2016 election

The Michigan Capitol in Lansing.
Matt Katzenberger / flickr.com

While most people watched the big presidential primary races in Michigan, Grand Rapids voters, and voters in Allegan and Lapeer counties ,filled empty seats in the Michigan House of Representatives.

In Grand Rapids, a vacancy in the 75th District was left when Brandon Dillon resigned last summer to become the Democratic Party chairman in Michigan.

In that district, Democrat David LaGrand beat out Republican Blake Edmonds. LaGrand is a business owner, a lawyer, and Grand Rapids school board member.

Bernie Sanders speaking in Traverse City, Michigan.
Todd Church / Flickr

Bernie Sanders pulled off an upset win over rival Hillary Clinton in Michigan's Democratic primary.

Polls going into Tuesday indicated that Clinton had a double-digit lead over Sanders -- so much for the polls.

Sanders took 49.9% of the vote. Clinton took 48.2%. 

Sign in Flint, Michigan.
Michigan Municipal League / Flickr

Flint polling places needed more ballots due to an unusually high turnout in a city that has been in the spotlight because of contaminated water.

Flint Clerk Inez Brown says it's the first time in her 20 years in office that she's had to send more ballots during the day of an election. She tells The Flint Journal that turnout Tuesday is "unprecedented," especially among voters who want to vote in the Democratic primary.

Republican presidential candidate at a campaign stop in Warren, Michigan (prior to his stop in Cadillac).
Jake Neher / MPRN

In a crowded field for the Republican nomination for president, Donald Trump continued to stay at the front of the pack.

With the win in Michigan, Trump picked up more delegates toward his goal of winning the Republican nomination.

If he secures the nomination, Trump will seek to become the first Republican to win Michigan in a presidential election since 1988, when George H.W. Bush was elected.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton currently lead the delegate counts for the presidential nomination. But because of the difference in how both parties award their delegates, Clinton's is the more commanding lead.


Michigan is an important test for Sanders

Tuesday's Democratic contest in Michigan, the biggest prize of the day, is key for Bernie Sanders to show he can turn things around. His campaign has argued that Clinton has ballooned her lead because of black voters in the South.

Vote Today!

Mar 8, 2016

Well, for once Michigan seems to have set our presidential primary at the right time, neither too early, nor too late. Today, we could have a decisive effect on both parties’ races.

When my sweetheart and I got home last night, we each had a robocall on our land lines. Hers was from Brian Calley urging a vote for John Kasich; mine from Mitt Romney urging one for Marco Rubio.

berniesanders.com/hillaryclinton.com

The race to the White House has finally come to Michigan. With the Republican debate in Detroit last week, Democrats arrived in Flint on Sunday with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders holding a debate at the Whiting auditorium.

Flint Congressman Dan Kildee  joined Stateside to share his thoughts on the debate between the two Democratic front-runners.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This isn’t your grandparents’, or even your parents’ Republican Party. Some might even argue this may not be the Republican Party of four years ago.
 
You may love it, or you may hate it, but there’s few that would debate that there’s never been a Republican primary race like this. Insults and rancor have largely overpowered debates on policy and governing. The headlines, more often than not, have focused on the fighting and the verbal zingers between the candidates rather than who would make a better Commander in Chief.

Whatever you think of Hillary Clinton, she said something worth considering during last night’s debate in Flint. “We have our differences,” she said of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. But she added, simply, “Compare the substance of this debate with what you saw on the Republican stage last week.”

That wasn’t just a cheap partisan shot. For two hours last night, Clinton and Sanders argued about policy matters. Sure, there was posturing and one-upmanship on both sides. But they showed personal respect for each other.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Stumping for votes in Michigan ahead of next week’s primary, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton called for a “new bargain for a new economy” at a campaign stop Friday.

Speaking from a factory floor in Detroit, Clinton said that “creating good-paying jobs and raising incomes is the defining economic challenge of our time.”

Clinton outlined a vision to meet that challenge.

She said U.S. corporations should practice “economic patriotism,” and treat workers as assets, not costs.

As everyone knows, there was an imitation TV wrestling match in Detroit last night otherwise known as the latest Republican presidential debate. If you missed it, I can report that the wrestlers show more ethnic diversity, and wear more colorful costumes.

I watched some of the debate on television. Long ago, I learned that being as such events is usually the second best thing to watching it on TV. You can read and listen to more detailed accounts of it elsewhere, but here’s what you really need to know:

First, the three other candidates spent most of the debate insulting and denouncing Donald Trump, and saying he would be the worst candidate in the history of the world. 


user eyspahn / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Four Republican presidential candidates spent a scant seven and a half minutes talking about Detroit, Flint, and manufacturing at a debate held in Detroit Thursday night.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Chanting everything from “Flint lives matter!” to “Nazi scum, off our streets!”, a range of protesters confronted Republican presidential debate-goers in the snow outside Detroit’s Fox Theater Thursday night.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Ohio Governor John Kasich talked strategy in Detroit before the GOP presidential debate there Thursday—though he hardly talked about Michigan at all.

