A Republican wave on Tuesday.
Or was it? In Michigan, there is plenty of evidence that it was not, despite being a very good year for Republicans nationally.
More votes, less seats
No doubt there were a lot of Republican victories in the races for governor and the Legislature. But Rick Snyder’s 51 percent can’t be described as a blowout. A lot of the races in swing seats were also quite close.
In fact, Democrats actually won more votes in state House races than Republicans. Democrats won more votes but got fewer seats.
In the 110 state House races, Democrats won 50.9 percent of the total vote. Republicans in aggregate got 48.9. Yes, Republicans won 63 seats but is 48.9 percent of the vote really a “wave”?
Dems win big in education
With one exception, Democrats swept the education boards - the state Board of education and the boards for Michigan State, Wayne State and the University of Michigan. That matters because, even though they are elected positions, almost no one knows who these candidates are.
That makes these board elections some of the most-reliable measures of core party strength - the stalwart yellow dog Democrats, rock-ribbed Republicans straight party ballot voters.
We should note, too, that the one exception is where a Green Party candidate ran a pretty aggressive campaign in the Spartans’ home turf of Lansing and East Lansing. That very well may have siphoned off enough votes from the Democrat to tip the race in the other direction.