MICHIGAN 16 Electoral Votes 
link to clickable map
Population 
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Michigan Bureau of Elections)
Total Resident Population, July 1, 2019 est.              9,986,857
Total Registration, Nov. 2020                                         
Michigan has: 83 counties.
Largest counties: Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Kent, Genessee. 
Largest cities: Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren, Sterling Heights. 

Government
Governor: Gretchen Whitmer (D) elected 2018.
State Legislature: Michigan State Legislature   House: 110 seats   Senate: 38 seats
Local: Counties and Cities, 2  NACO
U.S. House: 7R, 7D - 1. J.Bergman (R) | 2. B.Huizenga (R) | 3. J.Amash (R) | 4. J.Moolenaar (R) | 5. D.Kildee (D) | 6. F.Upton (R) | 7. T.Walberg (R) | 8. E.Slotkin (D) | 9. A.Levin (D) | 10. P.Mitchell (R) | 11. H.Stevens (D) | 12. D.Dingell (D) | 13. R.Tlaib (D) | 14. B.Lawrence (D).  >
U.S. Senate: Gary Peters (D) seeking re-election in 2020, Debbie Stabenow (D) re-elected in 2018. 
2020
U.S. Senate: Sen. Gary Peters (D), seeking a second term, faces John James (R), a businessman who was the Republican nominee against Sen. Stabenow in 2018, Marcia Squier (G), Doug Dern (NLP) and Valerie Willis (USTP).
U.S. House:
There are two open seats...
- In CD3 (Western MI including Grand Rapids), Rep. Justin Amash (L) who was first elected in 2010 is retiring; he switched from Republican to Libertarian in 2019 and briefly explored a run for the Libertarian presidential nominationRunning to succeed Amash are veteran Peter Meijer (R) and attorney Hillary Scholten (D).
- In CD10 (the Thumb), Paul Mitchell (R), elected in 2016, is retiring.  Seeking to succeed him are Lisa McClain (R), a financial executive, and Kimberly Bizon (D), a digital marketing consultant.  This seat is seen as solid Republican.

State Legislature: All 110 House seats are up; Senate elections are held every four years. 
Ballot Measures: There are two proposed constitutional amendments: 1. Addresses money from oil and gas mining on state-owned lands. 2. Would require a search warrant in order to access a person's electronic data or electronic communications.

 State of Michigan
Bureau of Elections

MI Democratic Party
MI Republican State Comm.
Libertarian Party of MI
Green Party of MI
Constitution Party of MI (USTP)

Detroit News
Detroit Free Press
MLive-Politics
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TV
, Radio

Politics1-MI
Ballotpedia-MI
 


The Great Lakes State
General Election -- Tuesday, November 3, 2020

January 6, 2 Michiganders are encouraged to register by Oct. 19 but can register and vote up to and on the day of the general election. >

Voters can apply for absentee ballots starting Aug. 20 (75 days to election)
MI SOS: Absentee ballot request numbers.


Voters can vote at the local clerk's office starting Sept. 24 (40 days to election).
[PDF]
 

In May 2020 Sec. of State Jocelyn Benson announced that in view of the pandemic the Bureau of Elections will send out applications to vote by mail to all 7.7 million registered voters for the November general election.   This led to a high-profile Twitter exchange with President Trump which generated some headlines and even litigation.  The record shows that Secretary Benson has been working hard to ensure a smooth election, including pushing the legislature to make several needed improvements (1, 2).


On the Ballot   PDF

Biden/Harris (Dem.)


Trump/Pence (Rep.)


Jorgensen/Cohen (Lib.)


Blankenship/Mohr (USTP)


Hawkins/Walker (Grn.)


