Browsing Tag


Political Roundup for June 21st, 2017

In case you missed it yesterday, Republican Karen Handel worked out an unexpectedly strong win in GA-6, and Republican Ralph Norman had an unexpectedly close win in SC-5. Republicans and Democrats each held a seat in the SC State House as well. What does it say about politics that the Democrats did better in the seat Clinton lost by close to 20 points that they basically ignored than the one she lost by 1 that they poured over $30 Million in? Maybe that going all-in on a political nobody who looks like he’s just finishing up his freshman year of college isn’t a good idea? Or perhaps,(more seriously) that the higher the special election turnout, the worse the result for the already-fired-up Democrats, as SC-5 saw something like 1/3rd as many votes as GA-6 did. Regardless, expect a day of Democrats spinning about how GA-6 didn’t really matter and Republicans spinning about how GA-6 meant everything.

Now, on to the news:


CBS-Poll: A CBS poll has Trump down to his lowest numbers yet at 36% approval. His handling of the Russia probe seems to be his weakest point so far, as he’s not doing too bad on the other major issues tested. Also, Americans believe Comey over Trump by about 2:1, and slightly favor believing that the probe is a grave matter of national security over it being a political hatchet job.

2020: Morning Consultant did a poll of the favorability #s of just about every candidate seriously suggested for the 2020-Dem Nomination. The vast majority of them are unknown right now, with the exceptions being Warren (Slightly Positive) and Biden (Very positive). The only notable exceptions here are Sanders and of course Clinton 2020, because as they say the third time’s the charm!

Holder: Eric Holder, probably best remembered as the AG Obama replaced with Loretta Lynch, is apparently “re-entering the political fray” and is talking about running for President in 2020. Because at this point I think the Democrats saw the 17-candidate pileup of the 2016-GOP race and said “Hold my kale-smoothie–watch this”.


MI-Sen: Former Michigan Chief SC Justice Bob Young all but formally announced his intent to run against Debbie Stabenow for Senate in 2018 at a local Republican event. Young, who is Black, sounded off on a very Constitutional-originalist note, and stressed his record of reducing the size of the judiciary in Michigan. He joins fellow Republican Lana Epstein in the GOP primary for this 2nd-tier GOP Senate target next year.

NV-3: GOP State Senator Scott Hammond has announced that he is running for this Suburban Vegas district that the GOP lost last year. The current freshman Democratic Incumbent Jackie Rosen is already running for Senate (Because the early bird gets the Senate Seat I guess?), and the seat was narrowly carried by Trump, making it a top GOP target for 2018. Hammond was a famous advocate for Nevada’s charter school bills, and gets a free shot at this seat since his State Senate seat isn’t up until 2020.


CO-alot: Mike and Cynthia Coffman, probably the closest thing the county has had to a political power couple since the Clintons limped off the national stage last year, are getting a divorce. While it’s not quite known why they are getting divorced (and kind of rude to pry), the couple was widely seen as the GOP’s best potential candidates for statewide office. We’ve got no idea what this means for Cynthia’s rumored Governor bid, or Coffman’s house seat, but we’ll hopefully find out relatively soon.

HI-St-House: In what has become commonplace for America’s weakest political party, the Hawaii GOP has lost another one of its members to the Democrats, this time former State House Minority Leader Beth Fukomoto, who was ousted from her leadership post for calling Trump racist and a Bully at the Hawaii Women’s March back in January. This is amazingly not the first time the GOP has lost its chamber leader to the Democrats, but since the state house is now 76D-5R, let’s hope we can manage to hold onto our 6% of the seats there.

Immigration: The Atlantic of all places has a good article detailing how the Democrats went from being sort of pro-immigration with major reservations to being absolutely 100% no-exceptions pro-immigration, and how it probably cost them the presidency. Remember a time when Obama felt a “Flush of patriotic resentment” at the idea of Mexican immigrants waving around Mexican flags at demonstrations?

Political Division: Here’s some interesting, if arguably flawed data. The voter study group commissioned a poll detailing the political ideology of the average Trump & Clinton voter. To summarize, Clinton’s supporters are pretty ideologically homogeneous Liberals, whereas Trump’s were split between Economic Conservatives and Populists. Notably, this poll also suggests that Libertarianism as an ideology is basically dead in the water in the US right now, which will come as no surprise to anyone paying attention to the political trends of both parties in the last 2.5 years or so.

Political Roundup for June 5th, 2017

Later today we’ll have a preview for the gubernatorial and legislative primaries in New Jersey and CA-34 Runoff. Until then, gorge yourselves on electoral goodness with me down below.


OH-Sen: As the article points out, this one escalated quickly. After Cleveland banker Mike Gibbons (R) jumped into the Buckeye State’s senatorial campaign, he immediately started attacking primary opponent State Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) for being a career politician. Gibbons also raised $250,000 without self-funding in just a few days. Mandel already has $600,000, but almost half the gap is already gone. What looked like a sleepy primary is getting interesting. Whichever man wins will face Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in the general election.

MI-Sen: Though businesswoman Lena Epstein (R) has already launched her bid against Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D), she may not be alone for long. This article suggests that both businessman John James (R) and state Supreme Court Justice Bob Young (R) are also testing the waters.


MN-Gov: If you’re an Outstate DFLer, you just got some great news; Rep. Rick Nolan (D) will run for reelection and not for Governor. This leaves fellow Outstate congressman Tim Walz (D) with his best possible shot at the nomination and keeps an incumbent running in a Trump district at the same time. That’s a win-win unless you’re a Republican, in which case it sucks.

NV-Gov: Though he hasn’t yet announced his expected campaign for Governor next year, AG Adam Laxalt (R) is already piling-up cash. His campaign account now has $600,000 on hand. That’s quite a decent amount for this early in the games in a fairly small state.

TN-Gov: Speaking of things sucking for people, it probably doesn’t feel great to be State Sen. Mark Green (R) right now. Green was running for Governor, but was then nominated to be Secretary of the Army, causing him to leave the race. Then after someone unearthed some fairly tame comments he made a few years ago about gay rights, he dropped out of contention for that role. Now, he has decided to not resume his campaign. He cites the fact that other campaigns were already rising to fill his anti-establishment niche.


ME-IRV: Because the ranked-choice ballot initiative that passed narrowly in 2016 was invalidated as against the state constitution by the Maine Supreme Court, supporters are now asking the legislature to amend the state constitution to achieve the same goal. I’m not holding my breath on this one.

PA-Redistrict: A Democratic state senator from the Pittsburgh area has proposed a bill to turn over control of the Keystone State’s redistricting to a panel of five commissioners (two from each party and a tiebreaker). Seeing as redistricting is currently controlled by an unholy but effective alliance of Republicans and the Philadelphia Democratic machine, I don’t see this going anywhere.

TX-GOP: After the surprise resignation of state party Chairman Tom Mechler, Texas Republicans now once again have a leader. Travis County Chairman James Dickey has won a narrow race for the top job in one of America’s biggest state parties.


