Thursday, March 31, 2005

Congressional District 14

Congressional District 14

2006 Contest
Republican Candidates – Chad Miles (Dearborn)
Democrat Candidates – John Conyers (Detroit)

Current Rep – John Conyers (D-Detroit)
Years in office – 40 (1965-present)

2004 Results
John Conyers – 84%
Veronica Pedraza – 14%

Presidential results:

Barone’s numbers
Bush – 17%, Bush 18%
Kerry – 83%, Gore 81%

Cook’s partisan index – Democrats +33

Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Safe Democrat.

District covers:
Wayne County:
Part of Detroit, Allen Park, Part of Dearborn, Gibralter, Grosse Ile, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Melvindale, Riverview, Southgate, and Trenton.

I did not data mine the Detroit precincts for this since it is mostly 90% democrat across the board. This district covers the West Side of Detroit, as well as Dearborn and part of Downriver. The only Republican area in this district is Grosse Ile. Gibralter, Riverview, Trenton, and Allen Park are winnable in a good year.

This is one of the most Democrat Districts in the country, and John Conyers is probably safe here until he retires or is primaried out. It will take a miracle for the GOP to take this seat. That said, I’d love to see one happen.

Congressional District 13

Congressional District 13

2006 Contest
Republican Candidates – none
Democrat Candidates – Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (Detroit)

Current Rep – Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-Detroit)
Years in office – 8 (1997-present)

2004 Results
Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick – 78%
Cynthia Cassell – 18%

Presidential results:

Barone’s numbers
Bush – 19%, Bush 19%
Kerry – 81%, Gore 80%

Cook’s partisan index – Democrats +32

Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Safe Democrat.

District covers:
Wayne County:
Part of Detroit, Ecorse, all of the Grosse Pointes, Harper Woods, Lincoln Park, River Rouge, and Wyandotte.

I did not data mine the Detroit precincts for this since it is mostly 90% democrat across the board. This district covers the East Side of Detroit, as well as Downtown and SW Detroit. The Grosse Pointes are Republican, but not nearly enough to counterbalance Detroit. The Downriver areas (outside Ecorse/River Rouge) don’t care for a Detroit Democrat, but Kilpatrick still wins there due to straight tickets.

This is one of the most Democrat Districts in the country, and Kilpatrick is safe here until she retires or is primaried out. It’ll take a miracle for the GOP to take this seat

UPDATE - That won't happen this year. Kilpatrick has a free pass, unfortunately.

Congressional District 15

Congressional District 15

2006 Contest
Republican Candidates – Vincent Vernuccio (Write-in)
Democrat Candidates – John Dingell (Dearborn)

Current Rep – John Dingell (D-Dearborn)
Years in office – 50 (1956-present)

2004 Results
John Dingell – 70.97%
Dawn Reamer – 26.52%

Presidential results:
2004 (Approximate – my numbers)
Bush - 38.19%
Kerry – 60.87%

Barone’s numbers
Bush – 38%, Bush 38%
Kerry – 62%, Gore 60%

Cook’s partisan index – Democrats +13

Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Safe Democrat.

District covers:
All of Monroe County

Washtenaw County:
Ann Arbor, Augusta, Pittsfield, Superior, York, and Ypsilanti Townships. Cities of Ann Arbor, Milan, and Ypsilanti.

Wayne County:
Brownstown, Huron, and Sumpter Townships. Cities of Flat Rock, Inkster, Rockwood, Romulus, Taylor, Woodhaven, and parts of Dearborn and Dearborn Heights.

This district was created to eliminate a democrat, either Lynn Rivers or John Dingell. This is compact district combining union democrat strongholds and academia democrat strongholds. The Eastern part of Dingell’s downriver district was carved up between John Conyers and Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick due to Detroit’s steady population decrease. Dingell kept part of Dearborn and Southern Wayne County, and also kept Monroe County. He took in Eastern Washtenaw County, including the strongholds of Ypsilanti (Ypsi) and Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor is dominated by the University of Michigan and was Tom Hayden’s old school. Ypsi is a mix of university town and union town. Both are over 70% democrat.
The only areas Bush won in this district are Monroe County and York Township in Washtenaw County. Monroe swings, and York Township is solidly republican. That’s not enough to win this district, especially against someone like Dingell who has cross party support due to his pro-NRA stance and support for the auto industry. This district is safe for the democrats. It'll take a miracle for the GOP to win.

Congressional District 12

Congressional District 12

2006 Contest
Republican Candidates – Randel Shafer (St Clair Shores)
Democrat Candidates – Sander Levin (Royal Oak)

Current Rep – Sander Levin (D-Royal Oak)
Years in office – 23 (1983-present)

2004 Results
Sander Levin – 69.32%
Randell Shafer – 29.02%

Presidential results:
2004 (Approximate – my numbers)
Bush - 38.91%
Kerry – 60.14%

Barone’s numbers
Bush – 39%, Bush 37%
Kerry – 61%, Gore 61%

Cook’s partisan index – Democrats +13

Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Safe Democrat.

District covers:

Oakland County:
Royal Oak Township. Cities of Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Lathrup Village, Madison Heights, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, a small part of Royal Oak, and Southfield.

