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Politics of Michigan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The politics of Michigan are divided, with the state being regarded as a swing state, which can be won by either Democratic or Republican presidential candidates. Governors since the 1970s have alternated between the two parties, and statewide offices including attorney general, secretary of state, and senator have been held by members of both parties in varying proportion. The Republican Party holds a majority in both the House and Senate of the Michigan Legislature. The state's congressional delegation is commonly split, with one party or the other typically holding a narrow majority.

Political geography

Republican strongholds of the state include rural areas of Western and Northern Michigan, the Upper Peninsula, the outer suburbs around Grand Rapids, and Livingston County. Areas of Democratic strength include the cities of Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Flint, urban Grand Rapids, and Muskegon. Much of suburban Detroit—which includes parts of Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties—is politically competitive between the two parties.


Historically, the first county-level meeting of the Republican Party took place in Jackson on July 6, 1854,[1] and the party thereafter dominated Michigan until the Great Depression. In the 1912 election, Michigan was one of the six states to support progressive Republican and third-party candidate Theodore Roosevelt for president after he lost the Republican nomination to William Howard Taft.

Michigan remained fairly reliably Republican at the presidential level for much of the 20th century. It was part of Greater New England, the northern tier of states settled chiefly by migrants from New England who carried their culture with them. The state was one of only a handful to back Wendell Willkie over Franklin Roosevelt in 1940, and supported Thomas E. Dewey in his losing bid against Harry S. Truman in 1948.

Michigan went to the Democrats in two presidential elections during the 1960s but voted for the Republican candidate in every election from 1972 to 1988, including "native son" Gerald Ford in 1976. Since 1992 it has supported the Democrats by moderate margins, except for a narrow win by Donald Trump in 2016.

Michigan was the home of Gerald Ford, the 38th president of the United States. Born in Nebraska, he moved as an infant to Grand Rapids.[2][3] The Gerald R. Ford Museum is in Grand Rapids, and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library is on the campus of his alma mater, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

In 1846, Michigan became the first state in the Union, as well as the first government in the world, to abolish the death penalty.[4][5] Historian David Chardavoyne has suggested the movement to abolish capital punishment in Michigan grew out of enmity toward Canada, which made public executions a regular practice under British rule.

Michigan approved plans to expand Medicaid coverage in 2014 to adults with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level (approximately $15,500 for a single adult in 2014).[6]

In 2018, the state electorate passed proposals to create an independent redistricting commission,[7] and to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.[8][9][10]

In 2020, voters approved two ballot measures, one to increase the limit of money from sales of gas and oil from state-owned land that can benefit state parks, and another to require a warrant for search or seizure of electronic data and communications.[11][12]


  1. ^ Michigan Historical Marker Program (February 18, 1956). Under the Oaks (Michigan Historical Marker). Jackson: Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Archived from the original on October 8, 2010. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
  2. ^ "Biography of Gerald R. Ford". August 9, 1974. Archived from the original on June 10, 2010. Retrieved July 25, 2010 – via National Archives.
  3. ^ Funk, Josh (2006). "Nebraska-Born, Ford Left State As Infant". Boston Globe. Associated Press. Archived from the original on January 5, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2007.
  4. ^ "Information on States Without the Death Penalty". Archived from the original on May 12, 2008.
  5. ^ "History of the Death Penalty: Faith in Action, Working to Abolish the Death Penalty". Amnesty USA. Archived from the original on March 6, 2010. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
  6. ^ Ayanian, J. Z. (2013). "Michigan's Approach to Medicaid Expansion and Reform" (PDF). New England Journal of Medicine. 369 (19): 1773–1775. doi:10.1056/NEJMp1310910. PMID 24066713. S2CID 6375184. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-03-03.
  7. ^ Gibbons, Lauren (November 6, 2018). "Voters Not Politicians declares victory for Proposal 2". MLive Lansing. Mlive Media Group. Archived from the original on January 9, 2019. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  8. ^ "Ballot Proposal 1 of 2018" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  9. ^ "STATE OF MICHIGAN STATEWIDE BALLOT PROPOSALS NOVEMBER 6, 2018 GENERAL ELECTION" (PDF). September 19, 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 10, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  10. ^ Noble, Breana; Rahal, Sarah (December 6, 2018). "Michigan's new marijuana law brings confusion". The Detroit News. Archived from the original on August 11, 2019.
  11. ^ "2020 ballot measure election results". Ballotpedia. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  12. ^ "Election 2020: Ballot Proposals Passed In Michigan". November 5, 2020. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
This page was last edited on 12 May 2021, at 22:34
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