Revisiting the November Election as we Enter the 2023 Legislative Term

First the first time in about 40 years, Democrats will control the upcoming legislative session with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer winning re-election with 54.5 percent of the vote, Democrats winning 20 of the 38 seats in the State Senate and also winning 56 of the 110 seats in the State House of Representatives, according to official Michigan election results.

Prior to the election there was a buzz that Republicans may not only keep control of the legislature but also take control of the Governor seat (and the Secretary of State and Attorney General seats as well). But, that was not the case.

Some facts about the 2022 Gubernatorial Election as it pertains to Michigan, and Southeast Michigan?

Gov. Whitmer won 54.5 percent of the statewide vote and Republican opponent Tudor Dixon won 43.9 percent of the vote, according to official election results. In Southeastern Michigan four of the seven counties in the region voted in favor of Whitmer; those same counties also had a majority percent of voters vote straight party ticket for Democrats over Republicans. The voter counties in the region that voted in favor of Whitmer, and Democrats in general, were Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

Gov. Whitmer took the highest percentage of votes in Washtenaw County at 75.1 percent; 75.3 percent of Washtenaw County also voted straight party ticket for the Democrat party.

In Macomb County, which Gov. Whitmer also won in 2018 but where former President Donald Trump (R) won in 2016, Gov. Whitmer increased the percentage by which she won from the last time. In 2022 Gov. Whitmer took 51.8 percent of the vote in Macomb County. And, while this county did go blue, it had the lowest percentage of Democrat votes as compared to the other three counties in the region that also went blue. In Wayne County Gov. Whitmer garnered 70.8 percent of the vote and in Oakland County she garnered 61 percent of the vote.

Reports indicate that garnering majority of the votes from Macomb and Oakland counties played key roles in Gov. Whitmer’s win. According to MLive, the last time a candidate won the governor’s election while losing Oakland County was in 1982.

On the other side, of the seven counties in the region it was Livingston County where Dixon garnered the highest percentage of votes at 65.5 percent. In St. Clair County she had 57.8 percent of the vote and in Monroe County she had 55.5 percent of the vote.

St. Clair County had the highest percentage of straight party ticket Republican votes at 64.4 percent.
When examining the results for the State legislature we know that nearly a majority of those who returning to the State legislature are incumbents ( 53 incumbents in the 110 person House of Representatives and 22 incumbents in the 38 person State Senate). Furthermore, of the 53 House of Representatives incumbents, 20 are Democrats and 18 are Republicans. The make up of the 22 State Senate incumbent roster is 11 of whom are Republicans and 11 who are Democrats. Overall though, according to Bridge Michigan, 10 percent of incumbents who ran for re-election this year lost in either the primary or general election. One such incumbent at the Senate level was Mike MacDonald (R-Macomb Township). With the redistricting of legislative seats, MacDonald faced (state legislator) newcomer Veronica Klinefelt (D); Klinefelt garnered 53 percent of the vote and MacDonald garnered 42 percent.
As noted, Macomb County went blue for several state related races, but at the local level the Macomb County Board of Commissioners remains controlled by the Republicans and at the Congressional level a Republican won the race for the new 10th Michigan Congressional District.  

In Macomb County, Congressman-elect John James (R) won 48.6 percent of the vote and his opponent Carl Marlinga (D) took 48.4 percent of the vote in Macomb County. For the entire district, which spans into the Rochester area as well, Marlinga won 48.8 percent of the vote.

With the next legislative term ready to begin, agendas and priorities are already being discussed at the national, state and local levels. Key priorities Drawing Detroit will be giving keen attention to in the coming year include climate change topics such as heat islands, flooding, changing water, carbon and temperature levels, electric vehicle fleets and more.

Past Election Recaps: Southeastern Michigan

The Presidential Election is nearly two weeks away and according to, a website focused on polling analysis, Presidential Democratic nominee Joe Biden is currently 7.6 points ahead in the polls over President Donald Trump, the Republic candidate running for re-election. Furthermore, the website predicts that Biden will win the state of Michigan. However, it was just a little over four years ago that Trump won the State of Michigan, turning a formerly blue state red. Trump won over then Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by 0.23 percent of the popular vote. Overall, Trump took 47.5 percent of the total votes and Clinton took 47.3 percent of the vote. In 2012 though President Barack Obama, the then Democratic candidate up for re-election, won Michigan, helping assure his second term in the White House.

