting more votes here than Trump…with the off year turnout. Trump was as extraordinarily bad here as he was extraordinarily good in the neighboring 17th district and Macomb/Genesee seats.


SD-19 – Safe R (61.58% for Nofs in 2014) Open Seat. John Bizon and Mike Callton have committees for R’s. Jason Noble has committee for D’s.

2010 Demographics – 85.7% White, 6.9% black, 49.7% Obama 08

Covers Barry County, Ionia County, and Calhoun County

2016 – Trump 58.00%, Hillary 35.86%, won by 25,800

2014 – Snyder 57.43%, Schauer 40.19%, won by 12,900

2012 – Romney 52.67%, Obama 45.98%, won by 7500

2006 – DeVos 45.35%, Granholm 53.20%, lost by 7200


Outside of a wave here, this is safe R territory. Calhoun County swings and is usually very light blue, but Barry and Ionia County are base R counties unless it is a 2006 year (Granholm actually won Ionia, probably due to correction workers). Half of the district is Calhoun County. The D base is Battle Creek (moderate blue, but winnable in a great R year), Springfield (extension of Battle Creek) and Albion (70%D). A candidate who can compete to near 50/50 in Calhoun will win the district. Romney lost Calhoun and won the district by 7500. Trump won all counties easily, getting 53.47% in Calhoun County and 60%+ in the others.


SD-20 – Lean D (45.58% for O’Brien in 2014) Expect a rematch between Margaret O’Brien and Sean McCann.

2010 Demographics – 79.9% White, 10.7% Black, 58.9% Obama 08

Covers Kalamazoo County

2016 – Trump 40.41%, Hillary 53.17%, lost by 16,000

2014 – Snyder 51.02%, Schauer 46.23%, won by 3900

2012 – Romney 42.75%, Obama 56.06%, lost by 16,400

2006 – DeVos 39.21%, Granholm 59.49%, lost by 19,000


Frankly, I’m shocked this district hasn’t flipped. I’m not sure if we caught a break or not with former RINO Lorence Wenke picking up 7100 votes as a libertarian. I’m at borderline tossup/lean D. Margaret O’Brien is a very good candidate who won a tough race in 2014 against the best the D’s had to run. If she wasn’t an incumbent, I’d go lean D. Off years usually aren’t as bad for us here as POTUS years are which might save us. I have no doubt O’Brien will do her part. I also see too many 5 digit vote spreads here.


SD-21 – Safe R (64.50% for Proos in 2014) – Open Seat, no committees so far.

2010 Demographics – 81% White, 10.4% Black, 51% Obama 08

Covers Berrien, Cass, and St Joseph Counties.

2016 – Trump – 57.25%, Hillary 37.41%, won by 23,500

2014 – Snyder  – 56.84%, Schauer 40.07%, won by 12,000

2012 – Romney – 53.96%, Obama 44.93%, won by 10,700

2006 – DeVos – 51.48%, Granholm 47.15%, won by 3800


Even though Obama won this in 08, I’m calling it safe because despite 2008, the D’s never flipped a state rep district here, even the one covering Benton Harbor which had a turbocharged Obama turnout, nor the very populist and unpredictable Cass County (Obama and Granholm won it, but Romney and Trump won it big).  St Joseph County is a base R county.


SD-22 – Safe R (58.85% for Hune in 2014) Open Seat. Lana Theis has committee for R’s. Adam Dreher has committee for D’s.

2010 Demographics – 93% White, 51.9% McCain 08

Covers all of Livingston County and Bridgewater Twp, Chelsea, Dexter, Dexter Twp, Freedom Twp, Lima Twp, Lodi Twp, Lyndon Twp, Manchester Twp, Northfield Twp, Saline Twp (not City), Scio Twp, Sharon Twp, Sylvan Twp, and Webster Twp in Washtenaw County.

2016 – Trump 55.95%, Hillary 38.66%, won by 26,100

2014 – Snyder 63.65%, Schauer 34.42%, won by 29,100

2012 – Romney 56.61%, Obama 42.34%, won by 21,000

2010 – DeVos 52.71%, Granholm 45.94%, won by 7600


This district is anchored by 60%+R Livingston County which outvotes Western Washtenaw County in this district. Scio Township (extension of Ann Arbor), Dexter, and Chelsea are deep blue D bases, but this is a battle of the bases district, and even when the swing areas (Webster, Sylvan Twp, Dexter Twp etc)  go against the R’s, it’s safe barring a Don Sherwoodesque disaster.