Macomb County:
Clinton and Lake Townships. Cities of Center Line, Eastpointe, Fraser, Mt Clemens, Roseville, St Clair Shores, Warren, and part of Sterling Heights.

This is a rematch from 2004.

This district was created to compact a large number of Suburban Democrats. Most of the Oakland County parts of the district are black (Southfield/Oak Park), Jewish(Oak Park), gay(Ferndale), liberal(Huntington Woods), union (Hazel Park) or combinations of all five. The Macomb County portions, especially Warren, are mostly Union Democrat. This changed Levin’s old “sleeper” democrat leaning district to a solid democrat seat. Bush only won Lake Township, the smallest municipality. He lost the rest of the district, mostly by a large margin.

Levin gained Southfield and Lathrup Village from Knollenberg. He gained Clinton Township, Eastpointe, Fraser, Lake Twp, Mt Clemens, Roseville, and St Clair Shores from David Bonior. He gave up the GOP part of Sterling Heights and Utica to Miller, Berkley, Clawson, Troy, and most of Royal Oak to Knollenberg.

Once Levin retires, this will be a major battle in the Democrat primary. Macomb prefers a more union style Bonior democrat, while Oakland prefers an Ann Arbor style Gilda Jacobs democrat. It will take a miracle for a Republican to win here.

Congressional District 11

Congressional District 11

2006 Contest
Republican Candidates – Thad McCotter (Livonia)
Democrat Candidates – Tony Trupiano (Dearborn Heights)

Current Rep – Thad McCotter (R-Livonia)
Years in office – 3 (2003-present)

2004 Results
Thad McCotter – 56.98%
Phil Truan – 29.54%

Presidential results:
2004 (Approximate – my numbers)
Bush - 52.00%
Kerry – 46.86%

Barone’s numbers
Bush – 53%, Bush 51%
Kerry – 47%, Gore 47%

Cook’s partisan index – Republicans +1

Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Strongly Republican.

District covers:

Oakland County:
Commerce, Highland, Lyon, Milford, Novi, Walled Lake, White Lake, and part of Waterford Townships. Cities of Northville, Novi, South Lyon, and Wixom.

Wayne County:
Canton, Northville, Plymouth, Redford, and Van Buren Townships. Cities of Belleville, Garden City, Livonia, Northville, Plymouth, Wayne, Westland, and part of Dearborn Heights.

This district was created as an open seat for the GOP after the 2002 redistrict. It was a mix of parts of Lynn Rivers and Joe Knollenberg’s old districts. Thad McCotter ran for the open seat and won. He is not a flashy politician, and as such, democrats always think they have a chance at him – but he fits this district well with his straightforwardness.

Thad McCotter has a strongly competitive race in 2002, but had an easier time of it in 2004. Both times, he won with around 56-57%. In both 2002 and 2004, he won every municipality outside of the strongly democrat areas - Belleville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, Redford, Van Buren, Wayne, and Westland. He ran well ahead of Bush in his Livonia base, winning the slightly democrat leaning Wayne County portion of his district by 23,000.

The Oakland County part of the district is almost all solid republican. Walled Lake swings (Gore 2000, Bush 2004), but the rest of the municipalities are base counties, and the edge ones are fast growing exurban areas becoming more Republican. Milford, Highland, and Lyon Township are closer to Livingston County in views than the stereotypical Oakland County resident we hear about from the pundits. This part of Oakland is quite conservative.

The democrats are hyping up Tony Trupiano who is a radio talk show host somewhere. The only chance they have is if they can take away McCotter’s base inroads and turn his 20,000 vote Wayne County advantage into a 20,000 vote disadvantage, since that part of Oakland is not going democrat. As McCotter’s in Livonia, that will not be an easy task. I can see this seat being competitive if it opens up, but it will likely stay in McCotter’s hands at least till redistricting.

Congressional District 10

Congressional District 10

2006 Contest
Republican Candidates – Candice Miller (Harrison Twp))
Democrat Candidates – Robert Denison (Shelby Twp)

Current Rep – Candice Miller (R-Harrison Township)
Years in office – 3 (2003-present)

2004 Results
Candice Miller – 68.61%
Rob Casey – 29.54%

Presidential results:
2004 (Approximate – my numbers)
Bush - 56.31%
Kerry – 42.82%

Barone’s numbers
Bush – 57%, Bush 53%
Kerry – 43%, Gore 45%

Cook’s partisan index – Republicans +4

Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Safe Republican.

District covers:
All of the Following Counties:
Huron, Lapeer, St Clair, Sanilac

Macomb County:
Armada, Bruce, Chesterfield, Harrison, Lenox, Macomb, Ray, Richmond, Shelby, and Washington Townships. Cities of Memphis, New Baltimore, Richmond, Utica, and part of Sterling Heights.

This district was designed to take out David Bonior. The original 10th was a swing district that was slightly republican leaning. Bonior’s stances played well in a populist district and that picked up enough swing votes to win, often narrowly. Redistricting took away his top powerbases – Mt Clemens, Roseville, Clinton Twp, and St Clair Shores, and gave them away to Sander Levin. It added the strongly conservative and usually republican thumb region instead. In the part of Macomb County in the 10th district, only small Lenox Twp voted for Gore, and no municipalities voted for Kerry. Over in the thumb, Lapeer County, once competitive, is on its way to being another Livingston County with its exurban growth. St Clair County is still competitive thanks to Port Huron, although it is also moving to the right. Sanilac and Huron Counties are solid GOP base counties and it takes a miracle for a democrat to win there. This is a safe district, especially for Candice Miller.

