Michigan voters head to the polls on Tuesday in a primary with national implications.
Voters will choose a Republican to take on Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) in the general election come November, and could also change history by dropping one or both of the state’s two black congressmen in Tuesday’s primary contests.
In the GOP Senate race Pete Hoekstra has an advantage in money and name recognition over Clark Durant in a race that also includes former county judge Randy Hekman. Gary Glenn’s name also appears on the ballot, but he dropped out several weeks ago.
Hoekstra, a former longtime congressman and 2010 gubernatorial candidate, has strong support from the Republican establishment and a better statewide campaign operation.
Democratic Congressmen Hansen Clarke of Detroit and Gary Peters are battling in the newly-created 14th District (Michigan lost one of it's congressional seats) — which runs from Detroit into Oakland County — along with several other candidates. If, as expected, Rep. Peters (D-Mich.) wins his intra-party battle against freshman Rep. Clarke, he will almost definitely join Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) as just the second white member of the House to represent a majority-black district. Peters has support from organized labor.
Civil rights icon Rep. John Conyers of Detroit also faces a primary challenges from several candidates in the 13th District. Victors in those two primaries are expected to easily win in November.
Polls close at 8 p.m. EDT
PolicyMic will be covering the MI elections LIVE. Bookmark and refresh this page to get updated information on MI races.
9:45 PM: Some Notes on Redistricting:
Once every decade, new voting districts for Congress and state legislatures are redrawn.
That's why declines in Michigan's overall population and an exodus of minority voters to the suburbs, coupled with a Republican-controlled state Congress, created new districts that pit Democrat lawmaker against lawmaker.
The creatively-drawn districts pit eight incumbent Democrat legislators into just four districts of Wayne and Macomb Counties. The 13th and 14th districts in Metro Detroit were also redrawn to, by law, guarantee a majority population of minority voters.
The redistricting will have the most effect on non-white Democrat lawmakers. As many as 35% of Michigan's minority sitting state Congressmen could be voted out of office on Tuesday.
Confused about the issues? Head to publius.org, a nonprofit voter education site built by Detroiter Vince Keenan. Publius, an interactive voter guide, custom builds sample ballots and gives voting locations for Michiganders who are registered to vote. Plus, it gives voters their sample ballot, delivered alongside videos and websites and candidate surveys so you can make an informed decision.
9:10 PM Pete Hoekstra should win the Senate race ... that was easy.
8:55 PM: Senate Race Snapshot:
8:45 PM: With 57 Michigan precincts reporting, Hoekstra continues to lead in the U.S. Senate race.
8:20 PM: Still No Results in the Senate or Disitrict 14 Race.
5:55 PM: Break-Down of the Michigan Political Scene, courtesy of PolicyMicPundit John Doble:
Michigan: GOP Functional, with ineffective leadership.
The Republicans control the Senate, the House, as well as the governor’s seat and have driven a fantastic amount of legislation to change how things are done in Michigan. Despite the anger these changes create, Governor Rick Snyder has managed to stay relatively independent, signing bills conservatives like and supporting issues they don’t, helping him defeat an effort to recall him. Unfortunately, the rest of the party is in trouble. They’ve taken hits thanks to Thaddeus McCotter’s resignation; Pete Hoekstra’s ability to shoot himself in the foot; and numerous other shenanigans. The base is divided after the GOP House passed a bill supporting unions, and the Tea Party movement itself has seen better days. While the Democrats have had issues with not providing enough support for their candidates in the past, and may face issues with some incumbent vs. incumbent primaries, unions and other liberal constituencies are motivated this year. Topping it all off, the party benefited greatly from a redistricting plan that increased the number of districts favorable to them. The Dems are strong enough to take back at least the house and if President Obama puts in the effort, may see even more gains.
5:15 PM: An On the Ground Report From PolicyMic'er Maureen Mackie: In Michigan's 11th (that's my home district), there's a battle over who will replace Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, who famously launched an ill-fated presidential bid, then didn't have enough (valid) signatures to appear on the primary ballot and was unlikely to win a write-in campaign. Replacing him is either the GOP's Kerry Bentivolio or former State Senator Nancy Cassis (who's a write-in candidate.) The 11th is overwhelmingly conservative (McCotter has served since 2003) but has pockets of Democratic support here and there, so that's definitely a race I'll be keeping my eye on.
1 PM: GOP Senate Primary: A recent poll shows Hoekstra with a wide lead over his opponent. According to the Detroit Free Press survey conducted during the last week of July, Hoekstra held a 51%-27% margin over Durant.
The former nine-term congressman also has a fund-raising advantage over Durant, bringing in $3.5 million this cycle compared to his competitor at $2.2 million, according to Federal Election Commission filings.