Overall, Trump lost the Washtenaw portion by 5100, Snyder (from Washtenaw) won it by 4300, Romney lost it by 2700, and DeVos lost it by 4500. Trump won Livingston by 31,200. Snyder won it by 25,700, Romney won it 22,800, and DeVos won it by 12,000. That’s the story of the district right there.


SD-23 – Safe D (66.09% for Hertel in 2014) Hertel has another term, but has a primary against Justin DeBoer

2010 Demographics – 71.1% White, 12% Black, 7.6% Latino, 5.4% Asian, 67% Obama 08

Covers all of Ingham County except Leroy Twp, Locke Twp, Wheatfield Twp, Williamstown Twp, and City of Williamston.

2016 – Trump 32.02%, Hillary 61.73%, lost by 36,200

2014 – Snyder 39.29%, Schauer 58.82%, lost by 15,600

2012 – Romney 34.02%, Obama 64.57%, lost by 36,300

2006 – DeVos 31.23%, Granholm 67.60%, lost by 35,400


This district covers most of Ingham County including Lansing, East Lansing, Meridian Twp, Delhi Twp (Holt), and Mason. It’s as safe D as it gets between the state workers and MSU.


SD-24 – Lean R (56.39% for Jones) Open Seat. Tom Barrett and Brett Roberts have committees for R’s. Kelly Rossman-McKinney has committee for D’s.

2010 Demographics – 89% White, 52% Obama 08

Covers Clinton, Eaton, and Shiawassee Counties along with Leroy Twp, Locke Twp, Wheatfield Twp, Williamstown Twp, and City of Williamston in Ingham County.

2016 – Trump 52.28%, Hillary 41.25%, won by 15,500

2014 – Snyder  51.47%, Schauer 46.48%, won by 5000

2012 – Romney 49.49%, Obama 49.29%, won by 273

2006 – DeVos 42.71%, Granholm 56.01%, lost by 15,400

I have this on the tossup/lean R border. Eaton County swings. Clinton County is light red. Shiawassee County also swings, as does the portion of Ingham County. Candidate quality is a huge matter in this district. Off years aren’t a GOP advantage here either due to the large number of state workers in all of the counties here. Tom Barrett is an exceptionally strong candidate here for the R’s. He’s a social conservative who was a state worker before he was elected. He beat an incumbent D in a district that went for Mark Schauer in 2014, so that was all his work. Lean R if Barrett’s the nominee.


SD-25 – Safe R (55.83% for Pavlov) Open Seat. Dan Lauwers has committee for R’s.

2010 Demographics – 93.2% White, 49.1% McCain

Covers Huron, Sanilac, St Clair Counties, along with Armada Twp, New Baltimore, Richmond, and Richmond Twp in Macomb County.

2016 – Trump 64.89%, Hillary 29.91%, won by 48,500

2014 – Snyder 57.65%, Schauer 39.50%, won by 15,500

2012 – Romney 54.89%, Obama 43.94%, won by 13,300

2006 – DeVos 51.17%, Granholm 47.20%, won by 4,100


Phil Pavlov beat the toughest possible opponent in 2014 (Terry Brown). While nothing is completely safe in regards to the Thumb and Macomb and their ticketsplitting tradition, this is about as safe as it can get. Sanilac is a longtime base R county. Huron is populist, but should be a base R county for us (if it isn’t, we’re getting smoked.) St Clair was a ticketsplitting county for years with a D base in Port Huron (which voted for Trump) and blood red areas near the Macomb border.  The Macomb parts of the district are usually safe R areas (although nothing is safe in Macomb).


SD-26 – Safe R (61.38% for Schuitmaker) Open Seat. Bob Genetski has committee for R’s.

2010 Demographics – 82.1% White, 5.3% Black, 8.0% Latino, 50.6% McCain

Covers all of Allegan and Van Buren Counties, along with Gaines Twp and Kentwood in Kent County.

2016 – Trump – 55.20%, Hillary 38.55%, won by 20,900

2014 – Snyder – 62.22%, Schauer 35.21%, won by 21,300

2012 – Romney – 54.77%, Obama 44.07%, won by 12,800

2006 – DeVos – 52.41%, Granholm 46.39%, won by 5900


Northern Allegan County is one of the most GOP areas in the entire country. Allegan County overall is about 40% of the district. Adding GOP base suburb (59% in a bad year) Gaines Township in Kent County makes it over 1/2 of the district.  Van Buren County swings (went for Trump, Obama twice, Granholm, and Bush twice). Kentwood used to be base R, but demographic changes turned it blue. It’s probably 20% black now and another 10% Latino. Any district with all of Allegan County is safe R, but Van Buren, Southern Allegan, and Kent County will be competitive for years to come.