UPDATE - Democrats have a four way primary here.

UPDATE - 8/10/06 - Robert Dennison won the Democrat primary.
Dennison - 8362
Casey - 7613
Kuligowski - 5690
America - 2911

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Congressional District 9

Congressional District 9

2006 Contest
Republican Candidates – Joe Knollenberg (Bloomfield Hills
Democrat Candidates – Nancy Skinner (Birmingham)

Current Rep – Joe Knollenberg (R-Bloomfield Hills)
Years in office – 13 (1993-present)

2004 Results
Joe Knollenberg – 58.45%
Steven Reifman – 36.90%

Presidential results:
2004 (Approximate – my numbers)
Bush - 50.45%
Kerry – 48.63%

Barone’s numbers
Bush – 51%, Bush 51%
Kerry – 49%, Gore 47%

Cook’s partisan index – Republicans +0

Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Strongly Republican.

District covers:
Oakland County :
Bloomfield, Oakland, Southfield (not city), West Bloomfield, and most of Orion and Waterford Townships. Cities of Auburn Hills, Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Clawson, Farmington Hills, Farmington, Keego Harbor, Lake Angelus, Orchard Lake, Pontiac, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Sylvan Lake, Troy, and most of Royal Oak(City, not township).

This district was designed to give Knollenberg a safer seat than he had in the 1990’s, but not at the expense of Mike Rogers or Thad McCotter. Knollenberg had his closest race in 2000 with 56% against a sacrificial lamb. Gore won that district, so things were changed in redistricting. The media claimed that Knollenberg was given a more democrat district. That is not true.

He kept Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Keego Harbor, Southfield Township, Sylvan Lake, and West Bloomfield Township from 2000. Farmington Hills is treading democrat as is West Bloomfield, but Knollenberg wins there consistantly.

He gave up democrat strongholds Southfield and Lathrup Village to Sander Levin. Those two areas alone gave a 28000 vote spread to Kerry, well over the 2750 votes seperating Bush and Kerry at the county level. Giving up Southfield was a win in itself. He did give up the heavily republican Western portion of Oakland County to Thad McCotter, as well is leaner Livonia and democrat leaning Redford Township in Wayne County. In return, Knollenberg took swing areas Berkley and Clawson, GOP Stronghold Troy, and most of democrat leaning Royal Oak from Sander Levin. Troy isn’t the stronghold it was, but gave a 6000 vote spread for Bush, more than the 3600 vote spread Royal Oak gave Kerry. From Dale Kildee, Knollenberg took Democrat stronghold Pontiac, Democrat leaning Auburn Hills, GOP leaning Waterford, and GOP strongholds Lake Angelus, Rochester, and Rochester Hills. He also took most of Orion Township, although not the part where Jim Marcinkowski lives. Pontiac gave a 13000 vote spread for Kerry. Orion gave approx 1000 and the Rochesters 8500 to Bush. Overall, the district is very competitive with the right candidates. Bush won here by 6565 votes.

Democrats took a shot with David Fink in 2002, but Knollenberg beat him easily with 58%. He repeated his 58% win against sacrificial lamb Reifman in 2004. He still runs well in the formerly GOP areas treading democrat, so this district has not had the challenges that some other affluent suburban districts have had, like in the Chicago area.

In both 2002 and 2004 Knollenberg won every municipality outside of Pontiac.

The dems are trying again this year, and four candidates want to take him on. The two names I hear most are John Ashcraft and Nancy Skinner. Skinner is an Air America host who ran in Illinois against Barack Obama in 2004. She decided to move back to Royal Oak to run here now. Lucky us. These are all “B team” candidates, but there are some strong democrats and republicans in this district who are waiting for Knollenberg to retire. Mike Bouchard (If he loses the senate primary), Bob Gosselin, Shirley Johnson, David Law, Marc Shulman, Fran Amos, Mike Bishop, Shelley Taub, and Rocky Raczkowski could all make this a race. David Woodward and Gary Peters would be very strong democrats.

Knollenberg has a primary of his own against more liberal republican and anti-gun activist Pan Godchaux. Godchaux is a former state rep from the Birmingham area just next to Knollenberg’s main base. I haven’t heard much here about the primary, but I don’t expect this to be a major challenge for Knollenberg. I suspect Godchaux is running to increase her name recognition for an open seat in the future.

Based on current partisanship, I have to give this race a “leans republican” designation as long as Knollenberg is running. If it opens, this seat will be a true tossup for either party.

UPDATE - The democrats are unified now behind Nancy Skinner. I'm now changing this from leans republican to strongly republican since an Air America host only has a ghost of a chance, especially after her disaster run for US Senate in 2004 - in Illinois.

UPDATE 2 - 8/11/06 - Joe Knollenberg won against a spirited challenge from Pan Godchaux.

