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Pennsylvania 2018 Court Map (Updated)

So since the PA Supremes look like they might overturn the congressional map, I decided to draw what I think a truly nonpartisan Pennsylvania map might look like. This map tries to keep in mind county splits, compactness, and COI to the point where I think this is a reasonable map the Court could implement if they’re not trying to be totally Dem hacks. There are no municipality splits other than Philly and just 11 counties are split (Allegheny, Butler, Chester, Cumberland, Delaware, Luzerne, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Synder). This map is overall 9R-4D-5S, though I would bet the final result if implemented for 2018 is closer to 9-9 than 14-4. Thanks to RRR and Ryan_in_SEPA for their help, particularly on the SEPA portion.

Statewide map:

1. Brady (D-Overbrook, Philadelphia) and Meehan (R-Upper Darby) D+30 in 2008, D+34 in 2012/16, 44/41/5 W/B/H VAP, Safe D

Dividing Philly North-South is actually a bit more logical from a compactness point of view than the current East/West split. Brady’s district gives up the Hispanic areas of eastern North Philly for Black West Philly, making this seat likely to have a Black-majority Dem electorate. It also includes the heavily black-middle-class eastern towns of Delaware County to equalize population, meaning Meehan technically now lives in this seat. This seat is actually one of the few that is getting much more white as many neighborhoods south and west of Center City are gentrifying rapidly, so there’s a real possibility a white liberal and Black coalition could dislodge Brady if his ethics issues become more salient.

2. Evans (D-Oak Lane, Philadelphia) D+37 in 2008, D+40 in 2012/16, 27/50/17 W/B/H VAP, Safe D

This seat is a pretty good illustration of just how massive North Philly’s ghettoes are, as this becomes an entirely North Philly district, getting some Hispanic-heavy neighborhoods and some lower-middle-class areas of the lower Northeast, plus a few Roxborough wealthy white liberals. This seat is is probably one of the 10 poorest districts in the country and still Black-majority by a hair (though the D primary electorate will be easily majority-Black). It is totally safe for Evans in both the primary and general.

3. Kelly (R-Butler) R+2 in 2008, R+7 in 2012/16, Safe R

I tried to make this seat a purely small-town NWPA seat, without any rural mountain areas or Pittsburgh suburbs. The result is reuniting Erie and dropping some Pittsburgh suburbs to make a very clean, very blue collar district. This probably would have been very competitive or even flipped as late as 2012, but it is very Trump-friendly and should be totally Safe for Kelly nowadays.

4. Perry (R-Carroll Twp.) R+13 in 2008, R+17 in 2012/16, Safe R

Not much changes with this district, except it loses Harrisburg and gets more Republicans from Franklin County. Totally Safe for Perry in the primary and general.

5. Thompson (R-Howard Twp.) R+9 in 2008, R+17 in 2012/16, Safe R

This seat is State College plus a big swath of some of the Northeast’s most rural territory. Loses its arm into Erie and is still totally Safe for Thompson in the primary and general.

6. OPEN D+1 in 2008, R+3 in 2012/16, Tossup

Berks County has been epically sliced and diced since 2002, but this map reunites it in one district. Berks is actually a right-trending area, but the cleanest thing to do was attach it to some upscale outer Montgomery suburbs that are trending hard-left. The net result is a beautifully clean, very diverse district socioeconomically that’s a pure Tossup politically and likely to remain so. Costello represents a plurality of this seat, but Meehan also represents a sizeable chunk of it, and neither one has a real base here. Given the tradeoff of moving to a new base vs. running in the tougher 7th (see below) this seat could be open, have one incumbent, or even see a Costello-Meehan primary mashup in which neither would have an obvious edge.