SD-27 – Safe D (77.30% for Ananich) I think he has another term.

2010 Demographics – 61% White, 31.7% Black, 74.9% Obama

Covers Burton, Clio, Flint, Flint Twp, Forest Twp, Genesee Twp, Mount Morris, Mt Morris Twp, Richfield Twp, Swartz Creek, Thetford Twp, and Vienna Twp in Genesee County.

2016 – Trump 33.52%, Hillary 62.19%, lost by 29,300

2014 – Snyder 25.66%, Schauer 71.87%, lost by 31,900

2012 – Romney 24.80%, Obama 74.26%, lost by 54,500

2006 – DeVos – 24.56%, Granholm 74.21%, lost by 44,700


This district is the D base of Genesee County. Flint, Flint Twp, Mount Morris, Genesee Twp, and Burton (shockingly won by Trump), make this one of the safest D districts in the state. All the areas here are staunchly Democrat with the except of Trump’s wins in Burton, Clio, Forest Twp, Richfield Twp, Thetford Twp, and Vienna Twp. Outside of Swartz Creek, Trump won most of the white D areas. 33.52% is actually very impressive for an R in this district, where they consistently get in the mid 20’s. Flint itself is about 1/3 of the district and ranges from 83-89% D.


SD-28 – Safe R (66.14% for MacGregor). MacGregor has another term. Ryan Jeanette has committee for D’s.

2010 Demographics – 84.7% White, 8.5% Latino, 55.5% McCain

Covers Algoma Twp, Alpine Twp, Byron Twp, Cannon Twp, Cedar Springs, Courtland Twp, Grandville, Grattan Twp, Nelson twp, Oakfield Twp, Plainfield Twp, Rockford, Solon Twp, Sparta Twp, Spencer Twp, Tyrone Twp, Vergennes Twp, Walker, and Wyoming in Kent County.

2016 – Trump 57.83%, Hillary 35.66%, won by 29,900

2014 – Snyder 66.74%, Schauer 30.88%, won by 29,900

2012 – Romney 60.51%, Obama 38.47%, won by 28,100

2006 – DeVos  57.92%, Granholm 41.12%, won by 17,700


This is one of the safer districts in Michigan covering rural and suburban Kent County. There are only three strongly competitive suburbs of Grand Rapids, and they are split into different districts. Wyoming is the competitive one in this district and it is slightly under a quarter of the district. It is very light red, as is more rural Alpine Twp due to sizable minority populations. Rural Spencer Twp also went D once for Granholm over DeVos. I wonder that was a local issue (Dick DeVos is from Kent County) since it is usually safe R. The rest of the rural areas and suburbs are base R areas.


SD-29 – Lean D (57.93% for Hildenbrand) Open Seat. Chris Afendoulis has committee for R’s. Winnie Brinks has committee for D’s.

2010 Demographics – 69.2% White, 14.4% Black, 11.4% Latino, 56.3% Ovama 08

Covers Ada Twp, Bowne Twp, Caledonia Twp, Cascade Twp, East Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Twp, Lowell, and Lowell Twp in Kent County

2016 – Trump 39.18%, Hillary 54.31%, lost by 20,600

2014 – Snyder 57.10%, Schauer 40.82%, won by 13,600

2012 – Romney 46.27%, Obama 52.66%, Lost by 8300

2006 – DeVos 48.02%, Granholm 51.93%,  Lost by 3200


Thanks to candidate quality, we have some seats held we have no business winning on paper.  Since I’ve been active in politics, the Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Kalamazoo, Royal Oak, NE Lower peninsula (a big deal in mid 2000’s), and Saginaw based districts have always been in R hands. I don’t expect us to hold all of them forever. I’m going to anger my Grand Rapids area friends, but I have to call this one lean D for now unless there’s another Bill Hardiman or Dave Hildenbrand in the wings. Dave was a great candidate who had two good cycles. Bill won in a buzzsaw year somehow. GR however has gotten more D. It’s not as bad as off years, but in a neutral year in Kent County, it’s trouble when GR is 2/3 of the district.

This is a battle of the bases district (and one swing area in East Grand Rapids) which covers Grand Rapids, some eastern suburbs, and a couple of rural areas east of the city. This was one of Trump’s worst areas. The R’s here are largely Dutch conservatives or influenced by them. They live what they believe and do not like Trump style politicians. In addition, GR itself is democrat due to minorities and a larger than expected population of college students and yuppies downtown. It was a perfect storm for Trump.

