Dan Benishek - A doctor from Crystal Falls in Iron County. (Yooper)
Jason Allen - A state senator who moved from Traverse City to Emmet County (Troll)
Tom Stillings - A township trustee and activist from Eastport/Torch Lake in Antrim County (Troll)
Linda Goldthorpe - A frequent candidate and attorney from McMillan in Luce County. (Yooper)
Don Hooper - A frequent candidate from Iron River (Yooper) in Iron County.
Patrick Donlon - A candidate from St Ignace in Mackinac County (Yooper)
Yoopers took 54% of the vote. Trolls took 45% of the vote.
Benishek - 38.12% - leading by one vote before possible recount.
Allen - 38.12% - trailing by one vote before possible recount.
Stillings - 7.63%
Goldthorpe - 7.03%
Hooper - 5.59%
Donlon - 3.57%
Geography was a major factor in this race. Allen did very well in his state senate district. He did poorly in the UP - except for three counties in his state senate district. Alger. Mackinac. Chippewa. They voted for the troll. This continues Allen's state senate strength in his district. Benishek did very well in the Central/Western UP and it carried him to a one vote lead. Allen won the other lower peninsula votes, but by a smaller margin. I wish I had the inland/coastal breakdowns in places like Antrim and Charlevoix counties, but I don't have the time to go into that detail yet. I divided the area up into three areas with almost equal populations.
Here's Allen's District:
It's a whooping there. 53% to 27% Interesting enough, much of that is also Gary McDowell's district and he's the opponent. The question is this. Who did Tom Stillings and Linda Goldthorpe take votes from? Stillings took 16% in his home county of Antrim, , 13% in Charlevoix next door, and 7% in Emmet just north of there. He also took 5%+ in Cheboygan and Chippewa. Goldthorpe took 12% in Mackinac County, next to her home. She took 5%+ in Cheboygan and Chippewa counties. Nobody else broke 5% in this area. Presque Isle has always been Allen's most hostile county in the district.
The competitive northern lower outside of Allen's district was also interesting. Nobody ran away with this:
Allen won here too, but not by the 2-1 margin in his district. He ran 13% here behind his district numbers, and Benishek ran 6% ahead of his numbers in Allen's district. About 28% here voted for a different candidate than the top two, compared to 20% in Allen's district and 21% in Benishek's yooper base. Interesting enough, Goldthorpe, a yooper, broke 10%+ in 7 counties here. Benishek won Alpena and Iosco on the sunrise side. Donlon's three best counties are all in this area as well. Stillngs did his best in the Standish area it seems, but his best area was by his home.
The UP outside of Allen's district made its choice very clear.
It was almost a 3-1 margin. Benishek took an impressive 58% to Allen's 20%. Goldthorpe did well in Luce (home) and Schoolcraft counties. Hooper did well out west near his home. Stillings did well in Ontonagon for some reason. Allen did win Alger County near Marquette, although Benishek took Marquette itself and all the other counties there. Dickinson was his best county, getting 70%+ there. That's Benishek's neighboring county. Iron, Houghton, and Keewenaw are his other best areas.
All this adds up to a near tie. 1 vote. 31 counties. I don't the final result because of the recount. The two sets of questions for the general are this:
1. Can Dan Benishek carry his area in the general against McDowell? Can get get the votes out of Allen's district, normal base areas. Can he match or beat McDowell on the sunrise side?
2. Can Allen survive his UP loss to McDowell in the general with his district? Can Allen get the big numbers out of Emmet needed to win? Can he win the sunrise side?
I think Benishek is the stronger candidate in the general, but Allen's Mackinac, Luce, and Chippewa County wins are significant. I think he has a shot in the general, and that's more than I thought before.
Good luck to the winner.