7. Costello (R-West Chester) D+3 in 2008, D+4 in 2012/16, Lean D pickup

Now to the part that Democrats will really like about this map. The current 7th is a ridiculous gerrymander spreading across a huge area of suburban SEPA.  This seat becomes a clean, very COI-friendly, pairing of the middle-ring suburban parts of Chester and Delaware counties, which is almost entirely upscale (except for the city of Chester) and trending left hard. Both Meehan and Costello’s bases are here, meaning that they could wind up facing off in a primary that wouldn’t do the winner any favors in the general. Alternatively, either or both could move to the 6th or take on Smucker in the 16th, meaning this seat could even wind up open. This is a seat with strong GOP heritage that has a decent chance to be held by a strong incumbent like Meehan or Costello IL-10 style, even in a tough environment. But all in all this seat is more likely than not to wind up in Dem hands.

8. Fitzpatrick (R-Middletown Twp.) D+1 in 2008, R+1 in 2012/16, Lean R

Bucks County is almost the perfect size for a district and has to stay whole, which means this district doesn’t change much at all. Getting a little bit of the Northeast tip of Philadelphia makes it cleaner than taking some of Montgomery, so that’s the only change. Still a very typical swing district with a broad cross-section of upscale and downscale suburbs that will give Fitzpatrick a tough fight in 2018, though with his incumbency I’d mark him a very slight favorite.

9. Shuster (R-Holidaysburg) R+11 in 2008, ~R+20 in 2012/16, Safe R

This seat covers almost all of rural SWPA outside of the Pittsburgh metro area, including Altoona and Johnstown. This is a historically-R seat, and the historically-D parts of the district are trending right hard. Shuster gets a significant amount of new territory, but should still be a primary favorite.

10. Marino (R-Williamsport) R+9 in 2008, R+16 in 2012/16, Safe R

This seat covers a bunch of small towns in NEPA that have been sliced and diced on the current map. This seat is trending right strongly, and basically a clean and compact COI; while Marino gets a big chunk of new territory he should still be Safe in the primary and general.

11. OPEN R+8 in 2008, R+10 in 2012/16, Safe R

The Harrisburg area is a mess on the current map and this seat makes a compact COI of basically the entire metro and little else. Most of the candidates who are running for the current 11th are from that side of the district, so I would expect them all to run here. This seat is red enough for the primary winner to likely have little trouble in the general barring something unexpected.

12. Rothfus (R-Edgeworth) R+9 in 2008, R+8 in 2012/16, Safe R

This seat basically unites almost all of Pittsburgh’s white-collar suburbs. Beaver County doesn’t belong from a socioeconomic point of view, but it makes the seat much more compact and isn’t a horrible COI. This seat has some tension between SWPA’s downscale heritage and Pittsburgh’s development as a white-collar center, but overall the seat is Republican up and down ballot. It’s a fair amount of new territory for Rothfus, but he should be Safe in the primary and general barring something unexpected or a truly mammoth wave.

13. Boyle (D-Bustleton, Philadelphia) D+9 in 2008, D+12 in 2012/16, Safe D

This seat combines the white-liberal heavy southern half of Montgomery County with the lower-middle-class central part of Northeast Philly. Boyle may actually live just over the line in the 8th, though he could easily move back here. With less of the Northeast and more white liberals in the district, Boyle could potentially be vulnerable to a primary challenge, though I would guess that his incumbency is enough to carry him through.

14. Doyle (D-Forest Hills) D+13 in 2008, D+16 in 2012/16, Safe D

This seat becomes significantly cleaner and gets unpacked a bit by following municipal lines. Still includes the entire city of Pittsburgh and its inner, generally blue collar, southern and eastern suburbs. This seat is actually trending left with the influx of white liberals. Should be totally safe for Doyle both primary and general.

15. OPEN D+3 in 2008, EVEN in 2012/16, Tossup

This seat reunites the Lehigh Valley into one district, which is almost the perfect size for a seat. It has a tiny bit of the Poconos to equalize population. This is a purely swing seat, with a diverse mix of urban and suburban, white and blue collar areas, that should be very competitive in 2018 almost regardless of who the parties nominate.