Trump won the area outside of the city by 6800. He lost the city by 25,700. Snyder won the area outside of the city by 15,500 and lost the city by 2000. Romney won the area outside of the city by about 13,600. Devos won the area outside of the city by about 9,000 votes. He lost the city by 12,300. I think this state senate seat will be the first to flip (otherwise would say Kalamazoo, but O’Brien’s a strong incumbent).


SD-30 – Safe R (71.42% for Meekhof) Open Seat. Roger Victory, Daniela Garcia, and Joe Haveman have committees for R’s.

2010 Demographics – 87.5% White, 8.7% Latino

Covers all of Ottawa County

2016 – Trump 61.98%, Hillary 31.51%, won by 43,500

2014 – Snyder 73.58%, Schauer 24.52%, won by 43,900

2012 – Romney 66.63%, Obama 32.30%, won by 45,400

2006 – DeVos  65.13%, Granholm 33.89%, won by 34,200


This is the safest seat in Michigan. Ottawa County is (usually) the most R county in the state. Grand Haven (vacation area) and Holland (high Latino population) are competitive, but the rest of the county is blood red. Trump’s numbers were bad for a Republican (like most Dutch areas outside of farm country or up north), and he still won easily. This seat is frustrating because we get some very liberal R’s sometimes elected here considering it is a 65%+ district, but that’s how it goes in West Michigan at times.


SD-31 – Lean R (54.54% for Green). Open Seat. Gary Glenn and Kevin Daley have committees for R’s. Cynthia Luczak has committee for D’s.

2010 Demographics – 92.5% White, Obama 51.7% 08

Covers Bay, Lapeer, and Tuscola Counties

2016 – Trump 60.88%, Hillary 33.73%, won by 33,600

2014 – Snyder 52.07%, Schauer 44.85%, won by 6300

2012 – Romney 51.34%, Obama 47.43%, won by 4800

2006 – DeVos 44.35%, Granholm 53.68%, lost by 9900


This is a social conservative but populist pro-labor area. Lapeer County is one moving our way and I long thought could be the next Livingston County as people are moving from Oakland and Macomb. The southern tier is, but the rest of it is a mix of the “thumb” and more populist Flint area commuters (like Eastern Shiawassee County). Tuscola is a mix of “thumb” and Saginaw commuters. Bay County is UAW country and has a long democrat tradition. Overall, Lapeer is a base county, Tuscola is light to medium red depending on the candidate (exception 2006),  and Bay County a democrat base. It’s overall trending in our direction slowly until Trump’s big win in 2016. Downticket, Mike Green was a perfect fit for the area being a pro-gun, pro-life, semi-populist moderate. The numbers overall are starting to favor us, but Bay County still elects a lot of moderates (pro-gun, pro-life) who also appeal to Tuscola and Lapeer independents. This isn’t a safe district, despite the Trump numbers. If Brunner runs for it, this one could be a darkhorse.


SD-32 – tossup (54.35% for Horn) Horn has another term. Henry Gaudreau has committee for D’s.

2010 Demographics – 76.5% White, 14.2% Black, 6.4% Latino.

Covers all of Saginaw County and Argentine Twp, Clayton Twp, Fenton Twp, Flushing, Flushing Twp, Gaines Twp, Linden, Montrose, and Montrose Twp in Genesee County.

2016 – Trump 50.62%, Hillary 44.47%, won by 8100

2014 – Snyder 46.77%, Schauer 50.92%, lost by 3900

2012 – Romney 45.46%, Obama 53.55%, lost by 10,900

2006 – DeVos 39.41%, Granholm 59.37%, lost by 21,300


This is another candidate quality district. D’s have run bad candidates for this district while R’s run good ones. On paper it leans D, but matchups matter. We’ve had this district since Mike Goschka’s upset win years back (1998?). Western Genesee is difficult, but winnable for all parties (Fenton and Argentine lean R, Flushing goes either way, NW Genesee leans D). Saginaw County has a mix of light blue union commuting rural areas to the south, R leaning western suburbs, base R Frankenmuth, and the D base area of Saginaw, Buena Vista Twp, Bridgeport Twp, and Carrollton usually outvoting everyone.