Knollenberg - 46,713
Godchaux - 20,211

Monday, March 28, 2005

Congressional District 4

Congressional District 4

2006 Contest
Republican Candidates – Dave Camp (Midland)
Democrat Candidates - Mike Huckleberry (Greenville)

Current Rep – Dave Camp (R-Midland)
Years in office – 15 (1991-present)

2004 Results
Vern Ehlers – 64.36%
Mike Huckleberry – 34.77%

Presidential results:
2004 (Approximate – my numbers)
Bush - 54.83%
Kerry – 44.13%

Barone’s numbers
Bush – 55%, Bush 54%
Kerry – 44%, Gore 44%

Cook’s partisan index – Republicans +4

Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Safe Republican.

District covers:
All of these Counties: - Clare, Grand Traverse, Gratiot, Isabella, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Montcalm, Osceola, Roscommon.

Saginaw County: - Albee, Brady, Brant, Bridgeport, Carrollton, Chapin, Chesaning, Fremont, James, Jonesfield, Kochville, Lakefield, Maple Grove, Marion, Richland, Saginaw, Spaulding, St Charles, Swan Creek, Taymouth, Thomas, and Tittabawasee townships.

Shiawassee County – Caledonia, Fairfield, Hazleton, Middlebury, New Haven, Owosso, Rush, Vernon, and Venice Townships. Cities of Corunna and Owosso.

This is a large district that covers much of Mid-Michigan, part of West Michigan, and part of North Michigan. This is also a rematch from 2004.

This district strongly leans GOP and is safe for Camp. There are some GOP strongholds, swing areas, and marginally democrat areas in this district. Midland (Camp’s home base) and Grand Traverse County anchor the area for the GOP. Missaukee is the 2nd most GOP county in the state by percentage. Gratiot, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Mecosta, Montcalm and Osceola are strong Republican leans. Clare, Roscommon, and Isabella are swing counties.

Bush won the Shiawassee portion of the district with 50.83% Owosso leans democrat, and Northern Shiawassee County is more democrat. He won the Saginaw portion with 52.12% Saginaw Twp leans Republican, as do most of the rural areas there. Bridgeport however is in this district and is a democrat stronghold.

This district is the 3rd or 4th safest district (along with the 10th) in the state for republicans. It could be a race if a strong pro-2a democrat runs, but it is safe as long as Camp is running.

Congressional District 3

Congressional District 3

2006 Contest
Republican Candidates – Vern Ehlers (Grand Rapdids)
Democrat Candidates - James Rinck (Grand Rapids)

Current Rep – Vern Ehlers (R-Grand Rapids)
Years in office – 13 (1993-present)

2004 Results
Vern Ehlers – 66.58%
Peter Hickey – 31.48%

Presidential results:
2004 (Approximate – my numbers)
Bush - 59.08%
Kerry – 39.94%

Barone’s numbers
Bush – 59%, Bush 60%
Kerry – 40%, Gore 38%

Cook’s partisan index – Republicans +9

Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Safe Republican.

District covers:
All of these Counties: - Barry, Ionia
Kent County: - All except Alpine, Solon, Sparta, and Tyrone Townships.

This district is solid for the GOP, and even solider for Ehlers. Bush won all three counties easily, and won every municipality except Grand Rapids itself (cancelled out by suburbs) and Ionia’s North Plains township.

This district is the 2nd safest district in the state for republicans. Democrats have a primary between James Rinck and Peter Hickey.

UPDATED 8/11/06 - Rinck won the primary by 507 votes.

Rinck - 11,794
Hickey - 11,287

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Congressional District 2

Congressional District 2

Republican Candidates - Pete Hoekstra (R-Holland)
Democrat Candidates - Kimon Kotos (D-North Muskegon)

Current Rep – Pete Hoekstra (R-Holland)
Years in office – 13 (1993-present)

2004 Results
Pete Hoekstra – 69.34%
Kimon Kotos – 28.93%

Presidential results:
2004 (Approximate – my numbers)
Bush - 60.11%
Kerry – 38.94%

Barone’s numbers
Bush – 60%, Bush 59%
Kerry – 39%, Gore 38%

Cook’s partisan index – Republicans +9

Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Safe Republican.

District covers:
All of these Counties: - Benzie, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa, Wexford.

Allegan County: - Dorr, Fennville, Fillmore, Heath, Laketown, Manlius, Monterey, Overisel, Salem, and Saugatuck Townships. Cities of Holland and Saugatuck. Another poster stated that there’s a new City of Douglas near Saugatuck.

Kent County: - Alpine, Solon, Sparta, and Tyrone Townships.

This is a rematch of 2004.

This Lake Michigan shoreline district is the most Republican district in the entire state. President Bush twice won around 60% of the vote here, and Hoekstra has never received less than 63% in an election.

Ottawa County is the most Republican county in the state and is the largest county in the district. Newaygo County and the portions of Kent and Allegan county in this district are also solidly republican outside of Saugatuck which is small in population. Mason, Benzie, and Oceana lean Republican. Muskegon and Lake Counties are democrat strongholds. Pete Hoekstra has won every county the last two elections. The last county he lost was Muskegon to Bob Shrauger in 2000, and he still received 64% overall that year.

This district is the safest district in the state for republicans.