16. Smucker (R-West Lampeter Twp.) R+7 in 2008, R+9 in 2012/16, Safe R

This is a beautifully clean pairing of all of Lancaster and the exurban western parts of Chester County; basically the Amish Paradise seat. This seat is very historically-Republican, and though the Chester part of the district is trending left, Lancaster is pretty static to even trending right. Smucker should probably be safe here barring a massive wave. Though there is a chance Costello would challenge him in a primary, Smucker would still be a fairly strong favorite.

17. Cartwright (D-Moosic) D+4 in 2008, R+1 in 2012/16, Tossup

This seat takes in the rural areas of NEPA and part of the Poconos to pair with essentially the entire Scranton-Wilkes Barre metro. The net result is that Cartwright’s purple to light-blue seat becomes light red by adding some very historically-R areas. This is a decent pickup opportunity for the GOP even in 2018 with a decent candidate, though Cartwright’s incumbency and the national mood probably keep it in the Tossup category.

18. VACANT (probably Saccone, R-Elizabeth Twp.) R+9 in 2008, R+13 in 2012/16, Safe R

This seat doesn’t change a whole lot, but now includes all of Washington, Greene, and Westmoreland Counties, along with some small chunks of southern Allegheny to equalize population. This seat is even more blue-collar than the previous version and very Trump-friendly. Assuming the GOP doesn’t blow it in the special Saccone should be safe in this seat for the 2018 primary and general.

UPDATE: Alternate SEPA Version

This is an alternate version that makes some different (but essentially equally valid) choices in SEPA. I like this slightly less than the above version (mostly because I feel the Berks split is a bit awkward and PA-1 is something of a COI mashup) but some people have liked it better. Only the 7 SEPA seats (1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 13, 16) are affected.

1. Brady (D-Overbrook, Philadelphia) and Meehan (R-Upper Darby) D+23 in 2008, D+26 in 2012/16, 53/36/3 W/B/H VAP, Safe D

This seat is something of an awkward COI mashup of urban south and west Philly and most of DelCo, though for parochial interests it’s probably not a terrible fit. The population split is almost a perfect 50-50, but Philly casts a majority of the D primary vote. Brady could have some real trouble from a coalition of blacks and white liberals here. The seat is white-majority by VAP but white-plurality by total population.

2. Evans (D-Oak Lane, Philadelphia) D+39 in 2008, D+42 in 2012/16, 26/52/14 W/B/H VAP, Safe D

North Philly’s ghettoes, without the white liberals in Roxborough/Manayunk but some White Liberals in Center City as well. Majority-black but has some Hispanic-heavy neighborhoods and some lower-middle-class areas of the lower Northeast. This seat is is probably in contention for the title of the nation’s poorest. It is totally safe for Evans in both the primary and general.

6. OPEN D+4 in 2008, D+2 in 2012/16, Tossup

This seat has most (but not all) of the Reading metro area, along with some rural areas of Eastern Berks, plus the suburban northern 2/3 or so of Montgomery. In spite of the huge portion of upscale left-trending MontCo suburbs in this seat, it’s actually moving right as the blue-collar Reading area has been stampeding rightward enough to offset it. Neither Costello nor Meehan lives here, but both represent sizeable chunks of the seat and either could easily carpetbag. If one of them runs here, I would say their incumbency probably leaves them a very slight favorite as long as the year isn’t too horrible, but Democrats are probably more likely than not to pick this one up if it were an open seat. However, the Dem primary electorate here is very liable to nominate a bold progressive (hello, Manan) that could underperform in the Berks part of the seat.

7. Costello (R-West Chester) D+1 in 2008, D+1 in 2012/16, Tossup/Tilt R

All of Chester plus the northwestern third or so of Delaware. Unlike the equivalent Delaware/Chester mashup, this is not a seat that Democrats would get without one heck of a fight. Costello lives here and Meehan’s base is here, and this is a seat that either could easily hold, even in a bad year. Trump underperformed here, but not by as much as you might guess. This seat would probably be a pure Tossup, even in a less than ideal environment, with either Meehan or Costello so long as they don’t both run here and bang each other up in a primary.