Trump won the Genesee County part by 7000. He won Saginaw County by 1100. Snyder won the Genesee County part by 1200. He lost Saginaw County by 5100. Romney  won the Genesee County part by 730. He lost Saginaw County by 11,600. DeVos  lost Genesee County portion by 3500. He lost Saginaw County by 18,700.

Our chances here depend on the matchups. Eventually the D’s may get their act together here and nominate someone besides a far leftist from Saginaw City against the R’s tendency to nominate pro-gun/pro-life moderates. R’s may make a mistake and nominate a union buster here. If both sides get their act together here, slight D advantage outside of a Trump year. If it’s the same ole of the past 15 years, slight lean R.


SD-33 – Safe R (57.21% for Emmons) Open Seat. Rick Outman has committee for R’s.

2010 Demographics – 90.7% White, 52.3% Obama

Covers Clare, Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta, and Montcalm counties.

2016 – Trump 58.51%, Hillary, 35.37%, won by 22,900

2014 – Snyder 53.00%, Schauer 43.67%, won by 6100

2012 – Romney 50.86%, Obama 47.84%, won by 2900

2006 – DeVos 45.58%, Granholm 52.99%, lost by 6100


This is the Safe/Lean R border. I say that because the D’s in Isabella County have yet to flip even a state rep seat. If they can’t flip their d leaning (on paper) state rep seat, they won’t flip this one.  Clare is a traditionally swing county, but moving back our way. Gratiot and Montcalm are light red outside of 06/08 disaster. Mecosta is light to moderate red. Isabella County leans democrat with Mt Pleasant and Central Michigan University. Trump actually won Isabella County, which shocked me. R’s haven’t won that in a Presidential (Engler held it in gubernatorial years since that’s his home) since 88. Trump did extraordinarily well in Montcalm County. Greenville was infamous for the Electrolux plant closing and manufacturing jobs going out of the country.


SD-34 – Tossup (55.60% for Hansen) Open Seat. Holly Hughes and Jon Bumstead have committees for R’s. Demario Phillips has committee for D’s.

2010 Demographics – 80.8% White, 10.1% Black, 5.9% Latino, 59% Obama 08

Covers Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties.

2016 – Trump 51.95%, Hillary 42.15%, won by 11,100

2014 – Snyder 51.27%, Schauer 45.67%, won by 4000

2012 – Romney 45.45%, Obama 53.37%, lost by 11,300

2006 – DeVos 40.07%, Granholm 58.88%, lost by 17.400


This is similar to the Grand Rapids district although Trump made a lot of inroads here. It’s a battle of the deep red Newaygo County, light red (outside 2006/2008) Oceana County, swingish Muskegon suburbs, and deep blue Muskegon/Muskegon Heights. Muskegon County (city and burbs) is the most unionized part of West Michigan with the auto industry. The Cities of Muskegon and Muskegon Heights have large minority populations as well. Trump’s performance in Oceana County (60%) surprised me since it has a large Mexican population. Muskegon County is about 3/4 of the district.

Trump lost Muskegon County by 1200, and won the rest of the district by 12,300. Snyder won the portion outside Muskegon County by 4900. He lost Muskegon County by 1900. Romney won the portion outside of Muskegon County by 4900. He lost Muskegon County by 13,600. DeVos won the portion outside of Muskegon County by 337 and lost Muskegon County by 17,700. This is always a difficult battle, although Holly Hughes has been in every battle there is. She’s won and lost multiple times in a swing to lean D district and most critically, represents the Muskegon suburbs.


SD-35 – Safe R (59.53% for Booher) Open Seat. Ray Franz, Nancy Butler, and Bruce Rendon have committees for R’s.

2010 Demographics – 94.1% white, 49.3% Obama 08

Covers Benzie, Crawford, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Osceola, Roscommon, Wexford.

2016 – Trump 61.20%, Hillary 33.48%, won by 36,100

2014 – Snyder 54.96%, Schauer 41.98%, won by 11,700

2012 – Romney 53.86%, Obama 44.91%, won by 11,400

2006 – DeVos 49.53%, Granholm 48.89%, won by 694


Outside of Leelanau County (wine country, many Chicago and Ann Arbor transplants), this was some of Trump’s best areas. It’s a mix of Base R areas (Kalkaska, Missaukee, Osceola, Wexford), traditional D areas moving away (Ogemaw, Roscommon, lesser extent moving away in Lake),  usually light red Crawford, Leelanau, and Mason (outside of 2006 buzzsaw), swingish Benzie, and still strongly union D leaning (but Trump won it) Manistee. Leelanau County will be a challenge in the future, but as long as Ogemaw and Roscommon don’t revert to their roots (even Romney won them) we should be alright with Missaukee and Wexford anchoring this area.