Congressional District 1

Congressional District 1

2006 Contest:
Republican Candidates - Don Hooper (R-Iron River)
Democrat Candidates - Bart Stupak (D-Menominee)


Current Rep – Bart Stupak (D-Menominee)
Years in office – 13 (1993-present)

2004 Results
Bart Stupak – 65.56%
Don Hooper – 32.75%

Presidential results:
2004 (Approximate – my numbers)
Bush - 53.28%
Kerry – 45.58%

Barone’s numbers
Bush – 53%, Bush 52%
Kerry – 46%, Gore 45%

Cook’s partisan index – Republicans +2

Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Strongly Democrat

District covers:
Entire UP – Alger, Baraga, Chippewa, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron Keweenaw, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon, Schoolcraft.

Lower Penninsula – Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Emmet, Gladwin, Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle.

Bay County: - Auburn, Beaver, Fraser, Garfield, Gibson, Kawkawlin, , Monitor, Mount Forest, Pinconning, and Williams Townships.Cities of Pinconning and Midland (precinct 1)

This is a rematch of 2002 and 2004.

This district is the only district in Michigan that voted for one party’s president, and another party’s congressman. There are many independent voters in North Michigan, and most of them did not support John Kerry and the national democrats. That said, Bart Stupak has won this district seven times, and many of his wins were in a district more republican than the current district which was made more democrat after redistricting. Stupak lost most of the Traverse City portion of his district, and gained the more democrat leaning counties on the Lake Huron shore which was part of Jim Barcia’s district.

This district prefers socially conservative and fiscally populist democrats. Stupak sometimes fits the mold since he is pro-life and active in the community. Occasionally, he’ll go our way on guns, although he’s hit or miss on that issue. They do not like big city liberals here, as Gore and Kerry lost badly here. Regional politics is key in this district, as Yoopers prefer voting for their own.

In 2004, President Bush won every county except for Marquette, Gogebic, and Alger in the UP. Bush won Alger in 2000, but lost Iron County instead that year. The UP as a whole has a strongly democrat tradition, but is moving to the right due to social issues and declining influence of the unions. Marquette, Gogebic, Iron, and Alger are usually democrat strongholds, with Schoolcraft often joining them. Houghton, Dickinson, Luce, Chippewa, Menonimee, and Mackinac Counties are more apt to support Republicans. Delta county is starting to become more Republican as well.

In the Lower Penninsula, Bush lost Arenac and the portion of Bay County twice. He lost Alpena, Ogemaw, and Iosco counties narrowly in 2000, winning them in 2004. Antrim, Charlevoix, Otsego, and Emmet Counties are Republican strongholds.Cheboygan, Crawford, Montmorency, and Oscoda counties strongly lean Republican. Gladwin, Presque Isle, and Alcona Counties are very competitive for both parties. Bush received 49.19% of that portion of Bay County, which does not include Bay City.

Stupak’s lowest vote percentage was 54% in his first election. Since then, he’s never received less than 57% of the vote. Chuck Yob and Michelle McManus both held him under 60%, but since redistricting, he has won twice with more than 65% of the vote, winning every county in the district. The last time he lost any counties was in 2000 against Chuck Yob, who won Antrim County on the Lake Michigan coast.

Despite Bush winning here twice, Stupak will be extremely tough to beat, and this is strongly democrat as long as Stupak runs here. This would be one of the few swing districts in the state if it was open. The only reason I have this as strongly democrat is because of Stupak. I'd have it as safe democrat except that Bush won it by almost 8%.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Congressional District 8

Congressional District 8

2006 Contest
Republican Candidates – Mike Rogers (Hamburg/Brighton)
Democrat Candidates – Jim Marcinkowski (Lake Orion)

Current Rep – Mike Rogers (R-Brighton)
Years in office – 5 (2001-present)

2004 Results
Mike Rogers – 61.08%
Bob Alexander – 36.90%

Presidential results:
2004 (Approximate – my numbers)
Bush - 53.71%
Kerry – 45.30%

Barone’s numbers
Bush – 54%, Bush 51%
Kerry – 45%, Gore 47%

Cook’s partisan index – Republicans +2

Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Strongly Republican.

District covers:
All of these Counties: - Clinton, Ingham, Livingston

Oakland County : - Addison, Brandon, Groveland, Holly, Independence, Oxford, Rose, Springfield, and Orion (part) Townships. City of Clarkston.

Shiawassee County: - Antrim, Bennington, Burns, Perry, Sciota, Shiawassee, Vernon (part), and Woohull Townships. Cities of Durand, Laingsburg, and Perry.

This district has a strong republican leaning, and more so for Rogers. Redistricting took away the Genesee County and Washtenaw County portions of the district and replaced them with Clinton County (Where Mike represented as a State Senator) and the most republican part of Oakland County. Bush received 62.15% of the vote in this portion of Oakland County, almost as much as his Livingston numbers. He received 55.18% in his portion of Shiawassee County. Clinton County took a right turn toward its roots in 2008 (although it is less GOP in gubernatorial years due to state workers in Bath and DeWitt). Livingston posted its highest GOP presidential percentage since 1988. Ingham County is a democrat stronghold however, and has about 1/3 of the voters, enough to keep me from considering this a safe seat, even for Mike Rogers. It will still be double tough for the democrats to win. Rogers won Ingham County in 2002, and almost won it in 2004.
Rogers won his first race by 88 votes in a recount against Dianne Byrum for Stabenow’s open seat. That was the closest race in the country. In that race, Rogers ahead of Bush in most of the district, which is still the case today. He lost in Genesee County and won in Washtenaw County, neither of which are still in the district. In Ingham County, he lost Bunker Hill, Delhi, Lansing, Leslie, Meridian, and Onondaga Townships. He lost the cities of East Lansing, Lansing, Leslie, Mason. He lost Holly in Oakland County. Dianne Byrum was from the rural portion of Ingham County, and represented that area for years. Rogers now gets big margins in the rural areas, and runs ahead of most republicans in the Lansing area.