Indonesia: This one is a bit scary. It seems that when Jakarta’s governor lost reelection recently, he did so solely because he wasn’t Muslim. He had a 76% approval rating, but 30% of voters stated that that though they approved of his job performance, sharia law dictated that they must vote for his Muslim opponent. Moreover, he’s now facing blasphemy charges for suggesting that Muslims didn’t have to vote for him to due to sharia law,

UK: Our friends over at 538 have an excellent piece on whether or not the polls showing a close race with a small Tory lead are skewed in favor of Labour or not (some polls show a much bigger lead). This is worth a read if you’ve been recently confused by the contradictory polls coming out of Britain lately.

Political Roundup for May 23, 2017

Hello from the Swamp. The water level is rising, but the locals seem ever-content snorkeling around festering toupees floating in the federal government’s factory town.

[First off, there are two special elections today in the Empire State; Gov. Cuomo (D) surprisingly scheduled these specials, where nominees are selected by a cabal of insiders, rather than wait until November to allow a primary – it’s unclear which insider scratched Cuomo’s back to get that deal. NY-SD-30 is a D+44 (2016) seat covering Central Harlem and some pieces of adjacent neighborhoods. Community board chair and former reality TV villain Brian Benjamin (D) is the prohibitive favorite over R and I Some Dudes. NY-LD-9 is an R+13 (2016) seat along the south shore of Long Island from Massapequa to Babylon. This is about as stereotypically lower-middle class white-ethnic LawnGuyLind as it gets; unsurprisingly, this seat swung hard to Trump last year. Republicans have nominated retired teacher Tom Gargiulo (C), a registered Conservative, and he is favored over teacher Christine Pellegrino (D), though Pellegrino has received some outside support from the teachers’ union and could pull an upset with low turnout. -Shamlet]


2018 Playing FieldFiveThirtyEight‘s Harry Enten tells those weirdos who don’t follow elections like NFL games what RRH regulars have known since November 9th: the 2018 midterm elections simultaneously present bad news to both parties. Enten explains the bizarre dichotomy in which Democrats find themselves ahead of 2018; Democrats could conceivably win a House majority and lose ground in the US Senate.

MT-AL: According to our friends over at Decision Desk HQ, absentee ballot return rates ahead of Thursday’s special election in Montana’s at-large congressional district signal Big Sky Bob high turnout. Four days out from the general election, returned absentees in MT-AL have already reached 101% and 67% of absentees cast in 2014 and 2016, respectively. While county turnout breakdowns seem to favor a grown ass man who inhales more smoke than Spicoli musician Rob Quist (D), turnout is also very strong in many Republican base counties.

NC-Redistricting: In the latest twist in the litigation that never ends over North Carolina’s congressional redistricting, the United States Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-3 decision that lawmakers improperly used race as a criteria when crafting District 1 in Northeastern North Carolina and the infamous, Charlotte-to-Triad snaking District 12. With this decision, the court has further confused the already jumbled caselaw about when a majority-minority seat is necessary. Oddly, while this decision will have a far-ranging impact on the legality of many maps across the country, it won’t actually impact the current North Carolina congressional map, which lawmakers redrew in response to lower court decisions in 2016. However, the decision will likely mean that maps for the North Carolina General Assembly, already ruled illegal racial gerrymanders by lower courts, will have to be redrawn before the 2018 elections. From a Republican perspective, lawmakers should welcome the chance to shore up legislative seats since the 2011 legislative map was far too aggressive of a gerrymander in urban counties, though any new maps will have to face scrutiny from a newly-liberal North Carolina Supreme Court as well as the federal judiciary. For a conservative leaning analysis of this Supreme Court decision read NRO here, while Rick Hasen has a nice, if liberal-leaning, post up at his blog here.

(Thanks, GOPTarHeel!)


MI-Sen: An oil executive has decided to run for US Senate in Tex… Michigan. Lena Epstein (R), Donald Trump’s 2016 Michigan campaign chair, has announced her bid to challenge 3-term Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) in a race RRH rates as Leaning Democratic. Epstein, a 35-year-old Jewish Republican from tony Bloomfield Hills, may be able to tap into national Jewish Republican fundraising circles and will likely have the President’s support. Yet, strong electoral and financial support of a Trump-backed candidate from Metro Detroit’s Democratic-leaning Jewish population seems unlikely; the President underperformed both Mitt Romney and John McCain in Oakland County’s most Jewish precincts. While remains unclear whether Epstein will self-fund any portion of her race, her family company’s $175 million in annual revenues point to the possibility.


MN-Gov: In something of a surprise, former State Rep. and Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek (R) will forego an expected gubernatorial bid to seek re-election in 2018. Stanek’s profile could have appealed to the sorts of inner-ring St. Paul suburban, blue collar Catholics the MN GOP has largely yet to attract. Yet, he will remain at the forefront of the state’s Republican bench along with perennially-mentioned US Rep. Erik Paulsen, who continues to see his shadow.

NY-GOV: Scarsdale Republican (no, really) Harry Wilson, a 45-year-old retired hedge fund manager, is considering a gubernatorial bid. In his narrow 2010 loss to incumbent Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli (D), Wilson was the first statewide challenger to win the backing of all of New York City’s three major newspapers since 1976. Westchester County Republican leaders would likely prefer a second bid from 2014 gubernatorial nominee Rob Astorino (R), but the incumbent county executive will first need to win reelection in the blue county in November. Yet, Wilson’s story as the son of an immigrant raised in an economically-depressed, Upstate community may also prove compelling—along with his reported willingness to self-fund $10M in the pricey Empire State.


Detroit Mayor: In how dire of straits is Motown? While voters believe that the city’s notorious blight, crime, and poverty have worsened under Mayor Mike Duggan (D), the same new poll shows the Motor City’s executive firmly in the driver’s seat ahead of the city’s August municipal primary.  The Detroit News finds Duggan crushing Heir Force Gen. and State Sen. Coleman Young II (D) 55%-23%, with 19% undecided and 3% going to other candidates. Duggan, the city’s first white mayor in decades, has consolidated the support of the city’s powerful labor unions, a number of black religious leaders, business groups, and Detroit’s powerful Democratic political machine in opposition to the California-raised son of the city’s first black mayor.

WA LD-45: It’s a week old, but here’s a solid profile on the race to replace the late Washington State Sen. Andy Hill (R) in the Kirkland and Sammamish-based 45th legislative district. King County Prosecutor Manka Dhingra (D) and ex-US Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers staffer Jinyoung Lee Englund (R) are set to square off in a race that, absent other vacancies, will determine control of the Republican coalition-led chamber. However, while Hill was a Republican, the district’s Eastside turf will not host a fair fight. Whereas Mitt Romney took 39.63% in the affluent, white collar, high tech district, Donald Trump only managed 28.03%. Hill crafted a unique brand as a moderate, budget-focused technocrat after upsetting a far-left State Senator in 2010, but Englund is racing against a much shorter clock to differentiate herself from POTUS.

Political Roundup for February 22, 2017

“If I was Governor, I’d sure find better things to do with my time. Like getting Washington’s birthday and Lincoln’s birthday back to separate paid holidays. Presidents’ Day. What a rip-off.”

Last night in WI-Supt, we saw a moderate surprise as Beloit local superintendent Lowell Holtz (R), the more conservative candidate, easily bested the more moderate John Humphries (R) for the right to take on incumbent Tony Evers (D). Evers, however, cruised overall, winning 2/3 of the vote, and will likely have little trouble in the general in April barring something unexpected.


