In 2008 Michigan was cars and debt and blue all over. Since then, Michigan hasn't been the battleground for politicos it once was. Instead, something much bigger has been simmering on the horizon.
While I expect, along with the rest, that Michigan will go blue for Obama, one must look deeper into the results for for a glimpse into the political future. With a successful, yet deeply Republican state government working hand in glove with a Democratic regime, the results of this state's elections offer a view into the political crystal ball.
It's a crisp, mostly sunny morning in Michigan (the only drawback being a nippy 34 degrees). Unlike I had worried earlier in the week, the weather aftermath of Sandy will not be keeping voters away from the polls. Instead, I expect a good turnout from the state overall. There should be few surprises in the election results, but that doesn't mean they will be boring.
I expect to see a distinct shortage of young Obama-swinging voters from last year and that failure of at least 4 of the 6 state proposals on the ballot. Together, I predict these factors will reveal a strong Republican comeback brewing for 2014.
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Update 4:21p.m.: Have you frozen your tail feathers off yer waiting in line to cast your vote? I sure have. And while voting seems to be going off with only minor hitches, I have to say my experience at the polls did anything but inspire my faith in the American people.
While at the ballot box today, so to speak, I was apalled at the chaos at my local precinct. Those administering the ballots seems frayed and barely together, while voters were confused from end to end: Booths standing empty while voters, ballots in hand, stood bunched up in groups and appearing lost; folks milling about between booths asking friends and strangers alike for advice on who to vote for. I honestly kept asking myself "Is this legal?"
But what's done is done and since voter education can no longer be helped, let's look forward. Perhaps next year GOTV volunteers should be handing out this scorcard:
6:14 p.m.: I've heard word that lines at polls in the MI capital area are at one and a half to 2- hour waits. Similarly, critical swing- state Florida has long lines-- up to 3 hours.
7:03 p.m.: With 69% of precincts voting Vigo County, Ind. has Romney with a narrow edge over President Obama. The reuslts of Vigo County has correctly predicted the overall outcome of the presidential election with only 2 exceptions. Will this be a third?
7:15 p.m.: CNN reports the higher number of registered African American voters than in 2008-- Will we see the impact of a greater African American vote in Michigan?
Key Cities in Michigan:
Detroit: 82% African American
Grand Rapids: 20% African American
Lansing: 24% African American
Flint: 57% African American
Traverse City: 0.7% African American
7:19 p.m.: "Obama looking very strong in the Midwest" via CNN.
7:45 p.m.: Back to Vigo County, Ind.: Romney losing by fewer than 100 votes in the clairvoyant county with 99% of precincts reporting.
8:00 p.m.: Michigan polls close
8:34 p.m.: with fewer than 1% of precincts voting, Romney up 53% over Obama
8:38 p.m.: Obama takes Vigo County, Ind. by roughly 100 votes. Predictions: Obama wins second term by 278 electoral votes. Michigan to favor President Obama by 4-6 points.
8:51 p.m.: Romney ( 55.7%) up in the 9 Mich. counties reporting
all ballot proposals but Prop. #1 (Emergency Manager law) failing but a margin of no less than 60%- 40%
*Most highly populated county in the state. Leans right.
8:56 p.m.: Romney holding a brief lead over Obama in electoral votes. Takes 270 votes to win.
8:59 p.m.: with 2% of the Oakland County reporting, the county favors Obama by 53%
9:04 p.m.: CNN calls Michigan a clear win for Obama #noshitsherlock
9:05 p.m.: Huffington Post calculates Obama performing better in Wayne County (Detroit) better than 2008
9:30 p.m.: Michigan called: victory Obama