SD-36 – Safe R (61.26% for Stamas) Stamas has another term

2010 Demographics – 95.3% White (49.8% McCain)

Covers Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Gladwin, Iosco, Midland, Montmorency, Oscoda, Otsego, and

Presque Isle Counties.


2016 – Trump 61.74%, Hillary 32.64%, won by 36,600

2014 – Snyder 56.10%, Schauer 40.89%, won by 13,200

2012 – Romney 55.36%, Obama 43.45%, won by 14,700

2006 – DeVos 47.77%, Granholm 50.72%, lost by 3000


If you told me 15 years ago that I’d call this district Safe R, I’d laugh in your face. It was a very difficult win in 2002 for a slightly more friendly district that some considered an upset.  2006 was a buzzsaw here as well.  I considered it a conservadem district then. I’m still tempted to call it lean R. It’s the sunrise coast and Midland. Midland is a base county for R’s outside of 2006 (only time in 50 years to go D?). Otsego County is also a base R county. Alpena, Arenac, Gladwin, Iosco, and Presque Isle USED to be somewhere between light blue and base counties for D’s, especially downticket and in off years (state workers). 2010 realigned North Michigan more than any other area in the state, if not the country. One of the few 2012 bright spots was Romney flipping stubbornly D Alpena and Arenac. The question is if the Trump numbers here are normal. I have to believe that to see it, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see this consistently in the high 50’s with numbers slightly better than Snyder’s long term. Breaking 60% in Alpena, Arenac, and Presque Isle County I don’t see consistently with candidates not named Trump.


SD-37 – Safe R (61.08% for Schmidt) Schmidt has another term.

2010 Demographics – 89% White, 51% McCain

Covers Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Luce, and Mackinac Counties

2016 – Trump 57.55%, Hillary 36.64%, won by 28,500

2014 – Snyder 57.73%, Schauer 39.51%, won by 17,000

2012 – Romney 56.10%, Obama 42.68%, won by 17,500

2006 – DeVos 49.77%, Granholm 48.61%, won by 1222

This district is now Safe R due to the trends in the UP and the growth in lower northern Michigan. One danger to keep an eye on is Traverse City. It’s a blue area in this otherwise red district. If the blue goes to the suburbs (it hasn’t, yet), then the state rep district there could be trouble in the future. It’ll take awhile for that to cause problems in the Senate, unless Petoskey follows in TC’s footsteps, and/or the UP counties revert back to their D roots.


SD-38 – Tossup (61.68% for Casperson) Open Seat. Mike Carey and Ed McBroom have committees for R’s. Scott Dianda has committee for the D’s.

2010 Demographics – 92.8% White, 52.7% Obama 08

Covers Alger, Baraga, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keewenaw, Marquette, Menominee

Ontonagon, and Schoolcraft in the UP

2016 – Trump 55.57%, Hillary 38.57%, won by 20,600

2014 – Snyder 49.94%, Schauer 47.59%, won by 1940

2012 – Romney 50.27%, Obama 48.37%, won by 2270

2006 – DeVos 38.93%, Granholm 59.56%, lost by 19,500


This is a traditionally democrat district moving in our direction. Until Tom Casperson took in 2010, it’s been D for probably 50 years or more.  Despite the movement, I have this as tossup  for two reasons. Reason 1 is Marquette. Reason 2 is the D’s are running their best candidate in Scott Dianda, an old school yooper pro 2nd Amendment democrat who has a lot of independent appeal.

All of these counties used to lean D outside of sometimes Houghton and Dickinson which often, but not always voted Republican. Today the D strongholds is Marquette, and to a lesser extent Gogebic County (even though Trump won it). Alger and Iron Counties I’d consider swing counties today, with the rest tilt R, but winnable for the right D. Also keep in mind that the UP is more D on the state level than the federal level due to government workers, in particular police, corrections, and DNR. This is going to be a difficult defense with Dianda, but McBroom has a good geographic advantage as well if he’s the nominee.

If we split the tossups with the D’s and lose the lean D seats, it will be a 22-16 map. If all the tossups are gone, it will be 19-19 with the next LG being the tie-breaker. With open seats for the governor, AG, Sec of State, and state house up, this will be big. It will be enormous for redistricting purposes.




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  • Izengabe November 15, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Really good stuff!!! Thanks!

    Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

  • Red Oaks November 15, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks very much for doing this!