DNC Chair: NH Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley (D) dropped his bid for DNC chair over the weekend and will back Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison (D). Buckley was considered a longer-shot to win but still had a significant base of support. His endorsement probably doesn’t give Ellison a huge advantage in his competitive fight with co-front-runner Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez (D), but it probably does significantly hurt the chances of the third major candidate in the race, South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), who needs both Ellison and Perez to deadlock well short of a majority in order to have a shot. SC Democratic Party chair Jaime Harrison (D) is the only other candidate with any significant support, but he seems a long-shot.


MI-Sen: Buried in this Great Mentioner piece about possible challengers to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) is the revelation that ex-State Sen. Randy Richardville (R), who held down a swingy district at the state’s southeast corner from 2006 to 2014, is considering the race and will decide “by this summer.” Stabenow has not definitively said whether she will seek re-election, but is expected to; many other Republicans are considering the race, though Richardville seems to be the most obviously serious. One potential candidate taking herself out of the running though is termed-out SoS Ruth Johnson (R), who seems to have her eye on a safely Republican State Senate seat in her home of exurban northern Oakland County instead.

NJ-Sen: George Norcross (D), the dictator of the southern half of the state, and his brother, Rep. Donald Norcross (D), have made their decision on whether to play nice with indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D) or seek to push him out the door, and they’ve chosen the former. La Cosa Norcross will host a fundraiser for Menendez next month, which probably closes the door on Don running against him. It seems they are betting on Menendez either going down quickly with time for Don to enter the primary, surviving his trial, or not going down until after the election, triggering a special – a combined outcome with reasonable chance to happen but still a bet that’s not without risk. It’s unclear whether the other major candidate interested in the seat, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop (D), will make the same calculation. Menendez limping through the primary to a general election with a cloud over his head is probably the only chance Republicans have to make a serious play for this seat, but no Republicans have as yet indicated interest.

OH-Sen: State Sen. Matt Huffman (R) will not run for US Senate this cycle. Huffman had been mentioned as a potential more establishment-friendly alternative to the candidate already in the race to take on Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), State Treasurer and 2012 nominee Josh Mandel (R), and had apparently already secured some donor commitments. However, Mandel’s head start (he has been more or less running continuously since 2015) could pose a daunting obstacle to someone with little name rec. Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) is the only other major candidate thought to be considering the race.

WI-Sen: On the heels of Rep. Sean Duffy’s (R) announcement that he will not run for the Senate, State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) is considering a run. Vukmir has represented a district in deep-red Waukesha County for over a decade, which could give her a geographic base. With the only field-clearer (Duffy) out of the picture, the GOP primary to taken on Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) is expected to be very crowded.


AL-Gov: Former Auburn Football Coach Tommy Tuberville (R) is considering a run for Governor. Tuberville, who has lived in Texas and Ohio since leaving Auburn in 2008, could have a dedicated base of fans in the state where College Football is perhaps taken most seriously of all – but coming from the state’s second most popular school (and arch-rival of its most popular) could be a handicap. Many other Republicans are considering the race, most notably LG Kay Ivey (R), Rep. Bradley Byrne (R), State Sens. Del Marsh (R) and Cam Ward (R), and ex-State Supreme Court Justice and 2010 candidate Roy Moore (R). Ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell-Cobb (D) and State Rep. Craig Ford (D) are considering runs on the Dem side.

AR-Gov: Country radio host Bobby Bones (D/I?) had dinner with Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Monday. It’s unclear what the conversation entailed; Bones has been considering a challenge to Hutchinson, but it’s not clear how serious he is about such a bid, as his show is based out of Nashville, TN. Anyone will likely face a very uphill battle against the popular incumbent.

CO-Gov: Ex-State Rep. Victor Mitchell (R), who served a term in the legislature a decade ago and has since become a prominent businessman and activist, will run for Governor and says he will self-fund $3M. Michell is the first GOP candidate to declare; State Sen. Mike Johnston (D) is in on the Democratic side and a large number of others from both parties are considering this race. Both primary fields are expected to be crowded.

FL-Gov: Two new candidates are considering this race on the Dem side, though neither sounds particularly serious about it. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) told Ebony that he is considering “what 2018 looks like” while self-funding 2010 Senate candidate Jeff Greene has been “talking to consultants”. Democrats’ major options here still look like ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D), Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn (D), and prominent trial lawyer John Morgan (D), though many others have expressed at least some interest. Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) is the front-runner for the GOP nod.

KS-Gov: Ex-Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer (D) has entered the race, giving Democrats a top-tier candidate here. Though Kansas is deep-red, Democrats sense an opening due to the extreme unpopularity of Gov. Sam Brownback (R) and the ongoing feud between moderate and conservative Republicans. Brewer, who led the state’s largest city from 2007 to 2015, may face ex-State Rep. and 2014 nominee Paul Davis (D) in the Dem primary. SoS Kris Kobach (R), LG Jeff Colyer (R), ex-State Rep. Ed O’Malley (R), and businessman and 2010 KS-4 candidate Wink Hartman (R) are considered the most likely candidates on the GOP side.

MN-Gov: State Sen. David Osmek (R), a staunch fiscal conservative, has indicated an interest in this race. Both sides’ conventions are likely to be crowded; Osmek could face any or all of State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R), 2014 nominee Jeff Johnson (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), MNGOP Chair Keith Downey (R), State Sen. Michelle Benson (R), and Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek (R). On the D side, Auditor Rebecca Otto (D), St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (D), and State Rep. Erin Murphy (D) are already in the race, while LG Tina Smith (D), AG Lori Swanson (D), and Reps. Rick Nolan (D) and Tim Walz (D) are all thought to be interested.

WI-Gov: Rep. Ron Kind (D), whose western-Wisconsin prairie-populist House seat trended hard-right in 2016, is not ruling out a run for Governor. Gov. Scott Walker (R) is widely exprected to seek a third term; Kind would likely be Democrats’ strongest prospect given his two decades representing the swingy rural west of the state. Dane CE Joe Parisi (D) and State Sens. Jennifer Shilling (D) and Kathleen Vinehout (D) are other commonly-discussed names for the D side in this race, though no one has made strong moves as of yet.


CA-34: An internal from FM3 for nonprofit exec Sara Hernandez (D) shows her in second place in this Louisiana-Rules Top Two Jungle primary, trailing State Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D) 20-9. However, there are a ton of undecideds and it’s unclear we can really say anything about the race for this deep-blue downtown LA seat from this poll besides Gomez likely being in first.

GA-6: We have a new poll from Clout Strategies (aka Wenzel) for this April Louisiana-Rules Top Two Jungle Primary. Congressional Staffer Jon Osoff (D) leads with 32, followed by ex-SoS Karen Handel (R) at 25 and no one else above 11. However, this poll has a few problems: first, it does not test the second non-Some Dude Democrat in the race, ex-State Sen. Ron Slotin (D), who has lost out on most establishment support but may draw a few points. Second, the demographics of this poll seem a bit off as it is almost entirely white and very old. So bottom line, salt to taste.

