Current Rep – Mike Green (R-Mayville)
2010 Results - Old District (31st)
Mike Green - 51,678
Jeff Mayes - 36,629
This is a swing district. Mike Green was the best candidate for this district, but even his numbers to an extent are a 2010 aberration as the democrats bombed everywhere, especially in this district. Mayes isn't Jim Barcia, but he wasn't a bad candidate in most years. He had no chance this year. Social moderate to conservative white populists turned heavily on the dems, just as they turned on the GOP here in 06. Green actually beat Mayes in Bay County, and cleaned up in the other portions of the district. I think in an average year, these two would run close, with Green winning a close race, not by 15000 votes.
Most Democrats in the thumb, Bay County, suburban Saginaw and Genesee County, up the sunrise coast are not social liberals. They largely white ethnics here don't care for the gentry liberals. They are pro-manufacturing, pro-union, protectionist populists who are sometimes pro-life and usually pro-2nd Amendment. The democrats who win here are folks like Barcia, Mayes (as St Rep), Gleason, and Sheltrown. Even Dale Kildee was usually pro-life. The push of the moneyed elite for the gentry leftism alienates the folks here who want jobs. The land of Lew Dodak (Birch Run), Bobby Crim (Davison), Jim Barcia (Bay County), Sheltrown (West Branch) is now competitive. It's not Republican, but they are more likely to get a look than they once did. Bay City itself is still strongly democrat, but some of those townships outside there are more competitive. Mike Green winning there is significant.
The old 31st covered Bay, Tuscola, Huron, and Sanilac Counties. Redistricting dropped usually Republican (not always) Sanilac County and independent conservative/populist Huron County. It picks up the more and more GOP Lapeer County. I think they wanted this district split because of Terry Brown in Huron County who eventually won Green's old district. Brown lost re-election in a very close state rep race. Joel Gougeon (a rare republican strong in Bay County) held a district similar to the old one for two terms in the 90's. Jim Barcia was redistricted out of his congressional district in 2002 and decided to run here instead of taking on Dale Kildee. Barcia twice won easily, once against Mike Green after Green was termed out in his Tuscola/Huron state rep district. Green won easily in 2010, but I expect a race here in 2014. Obama took this district by 7000 votes and Bush by 4600. If Green can keep it even in Bay County he'll win easily. If not, he'll need to rack up big margins in Lapeer County and his home in competitive Tuscola County.
This will be one to watch.
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