    These ranking are pretty cautious, which is probably fine at this stage of the cycle. I just disagree with two of these, District 29 (Grand Rapids based district) and District 38 (most of the UP).

    I have 29 as a pure tossup. Chris Afendoulis is fundraising well and comes from a well connected local business family. This district is quite a bit different turnout wise in midterms versus Presidential election years, which helps the GOP. Even in Presidential years the City of Grand Rapids doesn’t produce as many voters as its raw population totals would suggest. Also the Trump numbers look bad because he is such a poor fit for this area. Afendoulis isn’t a Trumpy Republican at all – he won his open state house race in 2014 with over 67% of the vote and won reelection with almost 64% in 2016 despite Trump dragging him down and the presence of a Libertarian candidate. Winnie Brinks actually didn’t win reelection by that much in 2014. Democrats are much weaker at the local level here than top of the ticket numbers would suggest. Both sides have high floors in the district so it isn’t really possible for anyone to win landslides.

    By contrast I have 38 as at least lean Democrat. House district 109, which is in this Senate district, has been very safely Democratic for a long time even in wave years. Recently Democrats held 109 in a special election with a flawed candidate by almost 10%. District 110, also entirely in this Senate district, has almost always been safely Democratic outside of the 2010 wave. Scott Dianda, the 110 incumbent, is the exact sort of Bart Stupak Democrat who tends to romp in the UP. It will be very tough for former district 108 holder Ed McBroom to pile up margins in 108 to make up for losses elsewhere. I would be more confident about his chances if he won by larger margins in his state house races. In 2012 he only won by 9%. In 2010 and 2014 he won by just under 20%, which sounds better but Dianda won his 2014 race by more than 21%. The Dems still held most county commission seats in this area even after voting for Trump in 2016. I would like to believe this is a tossup but I just can’t.

    MI-03: Tired of Presidency; Focused more on downballot races; Chris Afendoulis for State Senate

    • twinpines November 24, 2017 at 1:19 am

      Very well said. Senate district 38 is at least lean Dem. I would consider it very possibly likely Dem. McBroom is a weak candidate and he’s pretty open about that. He mentioned at one meeting that he considers SD 38 the most likely dem pick-up next year and I tend to agree. Dianda, while I dislike him, the guy holds down a district that is more conservative then SD 38 with ease. I do think we are headed for multiple losses next year in the senate where we are very over extended. SD 20 is also at least lean-dem and SD 29 is probably lean-dem. Dems have a great candidate running in SD 32 so we could lose that district depending on the primary. At this point I consider 7, 13, 24, and 34 to be toss-ups. SD 10 is close to a toss-up as again the dems have a great candidate but the district is a little red which is going to make it tough for them.

      MI SD-38, Conservative Independent, not associated with either party.

      • twinpines November 24, 2017 at 1:24 am

        This is the guy I am referring to in SD-32. While its early, he seems to have a great candidate profile for this mildly dem leaning district.


        MI SD-38, Conservative Independent, not associated with either party.

        • Red Oaks November 24, 2017 at 4:45 pm

          I hadn’t noticed before that you lived in Michigan. If this is a recent move then welcome!

          Yeah, you are probably right about SD-32. I’m much more bullish about 7 and 13 though. Laura Cox, the likely nominee in the 7th, always runs up big margins in Livonia/Northville/Plymouth and is the sort of “reasonable Republican” that Canton tends to be OK with. In SD-13 Marty Knollenberg is an incumbent and Democrats don’t seem to have a candidate now. The Trump numbers look pretty bad here but downballot Republicans did OK in this area in 2016.

          The good news is that Senate losses don’t make much difference legislatively because the current standing is an already large 27-11. Prior to 2011 the GOP Senate majority was never more than 23-15 and was usually less than that. I would have personally preferred that more House incumbents run for reelection rather than try for the Senate in 2018 because the House is still the chamber that could possibly flip.

          MI-03: Tired of Presidency; Focused more on downballot races; Chris Afendoulis for State Senate

          • Republican Michigander November 24, 2017 at 9:29 pm

            Basically the 7th breaks down as follows.

            Canton – About 30% of the district and getting bluer. 5000-6800 vote deficit in a bad year. Snyder did win it in 2014. Colbeck lost it by 1900. DeVos lost it by 3000 in the 2006 buzzsaw.
            Wayne – This is the forgotten part of the district. R’s never break 40% here. Trump did the best here with 39.79%. The only good part about Wayne is that it is relatively small and about 5% of the vote. It’s still a 1000-2500 deficit to make up. Colbeck lost it by 1200.
            Plymouth City – The other often winnable place for D’s, but usually around 50/50. Colbeck lost it by 8 votes.
            Between those three D tilting areas, Colbeck had about 3100 deficit to make up. He won by about 5400.