MT-AL: A group of county officials is asking the state to hold the special election to replace Rep. Ryan Zinke (R) by mail instead of through normal polling places to save money. A bill has been proposed in the State Senate and will be considered today; it would give individual counties the choice of running a standard poll or all-mail election. Assuming Zinke’s confirmation proceeds as planned a week from today, the special election is likely to be held on June 6; 2016 gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte (R) will likely face off with either ex-State Rep. and 2014 Senate nominee Amanda Curtis (D) or musician Rob Quist (D).

NJ-5: State Rep. Holly Schepisi (R), who was widely considered the GOP’s top choice to take on Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D), has said will likely not run for Congress this cycle (though she did leave the door open the smallest of cracks). This decision puts the GOP back to square one in this suburban seat, based in wealthy northern Bergen County, that narrowly backed Trump but trended left.

SC-1: Buried in this worthwhile longread on Rep. Mark Sanford (R) is the revelation that Ted Fienning (R), a veteran and businessman will run against him in the 2018 primary and seed his campaign with $250K of self-funding. The full article is worth a look; Sanford is certainly one of the most complex characters in DC and his willingness to cross Trump in service of fiscal conservatism could make him a key player over the next few years.

State Races:

FL-Ag Comm: State Rep. Matt Caldwell (R) of southwest Florida is planning a run for Ag Commissioner. Should he enter, he will face State Sen. Denise Grimsley (R) and former Orlando mayoral candidate Paul Paulson (R) in the primary. No Democrats have as yet declared interest in this seat.

OK-AG: Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has appointed Secretary of State (an appointed position in OK) Mike Hunter (R) as the new Attorney General, replacing EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt (R). Hunter will most likely seek a full term in 2018.

IN-Supt ’20: The Indiana Senate has killed a bill that would transform the State Superintendent from an elected office to an appointed one under the purview of the Governor. Republicans had supported the change after then-Gov. Mike Pence (R) spent much of his term fighting with then-Superintendent Glenda Ritz (D), a staunch liberal. But last year Ritz was defeated by Jennifer McCormick (R), and so some of the partisan urgency was lost. A little under half the Senate’s Republicans decided to break ranks and join with Democrats to kill the proposal.

VA-LD-28: Virginia State House Speaker Bill Howell (R) of Stafford County in the DC exurbs will retire this year after a decade and a half as Speaker. Howell turned a narrow GOP majority into a dominant 66-34 one and was at times the key Republican figure in state Government when Democrats controlled the Governorship and Senate from 2007-09 and 2013-14. Howell will likely be succeeded as Speaker by Kirk Cox (R) of suburban Richmond.

AL-Redistrict: Alabama has started redistricting to unpack some black-majority legislative districts that courts have struck down as racial gerrymanders. General consensus is that there will be little more than minor tweaks to the lines.

Local Races:

Buffalo-Mayor: Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown (D) announced his campaign for a fourth term yesterday. Brown will likely be favored as he maintains most establishment support. Brown’s major challenger is mavericky city Comptroller Mark Schroeder (D).

Cincinnati-Mayor: The field is set for the Cincinnati Mayoral race; moderate incumbent John Cranley (D) will face two more liberal candidates in city councilwoman Yvette Simpson (D) and university board member Rob Richardson (D). The California-Rules Top Two primary is on May 2.

Detroit-Mayor: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (D) is broadly popular, and for a time it looked like he may not draw a significant challenger, but that changed as State Sen. Coleman Young Jr. (D), son of the longtime 70s and 80s Mayor of the same name, entered the race. Young will likely run to the left of Duggan, the first white Mayor to lead Detroit since the 70s.

St. Louis-Mayor: A new Remington poll of the St. Louis Mayoral Primary in two weeks shows councilwoman Lyda Krewson (D), the most moderate and only serious white candidate, with a wide lead. Krewson takes 36% to 16% for left-wing favorite city Treasurer Tishaura Jones (D), 13% for council President Lewis Reed (D), a black establishment liberal, and 12% for left-wing councilman Antonio French (D). Councilman Jeffrey Boyd (D) brings up the rear among serious contenders with 4%.


Ecuador: The Ecuadorean Presidential election has officially been called as heading to a runoff between left-wing ex-VP Lenin Moreno and center-right banker and 2013 presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso. Though Moreno led the first round by nearly 10 points, Lasso is considered a slight favorite in the April 2 runoff.

Political Roundup for February 17, 2017


MI-Sen: Apparently one Republican rock musician considering a Senate race in Michigan isn’t enough. With Kid Rock being talked about a possible candidate, now Ted Nugent is said to be considering a race as well. Nugent is a strong supporter of President Trump and the state director for Trump’s campaign says he thinks Nugent could be the perfect candidate to replicate the Trump campaign’s successful coalition that turned the state red for the first time since 1988. Nugent says he has things to consider before making the race-including the fact he will be 70 next year and that he needs complete support from his family.

WI-Sen: Republicans have lost their most prominent potential candidate to take on Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D). Rep. Sean Duffy (R) has announced he will not run. State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) had been waiting on Duffy’s decision before he decided whether to make a bid. Management consultant and Marine veteran Kevin Nicholson, state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) and 2012 Senate candidate Eric Hovde are other Republicans who have expressed interest in the race.


GA-6: For a district that only voted narrowly for Donald Trump, two Republican candidates don’t seem to be concerned about ties to him-in fact, they are fighting over who has the closer ties. Bruce LeVell, a Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention and technology executive Bob Gray both claim to have the mantle of the president’s biggest supporter. Levell was executive director of Trump’s National Diversity Coalition during last year’s campaign while Gray claims a personal relationship with him. Others in the race are claiming other prominent endorsements-former state Sen. Dan Moody (R) has allies of Sen. David Perdue (R) behind him, while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R), who formerly held this seat, has endorsed former state Sen. Judson Hill (R). Former Secretary of State Karen Handel (R) is still seen as the frontrunner.

MT-AL: As the wait continues for Rep. Ryan Zinke (R) to be confirmed as Secretary of the Interior, state Senate President Scott Sales (R) has dropped out of the race to succeed him. 2016 GOP  gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte, state Sen. Ed Buttrey (R), former state Sen. Ken Miller (R) and businessman Eugene Graf are still in the running for the Republican nomination.

SC-5: Mick Mulvaney was approved yesterday as OMB director by a 51-49 vote and has resigned his seat in Congress, setting in motion the official schedule to fill the seat. The primaries will be May 2 with a runoff if necessary May 16. The general election will be June 20. State Rep. Ralph Norman (R) is resigning his seat in the Legislature to concentrate on the campaign. Other Republicans running are state House Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope (R), former state GOP Chairman Chad Connelly, party activist Shari Few, attorney and State Guard commander Tom Mullikin and attorney Kris Wampler. No Democrats have yet announced they plan to run-state Sen. and two time Democratic nominee for governor Vincent Sheheen (D) is not running.


CT-Gov: Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti (R) is considering running for governor next year. Lauretti, who has been mayor of Shelton for 26 years, intended to run in 2014 as well, but did not get on the ballot. Two other Republican mayors are also considering running-Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton have both formed exploratory committees for statewide office. Gov. Dan Malloy (D) has not yet announced if he will seek a third term next year.