In his 2002 blowout against Frank McAlpine, he won every municipality in the district outside of the City of East Lansing where McAlpine lives. In 2004 against Bob Alexander, he won every municipality outside of the Cities of East Lansing, Lansing, and Lansing Township. All of those are democrat strongholds republicans rarely are expected to win.

This year, the democrats think they have a chance and their union leadership allies are spending money on robocalls running attack ads against Rogers. Their candidate is Jim Marcinkowski. Mike Rogers also has a primary opponent in Patrick Flynn, who occasionally posts here.

Marcinkowski is an ex-CIA agent whose claim to fame is the Joe Wilson case. Since he’s an old friend of Wilson and Valerie Plame and has an axe to grind with Bush, he thinks he’s qualified to replace Mike Rogers. I am not impressed with him thus far, especially after seeing his Q&A session on the Booman Tribune. He is overcoached.

The only way this district changes hands is if Livingston County and Oakland County have low turnouts for this race (re. 1998 – many pro-lifers skipping the congressional race), the democrat breaks 62% in Ingham County, wins Shiawassee County, and narrows the Republican to a small victory in Clinton County. I do not expect all of those things happening against Mike Rogers unless he changes 100% and votes pro-abortion or anti-gun. That is not going to happen. This district will likely stay in Republican hands.

UPDATE - Rogers won the primary easily.

Mike Rogers - 42,036
Patrick Flynn - 7,805

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Congressional District 7

Congressional District 7

2006 Contest
Republican Candidates – Tim Walberg (Tipton)
Democrat Candidates – Sharon Renier (Munith)

Current Rep – Joe Schwarz (R-Battle Creek - Defeated in Primary)
Years in office – 1 (2005-present)

2004 Results
Joe Schwarz – 58.36%
Sharon Renier – 36.31%

Presidential results:
2004 (Approximate – my numbers)
Bush - 54.24%
Kerry – 44.68%

Barone’s numbers
Bush – 54%, Bush 51%
Kerry – 45%, Gore 46%

Cook’s partisan index – Republicans +2

Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Strongly Republican.

District covers:
All of these Counties: - Branch, Eaton, Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee

Calhoun County: - All except Athens and LeRoy Townships

Washtenaw County: - Bridgewater, Dexter, Freedom, Lima, Lodi, Lyndon, Manchester, Northfield, Salem, Saline, Scio(Most), Sharon, Sylvan, and Webster Townships. Cities of Saline and Chelsea.

This could be a major battle due to the primary races and conflicting views. Tim Walberg is running against Joe Schwarz on the republican side. Four democrats are running as well. Joe Schwarz is the incumbent because Michigan primaries are winner take all without a runoff system. The 2004 primary results were as follows.

Joe Schwarz – 27.82%
Brad Smith – 22.44%
Tim Walberg – 17.66%
Clark Bisbee – 14.02%
Gene DeRossett – 11.41%
Paul DeWeese – 6.65%
This was a case of the liberal vs moderates vs conservatives. Right to life and tax hawks disliked Joe Schwarz. Second Amendment activists despise him. There was a failed effort by conservatives to all get behind one candidate in the primary to stop Schwarz. Every candidate had a weakness. Clark Bisbee was good on business issues, but gun owners did not like him for voting against conceal carry. Gene DeRossett was good on gun issues, but the Chamber didn’t care for him. Paul DeWeese moved to Eaton County from Ingham County outside of the district. Brad Smith never ran for office. Tim Walberg did not have the money other candidates had, but had much of the Right to Life MEMBERSHIP support. Right to Life’s leadership and the Chamber endorsed Bisbee. Many 2nd amendment groups backed DeRossett. Club for Growth backed Brad Smith. The conservatives split, and Schwarz won with 28% as expected, mostly based on regional voting. Lenawee voted for Walberg. Jackson split, but Bisbee did his best there. Eaton (where Schwarz was State Senator) and Calhoun went for Schwarz. Washtenaw split, but DeRossett did well there.

Now I will say that Schwarz has been better for conservatives as a congressman than he was as a state senator and gubernatorial candidate in 2002. However, I can not get past him running his mouth calling gun owners “bubbas who strap on a 9mm” in his opposition to conceal carry, nor the fact that he was the only gubernatorial candidate who said that there is no right to keep and bear arms. He campaigned on abortion rights in 2002 and supported tax increases in his gubernatorial campaign as well. Many conservative and libertarian republicans have a lot of problems with some of those positions. If Schwarz is entrenched, I think he will revert to his old self. Right now he’s worried, but if he wins this primary, he will no longer be worried. Tim Walberg is challenging Schwarz in the primary. Walberg has my support, and would have my vote if I lived in the district, based on his state senatorial record and 2002 campaign on taxes, life, and most of all the Second Amendment.