            Livonia is the must win and is still the largest municipality in the district (about 35%). It is also winnable for D’s in a bad year. Colbeck won it by 3300 and cancelled out the deficit. Trump won it by 4100 which didn’t cut it for him. DeVos lost it. Romney won it by 2400 which didn’t cut it for him with the Wayne cratering. The other townships, Northville and Plymouth, are base areas.

            I’m more bullish on the 32nd – as long as someone from Saginaw City runs. That said, Trump was the ONLY top of the ticket guy to win the district. Even in off years, Saginaw City and Buena Vista alone are a 7500-10K deficit to make up. Ken Horn is a strong incumbent which helps.

            MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

            • Red Oaks November 24, 2017 at 9:41 pm

              Yes, that’s all accurate information. I would just add two things:
              1. Democrats can only carry Livonia in landslide statewide elections not State Senate/State Rep/county commissioner races. John Walsh won the open 19th district by close to 20% as an open seat in the overall disastrous year of 2008. Laura Cox won every 0ne of her elections in Livonia (and Northville) by large margins.
              2. Colbeck was a weak fit for the district, particularly Canton. He had no electoral record prior to 2010 and was too much of a outspoken conservative to have much appeal to crossover voters or those in the “mushy middle”. I expect a more generic GOP nominee (like Cox) to perform better.

              MI-03: Tired of Presidency; Focused more on downballot races; Chris Afendoulis for State Senate

          • twinpines November 26, 2017 at 12:30 am

            Thanks, I moved back to the UP just under a year ago.

            MI SD-38, Conservative Independent, not associated with either party.

  • Conservative First November 16, 2017 at 4:06 am

    Good article. As usual, you are more pessimistic than I am with ratings. A few comments/corrections:
    The Senate is currently 27-11 for Rs.
    Incumbents in 16, 17, 27 can all run for reelection.
    It’s worth noting that Ds have top candidates in only four competitive districts (10, 20, 29, 38) while Rs don’t have a top candidate in only one competitive district (10). If Ds want to pick up seats they will need better recruits.
    Here is my article on the Michigan State Senate:

  • Jon November 16, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Just thinking that next year we could use a similar article on the Missouri Senate after the filing period closes. It seems that half the state senators whose seats are up in 2018 are term limited out (in some cases those in this category have already resigned early.)

    45, M, MO-02

  • rdelbov November 16, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Great stuff-this is what makes RRH RRH

  • Republican Michigander November 17, 2017 at 10:49 am

    If I have time, I’ll do one for state rep, but with 110 of them and more split municipalities, it’s a lot more work. For some of the obvious ones, I won’t run full numbers. We all know that Lansing, Ann Arbor, Flint, Detroit, are safe D.

    MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

    • twinpines November 24, 2017 at 1:38 am

      with a little bit of excel skills Michigan is actually an easy state to calculate these. Its doable with an hour or two of work manipulating the excel file on the michigan SOS page to get all the data. One hint to make the work faster, use pivot tables in excel.

      MI SD-38, Conservative Independent, not associated with either party.

  • twinpines November 24, 2017 at 1:51 am

    In terms of the senate, I expect multiple loses. Potentially more then in the state house. While I expect we will lose seats in the state house to, there is some room for gain. HD 110 on paper is probably one of the best seats but the local republicans can’t even find someone to run at the moment and never seem to make an effort to win this seat. The other good target is HD 25 which probably would have been ours in 2016 if the state party had put a little effort into the race. HD 23 is a decent target but with an incumbent, it will be harder. The toughest hold is likely HD 62. Overall though, unlike the Virginia house of delegates, the Michigan legislature should be an easier hold. Not to worried about losing the legislature unless things get much worse.

    MI SD-38, Conservative Independent, not associated with either party.

    • Republican Michigander November 24, 2017 at 10:31 am

      The 62nd was actually a D sink district made to protect the then-speaker Bolger in the neighboring district. I thought (and still think) is it completely idiotic to put Battle Creek and Albion in the same district unless you’re forced to put all of Calhoun County in one district. 23rd, 25th, and 110 are good offensive targets.

      Unfortunately, the closest there is to any “offensive” target in the Senate is the 6th and 9th districts, which are Union D blue sinks. It’s all defense there.

      MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

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