FL-Gov: Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn (D) has long been considered a potential candidate for governor next year, but doubts are growing about whether he will make the race. Friends believe he has not made up his mind yet, and he says he needs to decide if it’s something he really wants. He has not started actively making moves toward a campaign yet, unlike fellow Democrats former Rep. Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and political newcomer Chris King. Personal injury lawyer John Morgan is also considering a run on the Democratic side.

KS-Gov: Businessman Wink Hartman (R) has announced a run for governor next year. Hartman previously ran for Congress in 2010 as a “Tea Party conservative”, losing to now-CIA Director Mike Pompeo in the GOP primary. Ex-state Rep. Ed O’Malley (R) is the only other person to formally announce a bid.

OK-Gov: LG Todd Lamb (R) has resigned from the cabinet of Gov. Mary Fallin (R) over Fallin’s proposed tax increases. Lamb was in Fallin’s cabinet as the state’s Small Business Advocate-the resignation does not affect his position as the state’s Lieutenant Governor. The move is seen possibly as a way for him to separate himself from an unpopular tax increase proposal as he is considered a likely candidate for governor next year.

State & Local:

LA-Treasurer: State Sen. Neil Riser (R) has officially entered the race for state Treasurer. Riser formerly ran for the LA-5 congressional seat in 2013, being defeated by Vance McAllister in the runoff. He joins state Reps. Julie Stokes (R) and John Schroder (R) in the race.

MI-resigning legislators law: The Michigan House is debating a law that would forbid state legislators that resign or are removed from office from turning around and running for the seat again in a special election. The law appears to be aimed primarily at former state Rep. Brian Banks (D), who resigned his seat last week in a plea deal stemming from charges involving fradulent loan documents. Banks sent out fundraising e-mails less than 48 hours after resigning and would not rule out running again. The law would also address the situation of former state Reps. Todd Courser (R) and Cindy Gamrat (R) after they had an extra-marital affair and plotted to cover it up in 2015. Courser resigned his seat under pressure and Gamrat was expelled, but both ran in the special election to fill their seats. Both were defeated in the primary. The law would only preclude resigned and expelled legislators from running in the ensuing special election-they could still run again in the future.

Political Roundup for February 15, 2017

Election News:  Republican Anne Neu won the Minnesota State House special election for seat 32B last night.  Democratic State Senator Bill Perkins won a vacant City Council seat in Harlem as well.  Now for the rest of the roundup…


Flyover Country:  In case some of our readers were wondering as they are worrying about President Trump from their homes on the respective flanks of the country, Trump is still popular in middle America.

Obamacare:  As I predicted months ago, the Republicans are running into serious internal issues regarding the repeal of Obamacare.  If a repeal happens at all, you got to wonder if it will take as long as it took the Democrats to pass Obamacare.

DNC:  Tom Perez claims to have enough votes to win the race for DNC Chairman.  A Perez win would continue Obama control of the DNC.

SBA:  Linda McMahon was confirmed as SBA Director.  She received strong support from both parties by today’s standards.

MI-Sen:  With a dearth of interested candidates, Republicans in Michigan are floating the idea of Kid Rock running for US Senate.  Crazy to think that Kid Rock as a candidate is not that far outside the realm of possibility.


Women:  The number of women in state legislative seats has reached 25% of the total membership with women controlling state legislative chambers also reaching an all time high.

Voting Laws:  As often seen in life, when your side cannot win on the merits, you challenge the rules.  Democrats are now focusing their political rage on the election rules as a source of their defeat.


UK:  Ahead of two key byelections, the Labour Party appears poised to lose two seats and potentially impair Jeremy Corbyn’s “leadership” of the Labour Party.


Political Roundup for February 8th, 2016

Is this the first roundup that didn’t use our President’s name this year? Read on to find o- yeah, I really can’t fake drama on so little sleep. Enjoy the roundup!


DeVos: ICYMI, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education yesterday on a tie Senate vote sustained by Vice President Pence. This link has a handy list of Senators who voted for DeVos that are up in 2018. The only two of note are Jeff Flake (R) in Arizona and Dean Heller (R) in Nevada. Heller has been relatively risk-averse in his Senate career, while Flake has stuck to a mavericky and defiant tone on the president’s policies (full disclosure on Flake). However, it seems unlikely that this vote will really haunt either Senator except for raising the ire of teachers unions who already supported Democratic candidates. Their fates are the two most likely tied to whatever twist the narrative and national mood takes next.

Zinke / MT-AL: More on the delays for Rep. Ryan Zinke’s (R) confirmation to be Secretary of the Interior. Even Sen. Jon Tester (D) of Montana said, “I’ve got a notion it will be next week, but remember my crystal ball is awful cloudy, and it could be a few weeks out.”


MI-Sen: The NRSC has run its first paid ad in Michigan this election cycle, obviously targeting Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D). The ad ran during the University of Michigan – Michigan State men’s basketball game. The ad is “limited-run,” and with no numbers on the ad buy this seems more like a press release than anything that will register. But really, that’s what it’s all about this early in the cycle. Longtime Rep. Fred Upton (R) is considering a run here.

WATN / NV-Sen: Former Rep. Joe Heck (R) has signed onto a consulting firm, becoming a lobb- I mean, heading up its new government relations division.

WATN / MO-Sen: A lot of big Democratic names signing on to former Missouri Secretary of State and 2016 Senate nominee Jason Kander’s (D) new voting rights group called “Let America Vote.” Listed supporters include Democratic super-lawyer Marc Elias, former Obama Press Secretary Josh Earnest, Stephanie Shriock of EMILY’s List, and Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood. Nice backers if you want to, I dunno, run for office again.


MN-Gov / MN-8: Rep. Rick Nolan (DFL) sounds closer to a gubernatorial bid in the 2018 open seat. The congressman said that the “postiive response” to his first trial balloons have now led him to “give it some serious consideration.” Nolan would face a crowded primary from a number of Twin Cities pols, including St Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Auditor Rebecca Otto, and State Rep. Erin Murphy (who recruited many current DFL state representatives through her leadership role). Interestingly, Nolan also recently feuded with fellow DFL Rep. Betty McCollum over environmental issues, which might not be the smartest way to make it through a DFL primary. Then again, if the Twin Cities vote splits who knows what could happen…

Of course, just as interesting would be an open seat where a Republican has come within a hair’s breadth twice and our presidential nominee won in 2016. Republicans may look to their two-time candidate, Stewart Mills, but the problem is that the rest of their bench is based on the southern edge of the district toward Chisago and Isanti Counties (although Republicans have been generally making gains outstate as Minnesota’s rural white voters gradually regress to the national mean). Then again, smarter people than I have pointed out that talk of benches is probably overrated anyway when you look at many high-profile recruiting flops.

PA-Gov: Businessman Paul Mango (R) is meeting with political operatives as he considers a run for Governor.


MN-5: Xenocrypt uses the opportunity of Rep. Keith Ellison’s DNC Chair bid to evaluate general election turnout in the Democratic stronghold of Minnesota’s fifth congressional district. Ellison operates a substantial field program every cycle and has taken credit for supposed turnout jumps in his district. However, Xenocrypt points out the baseline election Ellison points to in 2006 was a three-way race where an Independence Party (successors to Ventura) candidate almost out-polled the Republican in Ellison’s first open seat race. Further, subsequent elections seem to fit with national trends. The real benefit to Ellison’s independent canvassing operation is by freeing up DFL resources for more competitive areas and, of course, operating a handy political operation to help local allies (Ellison has been known to take sides in local races).

