Monday, April 22, 2013

Congressional District 3 - Updated 2014 (MI-03)

2014 Update:
Brian Ellis is challenging Justin Amash in the primary. Ellis is running as an establishment social conservative attacking Amash on his abortion and 2nd Amendment votes. Bob Goodrich is a dem sacrificial lamb candidate. The primary could be quite interesting. Amash has a major following, but a lot of detractors as well.



MI-03 Update - 2013

The 2011 Update is here.

Incumbent – Justin Amash (R-Cascade Twp)
Years in office as of 2014 election - 4.

Challengers – Brian Ellis (R-Grand Rapids), Bob Goodrich (D-Kentwood)

2012:
Justin Amash – 171675 – 52.62%
Steve Pestka – 144108 – 44.17%
27567 vote difference

Romney – 177789 votes – 53.12%
Obama – 153081 votes – 45.74%
29325 vote difference.

2008:
McCain – 170694 votes – 48.60%
Obama – 174464 votes – 49.67%
-3770 vote difference

2004:
Bush – 193901 votes – 57.04%
Kerry – 141555 votes – 41.64%
38808 vote difference

Some pundits that don’t know Michigan always claim that Grand Rapids is the capital of “Republican West Michigan.” That’s not true (Ottawa County is). That hasn’t been true in a long time, if it was even true to begin with. The big Kent County strength of the GOP is in the suburbs. 2/3 of the vote in this district is in Kent County. Redistricting took two of the marginal suburbs out and into the MI-02. However, tougher Calhoun county was added instead. Barry and Ionia Counties are solidly GOP and added. Montcalm County’s Eureka Twp was also added.

A lot of work needs to be done here. In order for Michigan to be competitive statewide again, we need to at least get this back to the Bush numbers in Calhoun, Ionia, and Barry Counties, and better than that in Kent County.

For the map, I’ll use the same color code.
70%+Dem – Black
60%-69.99% - Blue
55%-59.99% - Slate Blue
50%-54.99% - Light Sky Blue
Less than 50% - Gold
R wins:
70%+Rep – Firebrick
60-69.99% - Red
55-59.99% - Orange Red
50-54.99% - Salmon
Less than 50% - Yellow
Tie – White

MI-3A

MI-3b

MI-3c

Top of the ticket R’s have taken a beating here compared to the old days. Kent County used to be a 60%+ county for years. Bush was held under 60% twice, winning by about 54,000 (countywide) both times. McCain lost Kent County completely along with the district. That was a disaster. He quit. Michigan hates quitters. Aberration. Romney was held to 53 and won by 17000 in Kent County. Bush had 58% and won by over twice that. Districtwide, Bush won with 57% and had twice what Romney had in the vote spread.

Kent County is 2/3 of the district. Romney recovered some from  McCain’s cratering here, but he did get less votes than him in Lowell. He also only got 400 more votes than him in Grand Rapids. Obama lost ground there, but here’s a comparison. Romney 28772 (35.73%), McCain 28372 (33.00%), Bush 36115 (43.61%). Bush ran about 7000 votes higher in outer Kent County (within the district) than Romney. There’s your main difference in the district.  The only reliable democrat area in the county is the City of Grand Rapids (and arguably now Kentwood in MI-02).

To the east is Ionia County which is between Lansing and Grand Rapids along I-96. It’s most known for the prison. It’s a base R county, although Bush did significantly better here than Romney and especially McCain. McCain was held to a 1500 vote spread. Romney 3300. Bush 6000. North Plains Township is the only area that went D the last three presidential elections, although Obama took Belding and Ionia twice (Bush won it). I’m not sure what’s significant about that area to make it so dem. Bush made it close and lost it by 25 votes. Romney lost it by 89 and McCain 128. Alamingly, Romney had only 150 more raw votes than McCain in the county even though he got 55.57% here to McCain’s 51.64%. Bush got over 60%. Romney had less votes in Belding, Boston Twp, Ionia, Ionia Twp (still flipped it from 08), Odessa Twp, and Orange Twp than McCain despite his percentages being better than McCain in all of them.  Portland on the east is closer to Lansing than Grand Rapids, so this area is influenced by two other areas.

