WSW: Is There A Path To A Donald Trump Victory In Michigan?

Jun 20, 2016

Voting Machine - file photo
Credit Wisconsin Public Radio

Gongwer News Service Editor Zach Gorchow says he doesn’t see how the numbers add up to a Donald Trump victory in Michigan. But he tried to come with a scenario where Trump could at least get within striking distance. 


Gorchow says he decided to write the blog post after some media reports identified Michigan as a state where Trump could contend in the fall.

Democrats have won Michigan in every Presidential election since 2000. Gorchow started with the closest of those elections, 2004 when John Kerry won the state by 3.5%. The factors that Gorchow says could make Michigan competitive from there include:

  • Lower turnout in Wayne County and Detroit – due to population loss and not having President Obama at the top of the ballot. 
  • More white voters turning out, which has been speculated about, but Gorchow says there is conflicting data.
  • A big Trump win in Macomb County – where his brash style and position on trade could play well.
  • Disaffected Bernie Sanders supporters who normally vote for the Democratic Presidential staying home or voting for the Green Party candidate.

Gorchow says he doesn’t see it happening, but he says there are other external events which could change the dynamics of the race. 

Trump’s Political Director in Michigan Scott Hagerstrom said last week that Michigan is “winnable” for Trump. Gorchow says the paid manager of a campaign who says otherwise isn’t doing their job. Gorchow says any campaign will always put the best spin on their candidate’s chances.

Several Republicans in the state, including West Michigan Congressmen Fred Upton, Bill Huizenga and Justin Amash have refused to endorse Trump. Gorchow says there are few certainties in politics, but “divided political parties lose.” He says there’s a lot of division in both parties. But the Democratic establishment is falling in line behind Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign. Gorchow says there’s a lot of angst among Republicans about Trump. He says

“if that doesn’t change, it’s going to be really ugly.”

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