TX-32: With the DCCC hoping to put affluent Republican seats that Clinton won on the table, entrenched Rep. Pete Sessions’ (R) seat suddenly looks more intriguing. Democrats already have one Some Dude running, but the linked article fantasizes about a campaign by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings (D). For further reading, check out Houston blogger Charles Kuffner’s break-downs of statewide and presidential races in Dallas County, including results inside TX-32.


WI-Redistrict: Wisconsin’s GOP legislature has retained former Solicitor General Paul Clement (R) to defend their legislative redistricting maps in court. The case dates back to when the legislature redrew maps in 2011, much to Democrats’ chagrin.

State and Local

St Louis-Mayor: The already-mentioned Jason Kander (see WATN under Senate) also waded into St Louis municipal politics, endorsing City Treasurer Tishaura Jones for Mayor. In the comments, fellow moderator Shamlet informs us that “Jones is one of four liberal blacks (with council Pres. Lewis Reed and councilmen Antonio French and Jeffrey Boyd) who are running against moderate white councilwoman Lyda Krewson (D) in the primary a month from today.”

Detroit-Mayor: Mayor Mike Duggan announced his reelection campaign this weekend. He had the support of his former opponent, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, at the event.

Charlotte-Mayor: Charlotte Mayor Pro-Tem Vi Lyles is in for Mayor.

Colorado-Turnout: More from Patrick Ruffini’s wonderful series on turnout in battleground states in 2016. This week it’s Colorado, but he has already covered Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio.

Political Roundup for September 24, 2015


Clinton:  Democrats realizing that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lacks the personal appeal of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, want Bill to take a larger role in public appearances.  Bill played a very large role in the Clinton’s quest for a third term in 2008, but has been on the sidelines most of the 2016 campaign.  I have two theories on the absence of Bill from the campaign trail: (1) he is in poor health, and (2) he made some enemies in the minority community with his attacks on Obama during the 2008 primary.

Trump: Speaking of the 2008 campaign, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump claims it was Hillary’s campaign who started the birther nonsense in 2008.  While Trump seems to be feeding into what remains of the Birther movement, I have no doubt Trump is on to something here.

Carson: Republican Ben Carson states Black Republicans have an easier time than Black Democrats in the Democratic Party.  I am not sure what Carson is getting at here.

Republican Field:  RRH friend Sean Trende examines why the supposedly strong Republican field of elected officials have largely been overran by a series of non-politicians.  Trende looks at the collapse of Governor Scott Walker (R) in particular.


PA-Sen:  Braddock Mayor John Fetterman (D)’s candidacy is getting national media attention due to the interesting background of Fetterman.  Honestly I would usually write such a candidacy off, but considering the pathetic candidates the Pennsylvania Democrats are running in the race, Fetterman probably has a small shot at being the Democratic nominee.

MD-Sen:  It appears Representative Elijah Cummings (D) will not seek the Democratic nomination for US Senate to replace retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski (D).  The thought was that Cummings was leaning towards a run, but it appears that might not be happening as a prominent Cummings ally who would have ran in MD-7 decided to end his campaign and Cummings will be making campaign stops soon only in MD-7.

MI-Sen:  In one of those odd moments when you do not know what to say, the Michigan Militia is coming to the defense of Senator Debbie Stabenow (D).  An out-of-state organization plans on arresting Stabenow for treason for supporting the Iran nuclear deal.  The leadership of the Michigan Militia groups plans on defending Stabenow if necessary.


Poll – Ekos:  After a few months of misfortune, it appears the Conservatives are heading back into majority government territory according to a new Ekos – Le Presse poll.  The Tories have opened up a substantial lead over the Liberals and NDP (35.4 – 26.3 – 24.5).  With these numbers and the regional splits right, the Tories could possibly win a larger majority than in 2011 with a lower percentage of the vote.

Maps: Oakland County, Michigan’s Federal & Statewide Political Geography and Trends

Another absolute must-read…


Oakland County is an affluent suburban county of 1.2 million people located just north of Detroit, Michigan.

For better or for worse, Oakland County’s prosperity has been tied closely to Detroit’s decline. Both in terms of population and commerce, Oakland County grew rapidly in the 1970s and 1980s while Detroit emptied out. Most important corporate offices and headquarters and prominent law firms in Metro Detroit are located in southern Oakland County (with the exception of General Motors, located in Detroit, and Ford, headquartered in Dearborn).

Considering that Chrysler, GM, and Ford all have strong presences in Oakland County, it is also a national hotbed for engineering-related jobs. Oakland County is also home to Oakland University, a large, public university located in both Rochester Hills and Auburn Hills.

For much of its history, the county was a Republican hotbed that kept Michigan competitive for the GOP on the state and federal levels. However, as the GOP’s performance has declined in Oakland County over the past 20 years, the GOP’s competitiveness statewide has also declined. The county has voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1996, and it has also voted slightly to the nation’s left in the past two presidential elections.

Oakland County is still an influential county in statewide politics. The GOP still has to win it to win statewide. Additionally, at the start of the 114th Congress, Oakland County will be home to four Representative and one Senator: Reps. Mike Bishop (R-Rochester), Sander Levin (D-Royal Oak), Dave Trott (R-Birmingham), and Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township). It’s likely that no other county in the country will be as overrepresented in Congress.

In this article, I will analyze maps of the 2004, 2008, and 2012 presidential elections and the 2014 senatorial and gubernatorial elections in Oakland County. These maps will broken down by municipality. In doing so, I will show both how the county’s politics have trended in the past decade and how well a Republican needs to perform in various parts of Oakland County in order to win statewide.

Flip over for the full article…

Oakland County Municipality Map

 photo ScreenShot2014-12-28at85025PM_zps54ac9faa.png
 photo ScreenShot2014-12-28at85039PM_zps9b203673.png


Oakland County Zip Codes Ranked by Median Household Income and Bachelor’s Degree Attainment Rate

 align=center photo ScreenShot2014-12-28at85214PM_zpsc2bd97cf.png

 photo ScreenShot2014-12-28at85228PM_zpscad9aa9b.png


An Overview of Oakland County’s Growth from the 1970s through the Present Day

In the 1970s and 1980s, wealthy white conservatives moved to Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills (like the Romneys did in 1953), Birmingham, and Southfield Township, wealthy white liberals (many of whom were Jewish) moved to West Bloomfield, Huntington Woods and Pleasant Ridge, and upper-middle class Detroiters moved to new, then-heavily Republican suburbs like Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Troy. Meanwhile, blue collar, white Detroiters moved to inner-ring suburbs like Ferndale, Madison Heights, Hazel Park, Oak Park, and Southfield, and black Detroiters followed them into Southfield and Oak Park (and pushed those cities’ whites elsewhere).

