Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta of our It's Just Politics team gave us a list of five things to watch just before the election. Now we look at results and break down just what happened on election day.
1. How well did Snyder do in Detroit? Governor Snyder did better in Detroit than he did four years ago. He did not seem to pay a political price in the city for the Detroit takeover and bankruptcy. However, it's hard to know if this is an endorsement of Snyder or simply a result of the falloff in Democratic voting.
2. How was voter turnout? Way down, less than half of the people in Michigan who could vote did. Democratic turnout was especially down statewide. The Democratic strategy of get out the vote- finding 200,000 of 900,000 Democratic voters who sat out in 2010- seems not to have worked.
3. The Mayday PAC, a campaign finance reform group, decided to target incumbent Fred Upton in Michigan's 6th Congressional District, but did it have an impact? In short, no. Upton actually did slightly better this year than in 2012. So why did the Mayday PAC put $2 million into this race? They seem to have been looking for a test case. They wanted to see if they could move the needle on a seemingly safe Republican who chairs a committee. On paper the district is 50-50, but Upton ran above the party baseline, and he easily won reelection.
4. Did Kerry Bentivolio, a write-in candidate, siphon off enough Republican votes to lead to an upset against David Trott, the Republican candidate in the 11th Congressional District? No, Trott won 56% to 41% or almost 39,000 votes. It was simply a safe Republican seat.
5. Did Democrats pick up seats in the State House of Representatives? No, Democrats actually lost seats. The new Republican majority is 63 seats to the Democrats' 47 seats. Turnout mattered in this election and Democrats simply didn't get out.
*Listen to our conversation with the It's Just Politics team above.