Slaughterhouse 2010, Michigan Edition

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Quite a night in Michigan politics. This is just a quick update; more detail forthcoming in the comments when I have time.

Unsurprisingly, Republicans took the Governor/Lt Governor (welcome Governor Rick Snyder and Brian Calley), The Secretary of State (Ruth Johnson) and the Attorney General (Bill Schuette).

Still somewhat unsurprisingly (but less so), the Republicans gained a super-majority in the State Senate. They have held that Chamber for a decade now, but Dems have controlled enough to be able to raise some procedural Hell when they needed to make a statement. But after last night, Republicans hold that chamber 26-12. The next Majority Leader in the State Senate is likely to be Senator Randy Richardville from Monroe. Actually a really good guy and a class-act. Little comfort for the Dems, though. No Democratic incumbents lost, but not that many were coming back anyway, what with 29 of the 38 seats being open due to term limits.

The surprise was that the Dems lost majority in the House. They started with 67 seats and last night the Republicans regained the House 63-47. That's nearly a 20-seat swing, folks. Equally shocking were the number of incumbents that lost: 9. 9 Democratic incumbents lost their seats, and Dems lost all but 2 open seats that were "in play." Jase Bolger, a Republican from Marshall (H/T to the home of Dark Horse Brewing Company!) is the next likely Speaker of the House. Of 13 "battleground" open seats (there were many more open seats, but many of those are safe...or were...), Dems won exactly 2 of them. 2.

Hell, Gary Peters, one of our Congressmen from Oakland County, barely won re-election against a guy who changed his name to "Rocky." Mark Schauer, a Dem with a mild manner, brains, and a decent policy mind, lost to the demon-spawn of Grandpa Simpson and Herman Munster. Gary McDowell, a Dem trying to replace long-serving Bart Stupak in the Democratic 1st District U.P. congressional seat, lost to a Tea Party candidate and birther.

In August, Michigan's Supreme Court was tipped 4-3 in favor of Dems when Granholm appointed Justice Alton Thomas Davis to replace outgoing "Republican" Justice Betty Weaver. Davis lost his chance at election last night, as voters returned incumbent Justice Bob Young and placed Mary Beth Kelly on the bench; it is highly unusual for a non-incumbent (Kelly) to beat an incumbent (Davis), but given how the votes went last night, and the fact that Kelly and Young ran together and even had their names together on yard signs, it's no big surprise.

At least we won't have to waste our time with a constitutional convention. That proposal get killed.

Now to pick up the pieces, figure out whose ass to kiss, and get busy!


Bob 9:25 AM  

I expected the House Dems to lose a lot of seats. That map was drawn very pro-Republican and there were seats that really had no buisness being held by a Dem, but through great coatails in 2006 and 2008, as well as some great candidates with strong community connections, it went Dem. Some of those seats were bound to go back to R once certain popular figures (i.e. John Espinoza) was termed out.

That said, I did not expect it to be this bad. I haven't paid that much attention. Have the Dems been running really bad races? They seemed to be decently funded, but with a Dem. Speaker intent on becoming Governor, I could see that ship being rudder-less.

As far as the Senate goes, they had less excuses. The Senate Dems have never capitalized on a better map, or picked up seats in good years like 2006. Their messaging always sucked.

I would have liked to make a predictive post, but did not have the time. As far as the national level goes, I agree with Ed Rendell's assesment that it could have been better if the Dems talked about their successes. Does anyone know that the stimulus is 42% tax cuts? Does anyone know that childen cannot be dropped from health coverage any longer due to a preexisting condition? Helllooooo?

Bob 9:26 AM  

House Dems = State House Dems

Smitty 9:47 AM  

The House Dems weren't rudderless. They suffered the same accident of humility that Congressional Dems did; they never talked about all the shit they did right. When you pass a package of bills, make a big huge damn deal out of it. When the Rs breathe, slam them for it and say what bills you're passing to be better.

Money was the problem for Alton Davis. They had ads that gave him huge leads in the polls, but not enough money to put them on the air until after the damn absentees were back.

Bob 9:56 AM  

They suffered the same accident of humility...

Don't you mean they suffered from the same cowardly in place of humility?

Smitty 9:59 AM  

Don't you mean they suffered from the same cowardly in place of humility?

I was trying to say "they suffered from being afraid of their own successes that they allowed the Rs to define them as failures like giant fucking idiots."

Bob 10:07 AM  


I love Mark Schauer, but his messaging blew.

Bob 11:38 AM  

FYI- Just spoke with a House Dem staffer who says they saw the loss of majority coming in their polling.

Smitty 12:37 PM  

Loss of majority isn't in and of itself the surprise. The surprise was the sheer margin of victory. Talked to a couple Republican Reps this morning who expected to have 58 seats tops. But 63 was beyond their wildest dreams.

steves 1:06 PM  

alton Davis just didn't do enough to get his name out. It is stupid that we elect a Supreme Ct. and it comes down to who spends the most. From what I have heard, it also helps to have an Irish surname, so Alton should have called himself Paddy O'Davis.

I think some popular Dems lost to idiots because of voter anger and straight party voting. The Mark Schauer/Tim Walberg race was one of the worst I can remember, with both of them accusing the other of eliminating medicare, shipping jobs to China, raping cats, cannibalism, etc. Schauer even ran an ad where he said, "you are probably sick of the ads we have been running," and then proceeded to say the same stuff that everyone was sick of.

I'll be interested to see what happens.

Smitty 1:24 PM  

alton Davis just didn't do enough to get his name out.

Yup. Like I said above, too little too late. Couldn't scrape together the money in time to get him up on tv and talk about himself let alone why Young is a shitty Justice.

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