De La Fuente/Richardson (NLP)






Ballot Access
In addition to the major and minor political parties qualified to appear on the November 2020 general election ballot, other presidential candidates wishing to appear on the ballot were required to submit a petition with a minimum of 30,000 signatures [PDF].  The Socialist Equality Party candidates filed a lawsuit challenging this requirement in view of the pandemic, but their action was not successful (+).
Overview: The political terrain is different than in 2016 when Trump eked out a very narrow win here.  In 2018  Michiganders elected Democratic former Ingham County prosecutor Gretchen Whitmer as governor and Democrats picked up two U.S. House seats, CD-8 in Southeast Michigan and CD-11 in outer Detroit. 
   Democrats point to record turnout in the March 10, 2020 primary (+); 380,000 more Democrats turned out in 2020 than in 2016.  Biden won the primary by 16.59 percentage points over Sanders, carrying all 83 counties; in contrast to 2016 when Clinton narrowly lost to Sanders in the primary.  Gov. Whitmer sparred with Trump on pandemic response, and was subject of some vice presidential speculation. 
   As in other states there is a stark contrast between the Trump campaign's active, in-person approach, emphasizing the ground game and events, and the Biden campaign's largely virtual effort (R, allies | D, allies)
| C).
   Michigan is a state where the results may well be slow to be tallied and announced. 
S.B. 757, currently being considered by the State Legislature, would allow local election officials to start opening absent voter ballot return envelopes on the day before election day.  According to the Secretary of State, "The Bipartisan Policy Center recommends clerks have at least seven days to process absentee ballots before Election Day. This bill allows only ten hours, only minimal processing, and includes a sunset provision..."

Trump  |  Biden


See also:
Charlotte Alter.  "Joe Biden is Running an Invisible Campaign in All-Important Michigan. That's Making Some Democrats Nervous."  Time, Sept. 15, 2020.

Rick Snyder.  "Former Michigan governor Rick Snyder: I am a Republican vote for Biden."  Detroit Free Press, Sept. 3, 2020.

Shane Goldmacher and Kathleen Gray.  "Michigan Threatens to Slip From Trump As He Goes Quiet on Airwaves."  New York Times, July 29, 2020.

Malachi Barrett. "Donít trust the polls, Democrats warn Biden campaign about lead in Michigan." mlive.com, July 19, 2020.

Todd Spangler.  "With Biden gaining in polls, Michigan's status as battleground state up in the air."  Detroit Free Press, June 12, 2020.

Jonathan Martin and Kathy Gray.  "In Seeking to Hold Michigan, Trump Can Be His Own Worst Enemy."  New York Times,  May 31, 202
0.
[State Primary: August 4, 2020]
Presidential Primary -- Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Voting Age Population 7,737,250.  Number Registered 7,323,369.  Number Voting 2,565,373. >
Democrats
Biden 840,360 (52.93%), Sanders 576,926 (36.34%)...Total 1,587,679.  details

147 Delegates: 82 District, 27 At-Large, 16 PLEO and 22 Unpledged.


Republicans
Trump 640,522 (93.72%), Weld 6,099 (0.89%), Sanford 4,258 (0.62%), Walsh 4,067 (0.60%), Uncomm. 28,485 (4.17%).  Total: 683,431.

General Election Winners in Michigan, 1992-2016
1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
Clinton
43.77%
Clinton
51.69%
Gore
51.28%
Kerry
51.23%
Obama
57.43%
Obama
54.21%
Trump
47.50%
  and the details...

General Election -- Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Voting Eligible Population*: 7.423,233.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 64.7%.


Voter Registration Deadline: Oct. 11, 2016.



Official Results >


+Trump/Pence (Rep.)
2,279,543
(47.50)
Clinton/Kaine (Dem.)
2,268,839
(47.27)
Johnson/Weld (Lib.)
172,136
(3.59)
Castle/Bradley (USTP)
16,139
(0.34)
Stein/Baraka (Grn.)
51,463
(1.07)
Soltysik/Walker (NLP)
2,209
(0.05)
McMullin (w/in)
8,177
(0.17)
other w/ins (6)
778