Does Walberg have a chance to win? I believe so, but two things have to happen to do so. Grass roots conservatives need to vote. Fiscal (Club for Growth) and social conservatives (right to life), as well as gun owners, need to unite for Walberg. It also needs to be a one on one battle. Walberg caught one break with a one on one battle. We'll see what happens on the rest of it. Most of the establishment Republicans are backing Schwarz because of incumbency. That is expected.

The 2004 general election was an easy win for Schwarz. His opponent, Sharon Renier spent only $8,000 in her campaign and received 36%. There were significant third party defections for the Greens, Libertarians, and most of all the Constitution Party (Similar to Pat Buchanan in views – Right wing populists), particularly in Hillsdale County where defections reached 10%. Districtwide, defections were 5% which sounds small, but can surely matter in close races. President Bush, Debbie Stabenow, Mike Rogers, and Mike Cox all won their first race for their current office with 49% of the vote or less.

The district itself is marginally republican. President Bush ran ahead of all Republicans at the top of the ticket outside of Engler since 1996. He won this district narrowly in 2000, as did Dick Posthumus in 2002. This is much more of a “Bush” district than a republican district, although the republicans have an advantage here. This is a regional district with few party strongholds, and a large number of social conservative independents. Mavericks are popular here, and there is not as much party loyalty.

Branch and Hillsdale Counties are Republican strongholds, but Hillsdale is conservative first and republican second. Third parties voted 10% in Hillsdale for the congressional race. That said, those are the only county-level strongholds in the district.

Jackson County is the next Republican. While the birthplace of the GOP almost always goes Republican, even for Dole in 96, it’s narrowly republican usually 51-53%. President Bush received almost 56% here running well ahead of most republicans. Jackson City is a democrat stronghold(less so in 04) and Summit and Spring Arbor Townships balance it out. The rest of the county decides the winner, usually narrowly for Republicans.

Lenawee County is conservative, but not necessary Republican. It, like Jackson usually votes narrowly for Republicans. They also vote for very socially conservative republicans such as Tim Walberg. They did vote for democrats like Doug and Dudley Spade who are more moderately socially conservative than most democrats. It is a competitive county, and Bush ran ahead of most republicans here too with almost 55% Adrian goes Democrat, and the rest of the county leans slightly Republican. Jackson County and Lenawee County can not be taken for granted.

Eaton County is treading more democrat lately, but it took a right turn in 2004. Bush won with 53.41% here, ahead of 50% in 2000. Granholm won this county in 2002 due to the state workers. Eaton has the southwestern part of the City of Lansing, which is extremely democrat. Delta Township narrowly went for Bush twice and is more socially liberal than the rest of the county. Eaton Rapids and Grand Ledge swung for Bush. This is a hard county to predict. They voted for Bush, Granholm, Schwarz, Sue Tabor, and Rick Jones covering most of the political spectrum. If I had to generalize, I would guess that Eaton is pro-government, pro-2nd amendment, and like treading more socially liberal outside of the gun issue due to the growing close in suburbs west of Lansing. I may be wrong here though.

Calhoun County is a true swing county. It voted for Gore, Granholm, Joe Schwarz, Mark Schauer, Mike Nofs, and George W Bush - 3 republicans and 3 democrats. Battle Creek leans democrat mostly due to unions, but it is more receptive to Republicans than most core cities. Bush received almost 47% there, up from 44% in 2000. Albion is a democrat stronghold with its high minority population. Springfield and Bedford Township lean democrat. Marshall and the rest of the county lean Republican. This makes for some very competitive matchups countywide. Two of the most republican townships in the county however are in Fred Upton’s district – Athens and LeRoy townships are both 60%+ Republican.

Washtenaw County itself is a democrat stronghold, but the 7th District does not include most of the Ann Arbor area. This portion of Washtenaw County went 51.12% for Bush. It contains most of the western portion of the county, as well as the areas bordering Livingston and Oakland Counties, going east to Salem and the Wayne County line. While the Ann Arbor area is not here, some of the areas are showing its Ann Arbor influence. Western Washtenaw County is still Republican leaning, but Chelsea (and Sylvan Township in 2000 when most of Chelsea was included) went democrat. Dexter has gone for some democrats in the past. Saline is barely hanging on. Manchester is not as Republican as it once was. Northfield, (Washtenaw side of Whitmore Lake), Dexter, and Webster Townships are much less Republican than its Livingston County neighbors are. Salem Township is still solidly Republican. Most of Scio Township is in this district, and it is a democrat stronghold. Scio lies between Dexter (village) and the City of Ann Arbor along the Huron River. Scio went 59% for John Kerry, up from 53% in 2000. There’s no question to the trend there. It would not surprise me to see this area flip with a strong democrat or weak republican candidate.

