Victory parties are getting underway for candidates in Michigan's 7th congressional district.    On the 16th floor of the McCamly Hotel in Battle Creek, a spokesman for incumbent Democrat Mark Schauer says they are cautiously optimistic.   Republican challenger Tim Walberg's party is in downtown Jackson.    Two years, the race was not decided until well after midnight. 

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Rick Snyder is heading for a lopsided win "as GOP tidal wave looms."

Republican Rick Snyder headed toward a landslide victory in the race for governor over Democrat Virg Bernero, leading a possible Republican sweep of statewide offices, according to a Free Press automated poll of 2,000 voters statewide.

Rick Snyder
Snyder's campaign website

By Rick Pluta

The candidates are waiting for the votes to be counted. Republican candidate for governor Rick Snyder says if he is elected he will not wait to begin planning for his administration. Snyder says he intends to bring a sense of "crisis" to Lansing:

Polling station sign
user jaina / Creative Commons

People in northern states may be cold, but they seem to vote in higher numbers than in some other states.

In the 2008 election, these states had the highest turnout rates from their voting eligible population according to Michael McDonald's United States Elections Project:

People voting
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Alex Halderman - the University of Michigan professor who successfully hacked into a test version of the Washington, D.C.'s computer voting system - says Michigan voters should not be worried that their votes will be tampered with on Tuesday's election. 

Haldermn says most of Michigan’s polling places use optical scanners: voters fill out paper ballots that get scanned into a computer.

Local election results

Nov 2, 2010

We've gathered up all the county election results sites in our listening area.

Click here to find your local election results

It's Election Day

Nov 2, 2010

It's Election Day. Voters in Michigan are set to choose many new candidates for top offices.

Voters are set to choose a new governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and attorney general. Voters will also choose two state Supreme Court nominees. All of Michigan's fifteen U.S. Congressional seats are also up for election, as well as seats for the state Senate and House.

Michigan will have at least 4 freshman members of Congress after November’s general election.

But all that new blood means Michigan is losing something special in Washington...seniority.

By January,  Republicans Pete Hoekstra and Vern Ehlers, and Democrats Bart Stupak and Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick will have packed up and moved out of their congressional offices in Washington. 

Hoekstra, Ehlers and Stupak voluntarily retired. Cheeks-Kilpatrick lost her party’s August primary.

With one day to go before Election Day, the candidates running for Governor will spend the day traveling around the state getting out their campaign messages.  Democratic nominee Virg Bernero will start his day in Detroit and end it in Lansing.  Republican candidate Rick Sndyer will make stops in Portland and Ann Arbor.

(Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Voters in the 7th congressional district will have two familiar choices on the ballot in November.  They faced each other before.  This time the result may be different.

 When you are congressman running for re-election you walk in a lot of parades.  Democrat Mark Schauer spent a recent September day walking in Charlotte’s Frontier Days parade.   The crowd lining the parade route was polite,  but several people like Liz Goble were not happy to see Mark Schauer. 

"I definitely wasn’t happy when he was voted in.  I will be happy to see him go," says Goble. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Social Security sparked a spirited debate between the two major party candidates running for Michigan's 7th Congressional seat.

Incumbent Democrat Mark Schauer and Republican former congressman Tim Walberg are in a close race and social security is seen as a key issue.

Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell at a podium
Kalamazoo Public Library

Democratic Party leaders in Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties have chosen their candidate to replace Robert Jones - Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell.

Robert Jones was running for the Michigan Senate in the 20th district when he died over the weekend. He was battling esophageal cancer.

In Michigan, votes for a deceased candidate do not count, so party leaders had to put forward a new candidate.

Inside the Michigan Senate
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Since Robert Jones  passed away this past weekend, election officials have been working to come up with a plan of action. Jones was a candidate for the Michigan Senate and the election is just fourteen days away.

Lars Plougmann

Here are some numbers for you from the Michigan Secretary of State's office.

  • 95.5% - percent of the voting age population in Michigan registered to vote
  • 7.28 million people registered - a record for a Michigan gubernatorial election
  • 7.40 million people - the highest number of registered voters Michigan has ever seen (2008 presidential election)

But just because people are registered to vote doesn't mean they will.

Photo from Jones campaign website

Michigan House Representative and current Democratic candidate for State Senate Robert Jones died this past weekend. He was 66 and being treated for esophogeal cancer, but officials at Kalamzoo's Democratic Party Headquarters say his death still came as a surprise.

Jones' death has raised several questions about the race for the State Senate seat in Michigan's 20th district (representing parts of Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties).

John Dingell and Rahm Emanuel holding a paczki
Official photo from the United States Congress

This November Michigan voters will cast ballots in 15 races for the U.S. House of Representatives. Right now, two of those races are considered "toss-ups", according to NPR  - the race between Mark Schauer (D) and Tim Walberg (R)  in the 7th District, and the race between Dan Benishek (R) and Gary McDowell (D) in the 1st District.

Center for Michigan

Here's an interesting post from FactCheck.org, "candidates have a legal right to lie to voters." It's protected speech. In fact, TV or radio stations running political ads they know to be false, can't refuse to run the ad.

That's why we need people like John Bebow from the Truth Squad and Lester Graham from Michigan Radio's Michigan Watch.

Logos from candidates' websites


Ronald and Nancy Reagan at the 1988 Republican convention in New Orleans
White House / Ronald Reagan Library

Both the republican and democratic nominating conventions will be held this weekend. So what actually happens at these things? Aren't they just overhyped pageants so the parties can put their candidates on display?

While that might be the case for the national conventions, the Michigan conventions are different. Balloons and confetti are absent.  Horsetrading and backroom deals  rule the day.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero is way behind according to a poll by EPIC-MRA. Of the 600 people polled, 51% said they'd back Republican Rick Snyder, and just 29% said they'd support Bernero. 20% of the respondents were undecided, so if Bernero can convince the undecided voters, he could make up the gap.

Michigan House Republicans

Rick Snyder speaks like a corporate CEO talking up some newly discovered talent when he talks about Brian Calley. Snyder says Calley is young, but he's fine with it, "I think 33's a great age. He's had good private business experience. He's been a successful community banker, so great private sector experience and good legislative experience, and the other part of this is you shouldn't look at just age. This is how we build for the future is we get great young people involved in the process, and so we need more and more great young people like Brian."

Calley worked as a commercial banker in mid-Michigan before he was elected to the state House in 2006. He built a reputation as an expert on tax policy, and as someone who could easily work with Republicans and Democrats.