Total........4,799,284




Total voters: 4,874,619
Overview: Although the Republican ticket had not carried the Michigan since Bush/Quayle did in 1988, the Trump campaign saw an opening.  In the final week the campaign flooded the state with visits by the principals and surrogates.
Michigan proved to be a critical state for  the Republican ticket, which eked out a victory with a plurality of 10,704 votes out of 4.8 million cast The margin of 0.23 percentage points was the closest of any state.  Trump/Pence carried 75 counties to just eight for Clinton/Kaine.
   Looking at the Detroit area, Clinton's plurality in Wayne County was 290,451 votes, substantially off from
the 382,032 cushion Obama amassed in 2012. 
   On Nov. 30 Green Party nominee Jill Stein submitted a petition for recount.  The recount was begun, but ended on Dec. 7 due to a court order. (1, 2)
   There were a lot of problems with voting in Detroit; a subsequent audit by the Michigan Bureau of Elections found "human error, not illegal activity, resulted in mismatches between the number of ballots and recorded voters."  Further the Bureau reported "no evidence of pervasive voter fraud or that widespread voting equipment failure led to the imbalances (+)."
General Election Visits
Clinton  |  Trump

BALLOT [PDF]

See also:
Edward-Isaac Dovere.  "How Clinton lost Michigan--and blew the election."  Politico, Dec. 14, 2016.


General Election -- Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Voting Eligible Population*: 7,317,247.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 64.7%.


Voter Registration Deadline: October 9, 2012.



Official Results >


Romney/Ryan (Rep.) 2,115,256 (44.71)
+Obama/Biden (Dem.)
2,564,569 (54.21)
Goode/Clymer (UST)
16,119 (0.34)
Stein/Honkala (Grn.)
21,897
(0.46)
Anderson/Rodriguez (NLP)
5,147
(0.11)
Alexander (w/in)
89
-
Hoefling (w/in)
42
-
Johnson (w/in)
7,774
(0.16)
White (w/in)
68
-
Total........4,730,961


total votes: 4,780,701
2012 Overview
Although the Republican ticket had not carried Michigan since Bush/Quayle defeated Dukakis/Bentsen in 1988, there were suggestions that Mitt Romney's ties to the state could put it in play.  That scenario was not to be.  The Obama/Biden ticket won Michigan with a plurality of 449,313 votes (9.50 percentage points), carrying 20 counties to 63 for Romney/Ryan.  The three Detroit area counties (Wayne, Oakland and Macomb) produced 39.6% of the total votes in the presidential race (1,871,518 votes).  Macomb (51.48% to 47.49%) and Oakland (53.56% to 45.20%) were relatively close, but in Wayne County Obama racked up a plurality of 382,032 votes (73.03% to 26.21%).  Statewide 270,805 fewer votes were tallied in the presidential contest than in 2008 (a 5.4% decrease).
General Election Details
Obama  |  Romney
BALLOT [PDF]

General Election -- Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Voting Eligible Population*: 7,263,250.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 68.9%.


Total Registration: 7,470,764.


Official Results >
+

McCain-Palin (Rep.)
2,048,639
(40.96)
+Obama-Biden (Dem.)
2,872,579
(57.43)
McKinney (Grn.)
8,892
(0.18)
Baldwin (UST)
14,685
(0.29)
Barr/Root (Lib.)
23,716 (0.47)
Nader/Gonzalez (NLP)
33,085
(0.66)
Alan Keyes (w/in)
129
-
Brian Moore (w/in)
41
-
Total........ 5,001,766


2008 Overview
In early October, as the financial crisis piled on top of Michigan's own "one-state recession," the McCain camp cut its campaign here and shifted most of its resources from the state.  Obama went on to amass a plurality of 823,940 votes (16.47 percentage points), carrying 47 counties to 36 for McCain.  The three Detroit area counties (Wayne, Oakland and Macomb) produced 39.4% of the total votes in the presidential race (1,968,610 votes).  In those three counties Obama tallied a plurality of 572,234 votes.  In Macomb County, of Reagan Democrat fame, Obama won 53.38% to 44.77% of the 419,216 votes cast.
General Election Details
Obama/Allies  |  McCain/Allies  |  Nader

General Election -- Tuesday, November 2, 2004
Voting Eligible Population*: 7,263,024.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 66.6%.