Four Democrats are taking a shot, three of which are from Washtenaw County. At least two are from Scio Township(part of which has an Ann Arbor mailing address), the most liberal part of the district outside of Eaton County's portion of Lansing. Sharon Renier is taking another shot at this district. She didn't have much help last time. Fred Strack is from the Dexter area. Geography may be a major issue in both the primary and general elections. If the democrat primary heats up, Walberg has an advantage with less crossover votes for Schwarz in the GOP primary. This especially helps him in more liberal areas such as Scio Township. In the general, it may be an outstate vs Ann Arbor/Scio race which will advantage the GOP. Much of Scio Township has an Ann Arbor mailing address which is a disadvantage with the large number of blue collar independents in this district. Lenawee (Walberg) and Calhoun (Schwarz) Counties are both key marginal/swing areas which are must wins in this district.

This district will be one to watch in 2004. We will update this thread as there are more developments, and more information is known about the democrats running. My current prognosis for this district is strongly republican, although with the primaries in both parties and fallout, this is subject to change, possibly to safe, slight lean, or even tossup depending on what happens.

UPDATED 8/11/06

Joe Schwarz was defeated by Tim Walberg in the primary.
Tim Walberg - 33,244
Joe Schwarz - 29,351

Sharon Renier won the democrat field. She was the only woman running, and the only non Washtenaw County candidate.

Sharon Renier - 10401
Fred Strack - 3445 (Establishment pick)
Darryl Campbell - 3004
Chuck Ream - 2900

This race is Walberg's to lose.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Congressional District 6

Congressional District 6

2006 Contest
Republican Candidates – Fred Upton (St Joseph)
Democrat Candidates – Kim Clark (Three Oaks)

Current Rep – Fred Upton (R-St Joseph)
Years in office – 15 (1991-present)

2004 Results
Fred Upton – 65.34%
Scott Elliot – 32.43%

Presidential results:
2004 (Approximate – my numbers)
Bush - 52.84%
Kerry – 46.17%

Barone’s numbers
Bush – 53%, Bush 52%
Kerry – 46%, Gore 45%

Cook’s partisan index – Republicans +2

Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Safe Republican

District covers:
All of these Counties: - Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo, St Joseph, Van Buren

Allegan County: - Allegan, Casco, Cheshire, Clyde, Dorr (part), Ganges, Gunplain, Hopkins, Lee, Leighton, Martin, Otsego, Trowbridge, Valley, Watson, and Wayland Townships. Cities of Allegan, Otsego, Plainwell, South Haven, and Wayland.

Calhoun County: - Athens and LeRoy Townships

This is a marginal district with a growing democrat base, and growing republican base. It’s safe for Fred Upton who gets cross party support, but isn’t safe if it opens up. Kalamazoo County is treading democrat and is home to over 1/3 of the voters. Kerry won that county by 4315 votes. Van Buren County is only marginally Republican. St Joseph and Cass are much more republican, but are smaller, as is the portion of Allegan County in this district. While Calhoun County swings, Athens and LeRoy Townships are over 60% Republican. The part of Allegan County in this district went 58% for Bush. Van Buren, St Joe County, and the Allegan/Calhoun portions are combined still smaller than Kalamazoo County. That makes GOP leaning Berrien County the deciding portion of this district and it is a split county. Benton Harbor is a 95% democrat stronghold. Benton Township is also a democrat stronghold, with Niles and New Buffalo also leaning slightly democrat. St Joe, Coloma, and the surrounding townships are republican strongholds and outvote Benton Harbor/Township.

The big key to this district is Kalamazoo County which took a strong democrat swing in 2004 due to the city, Oshtemo (near WMU), and Kalamazoo Townships. If they (and Portage) become more democrat, there could be trouble here if Van Buren also flips, and Benton Harbor turns out reducing victory margins in Berrien County. Upton will not have problems here, but this could be a tougher than expected defense in a open seat.

Congressional District 5

Congressional District 5

2006 Contest
Republican Candidates – Eric Klammer (Saginaw)
Democrat Candidates – Dale Kildee (Flint)

Current Rep – Dale Kildee (D-Flint)
Years in office – 28 (1977-present)

2004 Results
Dale Kildee – 67.17%
Myrah Kirkwood – 31.28%

Presidential results:
2004 (Approximate – my numbers)
Bush - 40.61%
Kerry – 58.59%

Barone’s numbers
Bush – 41%, Bush 37%
Kerry – 59%, Gore 61%

Cook’s partisan index – Democrats +12

Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Safe Democrat.

District covers:
All of these Counties: - Genesee, Tuscola.

Bay County: - Bangor, Frankenlust, Hampton, Merritt, Monitor, and Portsmouth townships. Cities of Bay City and Essexville.

Saginaw County: - Birch Run, Blumfield, Buena Vista, Frankenmuth, and Zilwaukee Townships. Cities of Frankenmuth, Saginaw, and Zilwaukee.

This was a gerrymandered district for Dale Kildee intended to take in Genesee County and the democrat strongholds of Saginaw and Bay City. Tuscola County was added as well, much to the chagrin of the republicans there. There are five safe democrat seats in Michigan, which are all around 58% or more democrat. This is the 5th most democrat seat in the district. (Behind Dingell’s, Levin’s, Kilpatrick’s, and Conyers’s in that order)

There are republican areas in the district, mostly near Frankenmuth, and Tuscola County, but this district is 60% democrat, and won’t go Republican barring a disaster for the democrats.