As the election nears we find it important to show you what areas in Southeastern Michigan voted for the Republican and Democratic nominees in both 2012 and 2016 and what areas flipped between those two elections. In the 2016 map we see that Detroit and its inner-ring suburbs (Ferndale, Royal Oak, parts of Warren, etc.), along with Ann Arbor and its surrounding cities to the east and west, had Clinton as the winning candidate. There was also a pocket in the City of Monroe that went to Clinton. However, a large share of the region went to Trump, including all of Livingston and St. Clair counties and majority of Macomb and nearly all of Monroe counties. Of course, Macomb County made national news as a strong reason why Michigan went to Trump in the 2016 election. Monroe County also made a significant switch between 2012 and 2016.

In 2012 we know that the State of Michigan went to Obama and that majority of the popular vote in Southeastern Michigan did the same.  For example, in Macomb County 47.5 percent of the vote went to then Republican nominee Mitt Romney and 51.5 percent went to Obama, according to the election results. In Wayne County 73 percent of the vote went to Obama while 26 percent went to Romney, according to election results. For Oakland County in 2012 then-Republican nominee (Romney) received 45 percent of the vote and the Democratic nominee (Obama) received 54 percent of the vote, according to county election results.

Now, when comparing the 2012 and 2016 results Macomb and Monroe counties are the two to focus on because of their flips between the last two elections. When drilling down into Macomb County we see that the central portion of Sterling Heights, the northern portion of Warren, majority of St. Clair Shores and pockets of precincts in Lenox, Chesterfield, Clinton, Harrison, Richmond and Shelby townships and in the cities of Fraser, Utica and Roseville flipped from Democratic to Republican precincts between the 2012 and 2016 elections. There was not one precinct in Macomb County that switched from Republican to Democrat between the 2012 and 2016 elections, according to county election results. Overall, in 2016 53.6 percent of the vote went to Trump in Macomb County while in 2012 47.5 percent of the vote went to then Republican nominee Romney, according to the election results. In Monroe County we see that the city of Monroe and Dundee, London, Erie, Exeter, Berlin and Rainsville townships switched from Democratic in 2012 to Republican in 2016. Similar to Macomb, there were no precincts in Monroe County that had the reverse switch, going from Republican in 2012 to Democratic in 2016. In Monroe County in 2016 58.4 percent of the votes went to Trump, according to the election results.

For Wayne County, while overall it went to Clinton in 2016 nearly all of the Downriver region (Trenton, Woodhaven, Flat Rock, Gibraltar, Rockwood, Brownstown, Riverview and portions of Wyandotte, Southgate, Taylor and Allen Park) switched from voting Democratic in the 2012 election to going for the Republican Presidential nominee (Trump) in 2016. Additionally, all of Garden City made that switch, as did portions of Huron, Sumpter and Van Buren townships, along with areas in Westland, Romulus and Livonia. Overall in Wayne County in 2016, 66 percent of the vote went to Democratic nominee Clinton and 29 percent went to Trump, according to the official Wayne County election results.

In Oakland County, overall, 44 percent of the voters voted for the Republican nominee (Trump) and 52 percent voted for the Democratic nominee (Clinton) in 2016, according to county elections results. In 2016, there were pockets of precincts-primarily in the Bloomfield-Birmingham area-that switched from Republican to Democratic and Birmingham made that switch nearly in its entirety.

Washtenaw County, unlike Macomb and Monroe counties, had several precincts in 2016 that switched from being Republican in 2012 to being Democratic in 2016. All precincts in Lima and Sylvan townships switched from Republican in 2012 to Democratic in 2016, and about half of the precincts in Dexter and Lodi townships did the same. Augusta and Lyndon townships did the opposite, switching from Democratic to Republican between the two elections.

Of course, while this data and the accompanying maps show the results of the 2012 and 2016 Presidential elections for Southeastern Michigan, for the upcoming election nothing will be decided until at least Nov. 3. It is our right and our duty to vote for the next president, and each and every vote matters.