Furthermore, just like how Oakland County benefited from Detroit’s decline, middle class Waterford and its surroundings also grew as Pontiac shrunk. Pontiac’s decline began in the 1970s, but the city diminished more rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s as GM began shuttering its plants there. Pontiac has become a ghetto that rivals Detroit today.

Additionally, mainly in the 1990s, Royal Oak and Berkley became hotbeds for white yuppies who would live in the inner city in just about any other metropolitan area. Yuppies priced out of Royal Oak and Berkley have started to take over Clawson and Ferndale in the past decade-and-a-half, and Ferndale has become a hotbed of Michigan’s gay community.

Meanwhile, Orion and Oakland Townships, two Republican-leaning exurban townships north and northeast of Pontiac, boomed in population in the 1990s. Oakland Township in particular became a strong GOP base area.

Finally, Troy and Farmington/Farmington Hills grew rapidly in the 1990s and 2000s, and Novi exploded in population in the 2000s. All four towns feature large South and East Asian populations, and Farmington/Farmington Hills and Novi also have large Jewish populations.

Maps and Analysis

2004 Presidential Election in Oakland County

Kerry: 319,387 (49.75%), Bush: 316,633 (49.32%)

 photo OaklandCounty04_zps3e7162b4.png

 photo Key_zpscf831c76.png

2008 Presidential Election in Oakland County


Obama: 372,566 (56.42%), Romney: 276,956 (41.94%)

 photo OaklandCounty08_zps051ce045.png

2012 Presidential Election in Oakland County

Obama: 349,002 (54.04%), Romney: 296,514 (45.37%)

 photo OaklandCounty12_zpsa7f33fcb.png

PVI Trends in Oakland County from ’04-’12

 photo OaklandCounty04to08PVITrends_zps5f0b0b45.png

PVI is a statistic that measures a jurisdiction’s presidential vote relative to the nation’s as a whole (traditionally, PVI compares an area’s presidential vote over the course of two presidential elections, but PVI in this article will measure a municipality’s vote as compared to the nation as a whole for just one single election at a time). For example, if a township has a R+1 single-year PVI, it voted one point to the right of the nation as a whole in a particular election.

In this trend map, areas that trended rightward from ’04 to ’12 are shaded salmon (1-2 point trend Republican), red (3-4 point trend Republican), or dark red (5+ point trend Republican), and areas that trended leftward in that time frame are shaded sky blue (1-2 point trend Democratic), Dodger blue (3-4 point trend Democratic), or navy (5+ point trend Democratic). Areas that trended in neither direction were not colored.

2004-2012 Presidential Election Analysis

Much of Oakland County’s leftward trend in the past two decades can be attributed to three factors: 1) Detroit spillover along the 8 Mile Road corridor (Southfield, Royal Oak Township, and Oak Park have become more black in recent years) and Pontiac spillover in Auburn Hills, 2) the county’s increasing Asian population (particularly in Troy, West Bloomfield, Troy, Farmington, and Farmington Hills), and 3) the national GOP’s rightward trend on social issues (places like Birmingham, Southfield Township, and the Bloomfields are genuinely fiscally conservative and socially liberal, as many elite suburbs are).

To elaborate, racial changes in the county have affected its politics. A Democratic trend was inevitable in the county’s heavily black areas, which have become more black in the last decade. However, the Michigan GOP should be very alarmed by the leftward trends in Novi, Farmington, and Farmington Hills, three affluent and growing cities that have trended strongly away from the GOP in the past decade. While Novi still voted for Mitt Romney, it will be out of reach for the GOP in a few presidential elections if it continues trending Democratic at the rate that it has. The GOP will likely need to make inroads with Jews and/or East and South Asians in order to rebound in those two towns.

Still, while minority growth pushed many of the county’s growing areas leftward, a rebound with the county’s white voters helped sustain the GOP in Oakland County.

Affluent parts of Oakland County (namely Birmingham, the Bloomfields, and Southfield Township) trended sharply rightward between 2004 and 2012 (mirroring a nationwide trend).

Additionally, mainly-white outer-ring Republican suburbia (Rochester/Rochester Hills and Troy) stayed stable (or slightly trended leftward), and country’s heavily-white rural and exurban areas either stayed stable or trended slightly rightward.

Additionally, Royal Oak, Berkley, and Clawson have all trended slightly left between 2004 and 2012, probably because the Millennial yuppies moving in were slightly more liberal than those moving out. However, Ferndale’s strong Democratic trend should be concerning (albeit not unexpected, seeing as some of its older, blue collar residents were probably replaced by yuppies and gays.

Finally, the GOP should be encouraged not only by the county’s wealthy areas’ rightward trends (mirroring similar trends nationwide in 2012). It should also be heartened by the fact that it held up in the exurban and rural portions of the county. Lyon Township and South Lyon were two of the fastest growing municipalities in Metro Detroit last decade, and the GOP’s stability there is promising for its future in Oakland County.

2014 Senatorial and Gubernatorial Election in Oakland County

Governor: Rick Snyder: 55.47% Mark Schauer: 42.83%

 photo OaklandCountyGov14_zps9a72df6f.png

Senate: Gary Peters: 55.75% Terri Lynn Land: 40.63%

 photo OaklandCountySen14_zps6d1fca85.png


While Governor Rick Snyder’s performance in the rest of Michigan left him vulnerable to defeat, his over-performance in Oakland County helped him win re-election relatively narrowly. Snyder, a business conservative with an impressive corporate track record, is tailor-made for much of Oakland County. Snyder subsequently not only swept the parts of the county that a Republican has to win in order to win statewide but also crushed labor Democrat Mark Schauer in them.

Furthermore, Snyder’s strong win in Royal Oak should be encouraging to Michigan Republicans. Oakland County is home to many of metro Detroit’s highly-educated white yuppies, many of whom will eventually move to places like Rochester, Rochester Hills, Birmingham, and the Bloomfields. If Snyder could win their votes in a competitive race, they’re a group that could become better for the MI GOP over time.

However, the fact that Schauer won Auburn Hills should concern–but not surprise–Republicans. Pontiac’s black and Latino populations have spilled over into Auburn Hills in recent years, which makes its Democratic trend logical. Still, Snyder’s loss there was perhaps his only disappointing performance in the entire county.

On the other hand, disappointing Senatorial nominee Terri Lynn Land tanked in Oakland County. Her municipal results map looks eerily similar to Senator John McCain’s 2008 results map. Their performances should be used as the GOP’s Oakland County floor in a semi-competitive election. Senator-elect Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Hills), who has represented a significant percentage of the county’s population in Congress, over-performed relative to standard Democratic performances in the areas he represents or had previously represented in Congress.


While it’s far from dead in Oakland County, the Michigan GOP needs to regain relevance in Oakland County in order to win statewide on any level. Oakland County is also an important donor hotbed for the Michigan and national Republican Parties.

In order to rebound countywide, the Michigan GOP needs to improve its standing with Jews and Asians in places like West Bloomfield, Novi, Farmington/Farmington Hills, and Troy.