Total Registration: 7,164,047.
Bush/Cheney (Rep.)
2,313,746
(47.81)
+Kerry/Edwards (Dem.)
2,479,183
(51.23)
Cobb (Grn.) 5,325 (0.11)
Peroutka (UST) 4,980
(0.10)
Badnarik (Lib.)
10,552
(0.22)
Brown (NLP)
1,431
(0.03)
Nader (NPA)
24,035
(0.50)
Total........4,839,252
 




2004 Overview
Bush made it close in Michigan, but Kerry prevailed in the end with a plurality of 165,437 votes (3.42 percentage points).  Bush carried 68 counties to 15 for Kerry.  The three Detroit area counties (Wayne, Oakland and Macomb) produced 39.5% of the total votes in the presidential race (1,909,115 votes).  Kerry amassed a plurality of 342,294 votes in Wayne county and narrowly won in Oakland county, while Bush narrowly won in Macomb county.
General Election Details
Kerry/Allies  |  Bush/Cheney '04

General Election -- Tuesday, November 7, 2000
Voting Eligible Population*: 7,070,702.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 59.9%.


Total Registration: 6,859,332.
ll


Bush/Cheney (Rep.)
1,953,139
 (46.15)
+Gore/Lieberman (Dem.)
2,170,418
(51.28)
Browne/Olivier (Lib.)
16,711
(0.39)
Hagelin/Goldhaber(NLP)
2,426
(0.06)
Phillips/Frazier (UST) 
3,791
(0.09)
Nader/LaDuke (Grn.)
84,165
(1.99)
Buchanan (w/in)
1,851
 (0.04)
Total........4,232,501

Total voters: 4,279,299
Turnout (% of VAP) was 58.2%

Notes
The Democratic, Republican, Reform, Libertarian and Natural Law parties all retained ballot status from 1998.  The US Taxpayers Party of Michigan and the Green Party of Michigan qualified by petitioning, submitting the required 30,272 valid signatures (1 percent of the total vote cast for governor in 1998) by July 20, 2000.  No Reform Party nominee appeared on the ballot because competing factions submitted two sets of papers, one for Buchanan and one for Hagelin. 

2000 Overview
The battleground state of Michigan went to Gore by a plurality of 217,279 votes (5.13 percentage points).  Bush carried 58 counties to 25 for Gore.  Almost 40% of the total vote (39.8%) comes from the Detroit area (Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties).  Gore piled up a plurality of 307,393 votes in Wayne county and narrowly won in Oakland and Macomb.  As expected, Bush did well in Western Michigan (Kent County/Grand Rapids and the surrounding counties).  He underperformed in the city of Detroit, and would have had to have done better in Western Wayne county as well as in Oakland and Macomb to carry the state.

A statewide school vouchers initiative, Proposal 1, was overwhelmingly defeated, 69.1% to 30.9%.

General Election Activity


1992 and 1996 General Elections

1992
Clinton (Dem.).....1,871,182
(43.77)
Bush (Rep.).........1,554,940
(36.38)
Perot (Ind.)............824,813
(19.30)
Others (4+w/ins)......23,738
(0.56)
Total........4,274,673
Overall 4,341,909 people voted out of 6,147,083 registered. 
The VAP was 6,947,000 for a turnout (% of VAP) of 62.5%.
1996
Clinton (Dem.).....1,989,653
(51.69)
Dole (Rep.).........1,481,212 
(38.48)
Perot (Ref.)............336,670
(8.75)
Others (4+w/ins)......41,309
(1.07)
Total........3,848,844
Overall 3,912,261 people voted out of 6,677,079 registered. 
The VAP was 7,072,000 for a turnout (% of VAP) of 55.3%.
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