Southwest of Ionia County is Barry County. It’s the county that is the crossroads of several cities in Michigan. Lansing to Kalamazoo/Battle Creek. Grand Rapids to Jackson. It’s usually a base R county. Bush got 59.51% here. McCain cratered here like most of West Michigan getting 53.75%, but Romney in percentage recovered most of it getting 58.41% here. However, Romney still only got 230 more votes than McCain. Obama just lost 2000 votes. McCain had more raw votes in Assyria twp, Castleton Twp, Hastings, Johnstown Twp, Maple Grove Twp, Orangeville Twp, Prairieville Twp, and Yankee Springs Twp. Hastings is quite alarming as Bush won it with 55.72% and Obama won it twice. This is a key county where we need to do well in order to win statewide.

To the South is Calhoun County, a quintessential swing county along the I-94 corridor. It voted for Gore narrowly, Bush narrowly, and Obama twice, narrowly the 2nd time. It voted for dem Mark Schauer several times, but followed up with Mike Nofs, a moderate republican (Social conservative, pro-union) several times. It voted for Granholm and Mike Cox (over Gary Peters) in the same election back in 2002. To say that this is a key county is an understatement. Bush won the county by 2200 votes (51.21%) in 2004. 32093 votes to Kerry’s 29891. In 2004, McCain got 28553 and lost the county by 6000 votes. Obama had less votes than John Kerry the 2nd time, but Romney had less votes than McCain. Obama won the 2nd time by 934 votes (50.18%). Romney only had 28333 votes. That is not a recipe for victory – even as he ran 4% ahead of McCain.

There’s two major democrat areas in Calhoun County. Battle Creek and vicinity is the most well known (and Springfield/Bedford Twp might as well be Battle Creek). Battle Creek is democrat but not to the extent of many other core Michigan cities. Kerry only had 52.66% here. Nofs has won it in the past. Obama got 60.20% and later 57.72%, which is fairly high for the city. Bush got 46.60%, Romney 41.29%. Springfield is more dem than Battle Creek which is somewhat surprisingly since its whiter. Bush came within 3 votes of winning Bedford Twp. The big problem from a per capita standpoint is Albion. Albion is forgotten and much smaller, but the dems in 2004 had a bigger vote spread there (-1278) than Battle Creek (-1269). Kerry got 70.11% there, and Obama 77.39% and 75.80%. Blacks, unions, and Albion college. Marshall is competitive and leans slightly R. Most of the rural areas here are solidly R. They help counter Albion/Battle creek and make this a competitive county.

Overall this district leans R. Amash ran similar to Romney, so he probably has this district unless someone strong primaries him. That is unless we get another wave year like 2008. The key in this district is to drive up the vote in the Kent County suburbs, get Bush numbers in Calhoun, Ionia, and Barry Counties, and to stop the bleeding in Grand Rapids. 


District 3






Romney Obama Total  Diff GOP  DEM
Barry County:





Assyria Twp 608 344 967 264 62.87% 35.57%
Baltimore Twp 512 355 879 157 58.25% 40.39%
Barry Twp 970 707 1708 263 56.79% 41.39%
Carlton Twp 734 469 1216 265 60.36% 38.57%
Castleton Twp 684 591 1289 93 53.06% 45.85%
Hastings 1453 1520 3020 -67 48.11% 50.33%
Hastings Twp 783 584 1383 199 56.62% 42.23%
Hope Twp 841 673 1540 168 54.61% 43.70%
Irving Twp 1049 496 1562 553 67.16% 31.75%
Johnstown Twp 844 625 1482 219 56.95% 42.17%
Maple Grove Twp 411 249 669 162 61.43% 37.22%
Orangeville Twp 806 691 1532 115 52.61% 45.10%
Prairieville Twp 922 826 1769 96 52.12% 46.69%
Rutland Twp 1207 841 2068 366 58.37% 40.67%
Thornapple Twp 2662 1233 3938 1429 67.60% 31.31%
Woodland Twp 649 419 1078 230 60.20% 38.87%
Yankee Springs Twp 1520 871 2412 649 63.02% 36.11%
Total 16655 11494 28512 5161 58.41% 40.31%