Additionally, the MI GOP needs to focus on gaining in Royal Oak and Clawson. These areas are full of college-educated white yuppies with white collar jobs, an important future base of the Michigan GOP. Still, Millennials between 18-22 right now are supposedly more conservative than the Millennials in their mid/upper 20s who currently live in Royal Oak. If that’s the case, we may see gains there anyway. Furthermore, the possibility of light rail and transit-oriented development along the Woodward Avenue corridor stretching from Birmingham through Royal Oak and Ferndale into Detroit is a popular idea among white yuppies. The GOP’s spearheading of such an effort could be beneficial for its image among those voters. However, especially under viscerally anti-Detroit Republican County Executive Brooks Patterson’s reign, such a project is unlikely. However, it should be noted that gentrification of that corridor could lead to Republican gains.

Finally, the MI GOP needs to hope for the strongly-Republican Oakland County exurbs to grow faster than places like Southfield and
Ferndale. While population growth in places like South Lyon has been beneficial to the GOP, population growth in Southfield has been harmful for the MI GOP. A possible slight improvement with middle class black voters nationwide would help the GOP in Oakland County, but the MI GOP should’t hold its breath.

Bonus: Old Election Precinct Maps

’10 Gov: Rick Snyder: 60.10%: Virg Bernero: 38.36%

 photo ScreenShot2014-12-28at110826PM_zpsebe0b6f9.png

’08 Senate: Carl Levin: 62.06%, Jack Hoogendyk: 34.49%

 photo ScreenShot2014-12-28at110851PM_zps867f867a.png

For a ton of useful data in spreadsheet form:…

Michigan 2014 Election Results

Governor: 51-47 for Rick Snyder.  Much closer than his blowout in 2010, but good enough for a second term.

Senate: 41-55 for Gary Peters.  Peters ran a good campaign.  Land was a disaster.  Maybe someday the Michigan GOP will find a good Senate candidate.

AG: 52-44 for Bill Schuette.  Schuette for Governor in 2018!

SOS: 54-43 for Ruth Johnson over a token opponent.  Perhaps Ruth will challenge Stabenow in 2018.

The two referenda on wolf hunting both failed, 55-45 and 64-36.  Only the opponents of wolf hunting spent money here.

Supreme Court was 32-29-21-14 for Zahra (R,I) and Bernstein (D), who spent 2 million of his own money to win this seat.  David Viviano won the partial term 62-29.

Education Boards.  Republicans appear to have picked a seat on the MSU board with Melanie Foster, but lost all the other ed board seats.  This is very disappointing considering the circumstances.  Third party candidates probably cost us several seats here.

Congress.  As I long predicted, only district 1 was even somewhat close.

1. 52-45 for Benishek.  OK, but not great.  If Benishek keeps his term limits pledge, this seat will be open in 2016.

2. 64-33 for Huizinga

3. 58-39 for Amash.  He’s secure here.

4. 56-39 for Moolenaar.  Secure.

5. 31-67 Kildee

6. 56-40 Upton.  He no longer overperforms like he used to, but Upton is still secure.

7. 53-41 Walberg. He will never win big margins, but he has settled in here.

8. 55-42 Bishop.  Secure.

9. 36-60 for Sander Levin.

10. 69-29 for Candace Miller.  I wish she’d run for Senate.

11. 56-41 Trott.  No word on write-in votes.

12. 31-65 for Debbie Dingell

13. 16-80 for Conyers

14. 20-78 for Lawrence

State Senate.  The GOP actually picked up one seat, winning a 27-11 supermajority (pending a recount in 20).  Looks like the dems two-cycle strategy will need to pick two different cycles.  In competitive districts:

7. 52-48 Colbeck.  Huge hold for conservatives.

13. 58-42 Knollenberg.  Not close after Fishman lost the dem primary.  Good win for conservatives.

17. 51-46 for Dale Zorn.  Close win in a tossup district.

20. 45.52-45.45-9.0 for Margaret O’Brien over Sean McCann and Lorence Wenke.  The 60-vote margin likely means a recount.  A very close win in a district that may be trending away from the GOP.  It isn’t immediately clear who Lorence took from.

24. 56-44 for Rick Jones.  Tom Leonard may run in four years when this is open.

25. 56-44 for Phil Pavlov.  Terry Brown preformed respectably under the circumstances.

31. 56-44 for Mike Green.  Somewhat close.  This will be a tough defense in four years.

32. 54-46 for Ken Horn in another hotly contested tossup.  Republicans have won the last five state senate elections in Saginaw.

34. 56-44 for Geoff Hansen.  Not that close.

There will be a bunch of competitive open seats four years from now, but Senate Republicans look good right now.

State house.  Republicans picked up four seats, expanding their majority to 63-47, same as after 2010.  There will be many tough open seats in 2016 due to term limits of members elected in 2010.

1. 33-67 We’ll have Brian Banks to kick around for another two years.

3-9. Dems won 94-98% in the all-Detroit districts.

21. 45-55 for Kristi Pagan.  This seat was badly drawn; why didn’t the GOP make it all of Canton?

23. 52-48 for Pat Somerville.  This will be a tough open seat in 2016.

25. 47-53 Nick Hawatmeh comes up short in another terribly drawn seat.

30. 55-45 for Jeff Farrington.  This will be another tough open seat in 2016.

39. 52-48 for Klint Kesto

41. 56-44 for Martin Howrylak

43. 58-42 for Jim Tedder.  Dems thought they could win this.

52. 44-56 This could have been close if it was seriously contested.

56. 50-47 for Jason Sheppard in this close open Republican seat.

59. 62-38 for Aaron Miller

60. 30-70 for Jon Hoadley

61. 48-43-9 for Brandt Iden, who was damaged by scandal.

62. 51-49 for John Bizon in a very tough Battle Creek/Albion district.  PICKUP.

63. 56-44 for David Maturen

66. 57-43 for Aric Nesbitt.  This will be a tough open seat in 2016.

67. 46-54 This district is close, but not winnable.

71. 50.4-49.6 for Tom Barrett over Theresa Abed.  Tom is a strong conservative and an exceptional candidate. PICKUP

76. 46-52 Donijoe DeJonge falls short to Winnie Brinks.  This district is probably gone.

80. 63-34 for Cindy Gamrat

82. 55-45 for Todd Courser

84. 59-41 for Edward Canfield.  PICKUP

85. 53-43 for Ben Glardon.  This will be another tough open seat in 2016.

91. 46.5-46.3 for Holly Hughes over Colleen LaMonte. PICKUP

98. 55-45 for Gary Glenn

99. 52-48 for Kevin Cotter, potentially the next Speaker of the Michigan House.  This will be a tough open seat in 2016.

101. 50.4-49.6 for Ray Franz.  A very tough open seat in 2016.

104. 53-47 for Larry Inman.  Surprisingly close.

106. 55-45 for Peter Pettalia.  A tough open seat in 2016.

107. 61-39 for Lee Chatfield

My ratings turned out to be quite accurate.  Every race I had at lean, likely, or safe for a party was won by that party except one (house 62).  I always thought Snyder, Schuette, and Johnson would win, and that no congressional races except MI-1 would be close.  I was initially too optimistic about Land, however.  My state senate tossups had margins of 8, 5, and 0.  My state house tossups had margins of 5, 1, 1, and 0.  The closest margin in a race I had at safe was 6 (house 104).  The closest margin in a race I had at lean (excluding house 62) was 3 (house 56).