8. Fitzpatrick (R-Middletown Twp.) D+1 in 2008, R+1 in 2012/16, Lean R

Bucks County is almost the perfect size for a district and has to stay whole, which means this district doesn’t change much at all. With this configuration it’s a bit cleaner to have the seat take some border townships of MontCo rather than NE Philly, but that doesn’t really make any difference politically. Due to incumbency I’d put Fitzpatrick as a slight favorite.

13. Boyle (D-Bustleton, Philadelphia) D+13 in 2008, D+16 in 2012/16, Safe D

This seat combines the white-liberal heavy southern half of Montgomery County and Roxborough/Manayunk with all of lower-middle-class, blue collar Northeast Philly. Unlike the map above, Boyle will have no trouble here primary or general as Northeast Philly makes up nearly 2/3 of the seat.

16. Smucker (R-West Lampeter Twp.) R+8 in 2008, R+11 in 2012/16, Safe R

This seat now becomes something close to a GOP vote sink by pairing Lancaster with most of the deeply Republican rural parts of Berks and some Reading suburbs. Totally safe for Smucker both primary and general.

Michigan State Senate 2018 Preview (all up in 2018)

Michigan State Senate 2018 Preview

The official Michigan State Senate Map is Here –

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.




Gubernatorial Power Comparison

So, to distract from the s*show that is the current news cycle, here’s a map that I’d like some input on. I’ve been trying to think more closely about an overall sense of what powers Governors have and which ones are stronger or weaker. Thinking about things like executive branch control (i.e. number of Row Officers), judicial appointment powers, selection of LGs, veto threshholds and influence on the legislature, term limits or lack thereof, etc. Here’s what I’ve come up with. I’d love to hear any comments about how to make changes.

Red = Extremely weak (the 6 states with no veto + NH, where the EC limits the Governor dramatically + NC, whose Gov has a veto but little else)
Orange = Somewhat weaker than average
Green = Average
Blue = Somewhat stronger than average
Gray = Imperial Governor (NJ)

2017 NYC Mayoral Race by Precinct

Below is a preliminary precinct map of the 2017 NYC Mayoral Race. New York doesn’t count absentees until well after election day, so this is only of the election day vote. Not all precincts are reporting yet.

As you can see, Malliotakis cleaned up on Staten Island, Southern Brooklyn, and the white parts of Queens and the Bronx. She even won the tonier parts of the Upper East Side. de Blasio won everywhere else. As of right now, Albanese is ahead in one Coney Island precinct.

Here’s a “swing” map of de Blasio’s 2017 general election percentage minus Clinton’s 2016 general election percentage (I took off the precinct lines to make it easier to see Manhattan):

de Blasio outperformed Clinton in many of the Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, like Borough Park. This probably shouldn’t be so surprising, since Orthodox Jews tend to be less Republican down ballot and Trump won a lot of the Orthodox neighborhoods by large margins. The rest of the map is pretty much the racial map of NYC, with Clinton-supporting whites generally living in the darker blue areas. (Note: I made a computational mistake on my original swing map. It was updated on 11/11).

Perhaps still more to come.

Delaware Presidential PVIs, 1916-2016

Kent County, home to the capital Dover, has been a swing county for most of the century. The state capital, Dover, is located here and only makes up about a fifth of the county’s population. Most of the rest of the county leans Republican. The only times Kent has gone Democratic were in Democratic landslides, 1980, 1996 (because voters were more receptive to moderate southerners Carter and Clinton) and when native son Joe Biden was on the ticket. Without him, Kent reverted back to its lean-Republican ways.

New Castle, the most populous of the three counties and part of the Philadelphia area, and also home to the highly influential DuPont family, voted the same way as the state in most presidential elections. The county was strongly Republican before swinging Democratic in the Depression, moderating after the war, and swinging to LBJ. However, New Castle reverted to a Republican PVI in the 1970s and 1980s, though it was now the least Republican of the three counties. In the 1990s, the DuPonts’ influence waned and the urban areas made a sharp left turn like many in the country, bringing New Castle firmly into the Democratic column and Delaware into a nearly reliably Democratic state.