Calhoun County





Albion 684 2233 2946 -1549 23.22% 75.80%
Albion Twp 293 245 548 48 53.47% 44.71%
Athens twp 681 448 1147 233 59.37% 39.06%
Battle Creek 8574 11984 20764 -3410 41.29% 57.72%
Bedford Twp 2093 2201 4361 -108 47.99% 50.47%
Burlington Twp 515 348 880 167 58.52% 39.55%
Clarence Twp 601 368 985 233 61.02% 37.36%
Clarendon Twp 309 179 500 130 61.80% 35.80%
Convis Twp 437 286 731 151 59.78% 39.12%
Eckord Twp 492 234 734 258 67.03% 31.88%
Emmett Twp 2818 2330 5218 488 54.01% 44.65%
Fredonia Twp 504 312 835 192 60.36% 37.37%
Homer Twp 591 436 1041 155 56.77% 41.88%
Lee Twp 330 181 519 149 63.58% 34.87%
Leroy Twp 1354 774 2152 580 62.92% 35.97%
Marengo Twp 613 361 990 252 61.92% 36.46%
Marshall 1751 1621 3418 130 51.23% 47.43%
Marshall twp 1042 673 1732 369 60.16% 38.86%
Newton Twp 936 552 1500 384 62.40% 36.80%
Pennfield twp 2324 1926 4311 398 53.91% 44.68%
Sheridan Twp 407 345 763 62 53.34% 45.22%
Springfield 620 893 1538 -273 40.31% 58.06%
Tekonsha Twp 364 337 713 27 51.05% 47.27%
Total 28333 29267 58326 -934 48.58% 50.18%







Ionia County





Belding 905 1095 2047 -190 44.21% 53.49%
Berlin Twp 674 390 1073 284 62.81% 36.35%
Boston Twp 1628 987 2647 641 61.50% 37.29%
Campbell Twp 852 344 1205 508 70.71% 28.55%
Danby Twp 863 596 1482 267 58.23% 40.22%
Easton Twp 759 619 1405 140 54.02% 44.06%
Ionia  938 1198 2175 -260 43.13% 55.08%
Ionia Twp 742 672 1429 70 51.92% 47.03%
Keene Twp 580 292 887 288 65.39% 32.92%
Lyons Twp 834 688 1552 146 53.74% 44.33%
North Plains Twp 218 307 536 -89 40.67% 57.28%
Odessa Twp 1078 663 1782 415 60.49% 37.21%
Orange Twp 330 202 548 128 60.22% 36.86%
Orleans Twp 562 480 1056 82 53.22% 45.45%
Otisco Twp 628 424 1075 204 58.42% 39.44%
Portland 923 869 1820 54 50.71% 47.75%
Portland Twp 1023 666 1711 357 59.79% 38.92%
Ronald Twp 411 367 793 44 51.83% 46.28%
Sebewa Twp 367 159 537 208 68.34% 29.61%
Total 14315 11018 25760 3297 55.57% 42.77%







Kent County





Ada Twp 5193 2671 7920 2522 65.57% 33.72%
Algoma Twp 3621 1742 5409 1879 66.94% 32.21%
Alpine Twp 3156 2860 6104 296 51.70% 46.85%
Bowne Twp 1350 448 1816 902 74.34% 24.67%
Byron Twp 8656 2845 11577 5811 74.77% 24.57%
Caledonia Twp 4918 1966 6946 2952 70.80% 28.30%
Cannon Twp 5624 2482 8171 3142 68.83% 30.38%
Cascade Twp 7252 3540 10857 3712 66.80% 32.61%
Cedar Springs  635 520 1172 115 54.18% 44.37%
Courtland Twp 2825 1399 4274 1426 66.10% 32.73%
East Grand Rapids 3521 3361 6916 160 50.91% 48.60%
Gaines Twp 7868 4308 12264 3560 64.16% 35.13%
Grand Rapids 28772 50739 80536 -21967 35.73% 63.00%
Grand Rapids Twp 6338 3803 10213 2535 62.06% 37.24%
Grattan Twp 1371 795 2191 576 62.57% 36.28%
Lowell 917 807 1751 110 52.37% 46.09%
Lowell Twp 1894 1127 3057 767 61.96% 36.87%
Nelson Twp 1302 792 2124 510 61.30% 37.29%
Oakfield Twp 1723 1185 2941 538 58.59% 40.29%
Plainfield Twp 10727 6965 17871 3762 60.02% 38.97%
Rockford 1732 1211 2967 521 58.38% 40.82%
Solon Twp 1734 1023 2790 711 62.15% 36.67%
Sparta Twp 2374 1561 3983 813 59.60% 39.19%
Spencer Twp 1041 755 1825 286 57.04% 41.37%
Tyrone Twp 1228 695 1943 533 63.20% 35.77%
Vergennes Twp 1686 802 2505 884 67.31% 32.02%
Total  117458 100402 220123 17056 53.36% 45.61%







Montcalm County





Eureka Twp 1028 900 1945 128 52.85% 46.27%







Total All 177789 153081 334666 24708 53.12% 45.74%


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