Friday, November 04, 2011

State Senate Redistricting - District 38 (SD-38)

State Senate - District 38
Current Rep – Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba)

2010 Results - Old District (38th)
Tom Casperson - 49,868
Michael Lahti - 39,220

This is the most surprising pickup from the 2010 state senate districts. This very populist district has been democrat for years until now. Joe Mack (The Robert Byrd of Michigan in terms of pork) had it forever. Don Koivisto and Michael Prusi had it afterward. While the UP was starting to change federally, it is more democrat at the state level than the federal level. Casperson was the strongest candidate, but lost big to Stupak by a very large margin, although not as large as other candidates. He was a three term rep from a key swing area so he has shown strength. This is not a culturally liberal district on social issues, but it is economically populist. Old school democrats usually do well here. California bay area liberal types are disliked.

The district drops Luce County, but otherwise remains the same. That can help or hurt. Hurt due to its GOP leanings at the top of the ticket. Help due to state workers. The trouble with this district is that it is unable to take in Chippewa or Mackinac Counties which are more favorable to the GOP. Bush barely won this district in 2004 (two of his best yooper counties were Mackinac and Chippewa) and Obama won it in 2008.

While the UP is slowly treading our way, and took a major GOP swing in 2010 across the board, I'm not sold on this being a permanent alignment to anything but independent. While I have less knowledge of yoopers than I have on the sunrise side of the lower peninsula, one thing I learned quickly about Up North is that folks who live there have low tolerance of screw-ups and snake-oil salesmen. Most of the area has been ticket splitting for years. Bush won in 04. Obama in 08. Stupak every time he ran.

The Menominee/Iron Mountain/Escanaba area has been a swing area for years. It was Stupak and Casperson's home base. Dickinson County is slightly more Republican than Menominee, which is slightly more Republican than Delta County. All are winnable for either party.

Most of the Western UP outside of the Houghton area has been strongly democrat for generations. Now it is more independent outside of Ironwood and Gogebic County which still keeps its Joe Mack tradition alive and well. Houghton is now more competitive with the university being dominant, although not as democrat as most university areas.

Marquette tilts this district democrat. It's dominated by Northern Michigan University and is more culturally liberal than the rest of the populist UP. Marquette is also a union area. Casperson lowering the democrat vote spread here to around 500 was a major win. Alger County next to Marquette is also traditionally democrat.

The only way Casperson keeps this seat in 2014 outside of a 2010 type year is to run up big margins in his home areas to counter Marquette and Ironwood. It's possible, and if anyone can do it, it is Casperson. It will still be a very difficult defense for the GOP. The farm club for the democrats is vast. A good preview will be the 2012 state rep districts here, particularly the one in the Western UP. If we survive in the 110th, it will be a good omen for 2014. If not, I expect things to even out and for the SD-38 to be a swing district for Casperson, and democrat leaning for an open seat.



McCain Obama Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Alger 2188 2472 4660 -284 46.95% 53.05% -6.09%
Baraga 1846 1725 3571 121 51.69% 48.31% 3.39%
Delta 8763 9974 18737 -1211 46.77% 53.23% -6.46%
Dickinson 7049 5995 13044 1054 54.04% 45.96% 8.08%
Gogebic 3330 4754 8084 -1424 41.19% 58.81% -17.62%
Houghton 8101 7476 15577 625 52.01% 47.99% 4.01%
Iron 2974 3080 6054 -106 49.12% 50.88% -1.75%
Keweenaw 756 610 1366 146 55.34% 44.66% 10.69%
Marquette 12906 19635 32541 -6729 39.66% 60.34% -20.68%
Menominee 4855 5981 10836 -1126 44.80% 55.20% -10.39%
Ontonagon 1823 1966 3789 -143 48.11% 51.89% -3.77%
Schoolcraft 2058 2184 4242 -126 48.51% 51.49% -2.97%
Total 56649 65852 122501 -9203 46.24% 53.76% -7.51%









Bush  Kerry Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Alger 2318 2395 4713 -77 49.18% 50.82% -1.63%
Baraga 1977 1660 3637 317 54.36% 45.64% 8.72%
Delta 9680 9381 19061 299 50.78% 49.22% 1.57%
Dickinson 7734 5650 13384 2084 57.79% 42.21% 15.57%
Gogebic 3935 4421 8356 -486 47.09% 52.91% -5.82%
Houghton 8889 6731 15620 2158 56.91% 43.09% 13.82%
Iron 3224 3215 6439 9 50.07% 49.93% 0.14%
Keweenaw 781 630 1411 151 55.35% 44.65% 10.70%
Marquette 14690 17412 32102 -2722 45.76% 54.24% -8.48%
Menominee 5942 5326 11268 616 52.73% 47.27% 5.47%
Ontonagon 2262 1863 4125 399 54.84% 45.16% 9.67%
Schoolcraft 2267 2137 4404 130 51.48% 48.52% 2.95%
Total 63699 60821 124520 2878 51.16% 48.84% 2.31%








Last St Sen race GOP DEM Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Alger 2120 1634 3754 486 56.47% 43.53% 12.95%
Baraga 1430 1230 2660 200 53.76% 46.24% 7.52%
Delta 8300 4868 13168 3432 63.03% 36.97% 26.06%
Dickinson 6229 3152 9381 3077 66.40% 33.60% 32.80%
Gogebic 2406 2927 5333 -521 45.12% 54.88% -9.77%
Houghton 6385 5862 12247 523 52.14% 47.86% 4.27%
Iron 2507 2026 4533 481 55.31% 44.69% 10.61%
Keweenaw 605 513 1118 92 54.11% 45.89% 8.23%
Marquette 10580 11099 21679 -519 48.80% 51.20% -2.39%
Menominee 4669 2606 7275 2063 64.18% 35.82% 28.36%
Ontonagon 1552 1382 2934 170 52.90% 47.10% 5.79%
Schoolcraft 1907 1280 3187 627 59.84% 40.16% 19.67%
Total 48690 38579 87269 10111 55.79% 44.21% 11.59%

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