Sussex has more in common culturally with the South, though it was not solidly Democratic like most of the South was in the 1930s and 1940s. While it had a Democratic PVI even in 1964 and did not vote for Goldwater, it swung sharply Republican in the Nixon and Reagan landslides. Sussex was also receptive to Carter and Clinton, but returned to the Republican column from 2000 onwards, not even voting Democratic with Biden on the ticket. Interestingly, Sussex had a less Republican PVI in 2016 than after the Nixon and Reagan landslides.

Here is the link for the Delaware PVIs.

Here are the maps.

Delaware County PVIs

Delaware Statewide PVIs

Connecticut Presidential PVIs, 1888-2016

Before I begin, I want to say that I know Connecticut no longer has functioning county governments. However, the old county lines can still be useful because finding the information for all the individual cities and towns would take a lot more time than I have right now. I eventually want to get around to doing city and town information eventually, but for the sake of this series I will keep consistent with the other states.

In 1884, 1888, and 1892 Connecticut voted for Grover Cleveland, the only New England state that went Democratic in those elections. Looking at the county level, around this time there were divisions between the Republican-leaning WASP populations, especially in Yale, and the Democratic-leaning Catholic ethnic populations and state government employees in Hartford. Also some interesting trivia on Cleveland’s family: his grandfather William served in the Connecticut legislature and his father Richard graduated from Yale.

In 1896 Republicans’ fortunes took a sharp turn for the better after Democrats became divided over issues including William Jennings Bryan’s presidential candidacies, as well as who would control the state party, the rural Yankees or the urban Irish. Factory workers voted Republican except Irish Catholics. The rules that called for one town regardless of size to elect one representative also assured Republican dominance. While Connecticut was solidly in the Republican column, its PVI became less Republican due to the national popular vote catching up in the early 1900s.

Unlike the country as a whole, Taft placed second in Connecticut in 1912 so the state was more Republican relative to the country as a whole. The industrialized/Protestant-influenced north outside of Hartford voted more Republican than the Yale/immigrant-influenced south through the Wilson elections. Connecticut’s popular vote followed fairly close to the nation at large in most of the 1920s, as in big Republican wins in both. (Davis in 1924 received similar numbers in Connecticut and the nation at large; Coolidge did better while LaFollette did worse.) The better Republican numbers in 1924 were balanced out by Smith doing better in Connecticut than the nation at large in 1928.

Connecticut didn’t trend as dramatically Democratic in the 1930s; in fact it trended Republican through 1936. Hartford switched to a Democratic PVI in 1940 and stayed that way ever since. New Haven would remain slightly Republican for some elections, but never had a PVI greater than R+2.33 since 1940. New London and Windham Counties in the east were evenly divided from FDR’s 4th term to JFK. Windham County, in the Quiet Corner, is part of the media market of Worcester, Massachusetts, and trended slightly Democratic.

The 1960s saw a dramatic Democratic realignment throughout the state. Only Litchfield and highly wealthy Fairfield, parts of the greater New York area, at the time were at the most swingy. Through the Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush years, these two counties were the Republicans’ bases of support. Democrats’ base at that time was Hartford; even New Haven County at this time was still swingy, as were the rural counties to the east.

The 1990s saw eastern Connecticut trend Democratic as the Religious Right’s influence in the Republican Party increased, which likely turned off many secular voters. Western Connecticut also saw Democrats improve their numbers at this time. The Democratic trend continued downballot in the 2000s, when Republican incumbents in the U.S. House were voted out. Even Fairfield, while still leaning Republican PVI-wise, voted for Clinton in 1996 and had stayed with the Democrats ever since. However, in the 2010s, the trend in Eastern Connecticut reversed, with voting patterns similar to the 1980s. Litchfield also returned to being a Republican-leaning county. Hartford and New Haven also saw a slight decrease in Democratic strength but remained strongly Democratic. Fairfield was the only county that trended Democratic in 2016 and is now only less Democratic than Hartford and New Haven.

Here is a link to the Connecticut PVI table.

Here are the maps: 


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