Things just got real interesting. According to the Michigan Liberal website, term limited State Senator Glenn Anderson is announcing a congressional run. I've heard two potential districts. The 11th district (MI-11) and the 13th District (MI-13) I think it will likely be the 13th district, and will assume that in this post. Anderson lived in the 11th until redistricting placed most of his state senate district in the 13th.
Anderson currently represents the old 6th district in the state senate. The old 6th was Garden City, Livonia, Redford, and Westland. All of it used to be in the 11th. Redistricting kept Livonia in the 11th and placed Garden City, Redford, and Westland in the 13th. Anderson lost Livonia, but won the rest of the district. That's why I think he won't run in the new 11th against Thad McCotter (or Mike Kowall).
The 13th is currently represented by Hansen Clarke, who is running in the 14th. John Conyers in the 14th, is running in the 13th. It is a Voting Rights Act black majority district. However, it's not 60% black anymore, but about 55-56% I believe. It's still designed to elect a black representative, but much of the white portion of this district is democrat (more so than the 14th), including locally. Conyers won't have to deal with Oakland County now, but he's got some areas which don't care for him personally (or more so his wife Monica) - and they will vote in primaries. In addition, Anderson is the only candidate running from outside the city of Detroit (or Highland Park). Bert Johnson and Shanelle Jackson (the only woman running in the primary) are also running.
Anderson knows how to win tough races. He defeated an incumbent in 2006 and defeated a former state rep in 2010 in a race that some thought would be closer.
Conyers has two Achilles heels. One is Monica Conyers. The other is Suburbs. He lost to a "sacrificial lamb" Republican in Trenton, Southgate, Riverview, Grosse Ile, Gibralter, and Allen Park. He also came close to losing in Melvindale and underperformed in East Dearborn (the Muslim part). Only Grosse Ile usually goes Republican. For comparison, Hansen Clarke won Wyandotte, Lincoln Park, and even competitive Grosse Pointe Park. This was after Carolyn Kilpatrick lost 2-1 in GP Park and Wyandotte in the Obama year of 2008. She did win Lincoln Park. Clarke had some goodwill because he was the guy who beat Kwame Kilpatrick's mom. This isn't about race at all. Clarke is minority (Black and Bangladeshi) as is Kilpatrick, and Clarke in a GOP year ran better than Kilpatrick in a democrat year. Conyers has an unpopular wife who was on city council. Carolyn Kilpatrick has an unpopular son as mayor.
Most of those areas aren't in the district, but Westland, Redford, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and Wayne are all areas similar to Downriver in their attitudes. Mostly white, more moderate socially, pro-labor, blue collar and working class. Romulus and Inkster are also in the district and are heavily black - but represented by neither Conyers nor Anderson. Westland and Redford are increasingly black, but Anderson already represents those areas, and Westland is his home.
Those areas all lean democrat, sometimes 60% plus. They are locally democrat as well. They will likely be voting in the primary. They most likely won't be voting for Conyers, and at least three of those areas are very familiar with Anderson. If it is still a four way race, I think he has a decent good shot to win (as does Jackson). If Johnson or especially Jackson (the only woman running) drops out, it will be much a tougher road for Anderson.
The district about has 705,000 people. Anderson's portion of the district has 156,784. The portion Detroit reps do not represent total about 275,000. That includes Inkster, the Dearborn Heights portion, Romulus, and Wayne. Ecorse, River Rouge (Monica Conyers is originally from there), and Melvindale are represented currently by Detroit Reps, as is Highland Park (obviously). Anderson will have to win big in the non-Detroit portion to have a shot. I also think Jackson (being the only woman running, and being much younger than Conyers or Anderson) has a shot at winning some of those areas, particularly Inkster and Romulus. Those two areas were near Anderson's district, but not part of it. On the other hand, one united factor in that area besides the UAW is the airport. Anderson's district doesn't have the airport, but is right near it, and I'm sure Westland has a lot of airport commuters.
The bulk of this district is Detroit, mostly the West Side, which is the home base of Conyers. That doesn't mean they will all vote for him. Monica Conyers really damaged that last name. Primaries are also common in Detroit. Conyers isn't the only Detroiter running. Bert Johnson (Highland Park, but grew up in Detroit and represents part of it) and Shanelle Jackson are also running. Anderson has his work cut out for him here. He'll get a few votes by default, but he's been in Westland for 33 years. The split will help him with whites, but it will hurt him with blacks who refuse to vote for Mr. Monica Conyers (but would help with those open to alternative, but not to non-city residents).
I'd like to have seen a precinct area of the Kwame Kilpatrick vs Freeman Hendrix areas. I think this area is where this primary will be decided. The Hendrix areas are mostly likely to vote for a challenger to Conyers, especially with Monica being in the news so often.
Bert Johnson currently lives in Highland Park which is in the new district. Most of his senate district is in the 14th, although his home is in the 13th. Geography hurts him some, but he'll get some votes.
Old Redford/Rosedale Park is Shanelle Jackson's state rep district. I have family that used to live there years ago. Last time I was down near there (Old Redford) was back in the Hendrix/Kilpatrick race. Most of the signs I saw were for Hendrix. I still have family in the district just south of there. Warrendale/Parkland. That area was dominated by city workers, and there's still a number of them still there. They wern't Kwame fans, and I don't think they care for Conyers either with Monica on that city council. Jackson has an opening there with proximity, and so does Anderson with some of the whites still there.
While downtown isn't in this district, most of Southwest Detroit, including a lot of the Mexican areas. They could be a major swing vote in this race, and I have no idea who they would support.
Conyers has his toughest election in years, and could very well be defeated, either by Jackson or Anderson. It'll be interesting to see how this race goes in August of 2012.