Kasich did say Michigan is “important.” The state holds its primary next Tuesday, and Kasich has campaigned here through the week.

But Kasich said the way things are shaking out, the Republican presidential race is “all coming down to Florida and Ohio.”

NOAA

A group of business, industry, government, and environmental organizations in the Great Lakes region are asking presidential candidates to commit to protecting the lakes.

The coalition asked each candidate yesterday to support a specific list of priorities it calls the Great Lakes Protection & Restoration Platform.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The presidential candidates campaigning in Michigan Wednesday included Republican Marco Rubio, who made a stop at a Macomb County banquet hall.

The Florida Senator accused Republican front-runner Donald Trump of pulling an “elaborate con job” on voters.

He says this is no time to elect someone who “thinks the nuclear triad is a rock band from the eighties.”

“The world is a dangerous place. This is no time for irresponsibility or recklessness,” said Rubio, promising a “Reagan-style re-building of our military” if he’s elected.

Presidential nominating contests these days remind me of Japanese sumo wrestling matches.

In Sumo, there can be hours of ritual buildup before a so-called athletic match that lasts, on average, 90 seconds.

In this year’s presidential contest, we’ve had months and months of endless crowded debates, especially on the Republican side.

The various candidates spent vast sums, more than a hundred million of it by Jeb Bush, who now seems long gone from the race. It’s only 30 days since the first caucus votes were cast in Iowa, and both nominations now look nearly decided.

Jake Neher / MPRN

Two presidential candidates paid a visit to Michigan on Monday.

In Ypsilanti, more than 9,000 people packed Eastern Michigan University’s Convocation Center today to see Bernie Sanders speak. 

Lars Plougmann

If you want your vote to count in Michigan's March 8 presidential primary, you must register to vote today.

Potential voters can pick up registration forms at any Secretary of State branch office or at most local or state government offices. 

Forms can also be accessed at the Secretary of State's website here.

Hillary Clinton speaking at the House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church in Flint on Sunday.
Sandy Svoboda / WDET

Hillary Clinton took a break over the weekend from stumping for support in New Hampshire to bring her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination to Flint, where the city faces a public health crisis due to lead in the drinking water.

Clinton’s visit capped an hours-long church revival meeting filled with songs, sermons, and a pastor with a sense of humor as he noted the packed seats at the House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church.

“I got a question: Where y’all been?”  asked Elder Kenneth Stewart to peals of laughter from the congregation.

The ballot campaign to add LGBT and women’s rights to the state constitution is kaput, at least for this year.

Suspending the campaign

The Fair Michigan campaign succumbed to the reality this past week that it was not going to get the establishment support and financial backing it needed to put the question of adding gender equality and LGBT rights to the state constitution’s equal protection clause.

Twitter user @khakibluesocks

Earlier this week we asked you to send us selfies that show how you're feeling about this year's elections.

This week on Stateside, we're talking election feelings.

NPR's National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson gave us this look into why voters have such strong emotions this year, on everything from terrorism, to jobs, to elitism.  

Now we want to hear from you:

How are you feeling about this year's election? 

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has a prescription for Muslims in Dearborn who may be upset about anti-Muslim statements by his fellow Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump:

Do more to fight terrorism.

There are just two more weeks before the Legislature’s done for the year and House and Senate Republicans are spending them setting things up for election season 2016.

There’s a very partisan debate underway at the state Capitol about eliminating the straight-ticket voting option on the ballot. Straight-ticket voting is what allows voters to make just one mark on the ballot to cast all their votes for candidates of one party or the other.

As we head into the final month of 2015, campaigns in Michigan are already ramping up for Election 2016.

Jeb Bush
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush says a slimmed-down tax code and fewer environmental regulations would boost the economies of manufacturing states – and promises to adopt that sort of “pro-growth” strategy should make the Republican ticket attractive to voters in industrial states like Michigan and Pennsylvania come November of 2016.

“The only way to grow income for the middle class and lift people out of poverty is to grow the economy, and I know how to do it,” he told a crowd gathered at the Kent County Republican headquarters in Grand Rapids.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Secretary of State has released the initial list of Republican and Democratic candidates who will appear on the March 8 presidential primary ballot.

The Republicans:

 There’s been lots of debate over the past few days about the political wisdom of going ahead in Michigan with a couple of ballot campaigns after similar efforts suffered big defeats last week in Houston and Ohio.

OH to MI? Apples to oranges

Ben Carson Twitter / https://twitter.com/realbencarson

Republican presidential hopeful Doctor Ben Carson made a campaign swing through Michigan today.

Carson made stops in Jackson and Spring Arbor University. He told an audience at the Christian college the U.S. is a “Judeo-Christian nation,” and immigrants should not be allowed to change the character of the country.

Carson told the crowd “secular-progressives” are trying to force change upon the country.

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