Monday, April 29, 2013

Congressional District 6 - Updated (MI-06)

2014 Update:
Fred Upton has another primary. This time it is Jim Bussler, a nurse out of Dowagiac. Upton has had tough primaries over some votes in the past, but has survived them, even when others like Joe Schwarz did not. The dems are running Paul Clements, a sacrificial lamb candidate. However, nothing is 100% here with Kalamazoo and Benton Harbor.



MI-06 Update - 2013

The 2011 Update is here.

The 2009 Update is here.
Incumbent – Fred Upton  (R-St Joseph)
Years in office as of 2014 election - 28

Challengers – Jim Bussler (R-Dowagiac), Paul Clements (D-Kalamazoo)

2012:
Fred Upton – 174955 – 54.59%
Mike O’Brien  – 136536 – 42.61%
38392 vote difference

Romney –  162809 votes – 50.08%
Obama –  159024 votes – 48.76%
4413 vote difference.

2008:
McCain – 155186 votes – 45.09%
Obama – 182750 votes – 53.24%
-28063  vote difference

2004:
Bush – 175704 votes – 53.73%
Kerry – 148028 votes – 45.27%
27676 vote difference

This district is – on paper – a swing district. It has some strong GOP and strong democrat areas and is usually close in presidential elections. On paper is what’s key. Despite being competitive in presidential races, the only base that elects state reps is in the City of Kalamazoo. They have no democrat state senate districts (although contend for one all elections) and only have one state rep. That’s not to say that we don’t need to keep an eye on things here.

Fred Upton’s a moderate republican whose toughest election was 2012. It was his first general election win with less than 55% of the vote. He did better in even 2006 and 2008, overall horrific years. Conservatives never were enamored with him. Liberals aren’t crossing over for him as they used to. He’s biggest strength is in his home area of St Joe in Berrien County.

For the map, I’ll use the same color code, staying with the Dark Blue for 70% d areas that I used in District 5. I did three maps here because this district is so close in 2012. 04 was the high side recently, and 2012 is the low side.  The maps are in order of most recent election of the three. I don’t have exact Holland borders here because of the city re-precincting names between 08-12. I may be slightly off with Berrien County townships as well. The last two maps cut off the top part of Allegan County. It’s mostly 70%+ across the board every election.
 

70%+Dem – Dark Blue
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 – Spring Green (City of Hartford in Van Buren County)

2012:
 MI-0612A

MI-0612B

2008:
MI-0608

2004:
MI-0604

Starting at the top with Allegan County. Allegan County has part Holland influence, part Grand Rapids influence, and part Kalamazoo influence. Allegan County is a GOP Stronghold at 59%, but looking at the microlevel, you’ll see that the dems are not without strength here. The GOP is strong because that Northern tier is absolutely blood red. Overisel Twp is the 2nd most GOP township in the state in 2012 (at times it is first). That’s as much a part of the Dutch area as Ottawa County is. The southern tier is competitive, although Bush almost swept it in 2004. Bush did extremely well in the competitive areas. Of the areas Romney lost, Bush won Allegan, Cheshire Twp, Clyde Twp, Fennville, Otsego, Otsego Twp, Plainwell, and the portion of South Haven. He lost Lee Twp, Saugatuck, and Saugatuck Twp. Douglas wasn’t incorporated as a city then and part of Saugatuck Twp, so he probably lost that too.

The dems have Saugatuck/Douglas which is the gay capital of West Michigan (or so I’ve heard.) Fennville has a large Mexican population as does Clyde and Lee Townships. I’m not 100% sure, but I think Plainwell and Otsego have union presence. It’s also close to Kalamazoo. South Haven is dem, but it’s not as bad as it looks. Obama got 70% in the Allegan part, but that’s due to winning 5-2. (It’s usually 50-55% dem citywide) Still, we’re bleeding here. Bush got 62.52% here in the district part of Allegan (almost all of it). McCain dropped to 54.08%. Romney got 59.22 in a recovery, but there’s still a lot more blue here than 2004. The dems are making inroads. Are we in danger of losing this county? No way – not with the northern part of the county. Will that southern tier factor in a congressional race? That’s a possibility, when you have Kalamazoo and Benton Harbor in the district.

Kalamazoo County is the biggest part of the district. It’s also trending to the left. It was close to 50/50 in 2000. It was 51/47 in 2004. 59/39 in 08. Romney controlled some of the bleeding and it’s now 56/43. Downticket, it’s not AS bad, but still a cause of concern. I don’t know this county as well as blogger Conservative First from the Western Right blog. He can correct any errors I have here. Bush lost only four municipalities in 2004. Romney lost seven. (McCain 9). The four Bush lost are Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Twp, Oshtemo Twp, and Galesburg. Kalamazoo City is a dem stronghold. You have WMU in the western part of the city, and a high black population in the north end. Kalamazoo Twp has some of those same areas to a lesser extent. The problem today is that Bush’s 32% (-10,000 vote spread) and 41% (-1760) are now Romney’s 24.50% (-14662) and 33%. (-3477). Oshtemo and Comstock townships are to the West and East. Oshtemo Twp is WMU country. It’s gone from close to 50/50 to 57% dem. Galesburg is blue, but not by a giant margin. It’s those three municipalities Romney lost that Bush didn’t that scare me. Portage, Comstock Twp, and Parchment. Those are three suburbs that border Kalamazoo. I don’t know those suburbs in depth except that Portage is the 2nd largest city in the county. It’s always been close, but Bush won it twice. Parchment is rapidly going blue. Romney did worse than McCain there. I don’t know much about Comstock outside of Bell’s beer. It’s still close. Those three areas are the key to reducing losses in the county. We have to do so here.

St Joseph County (City is in Berrien County) to the Southeast I know very little about and I drove through it once. It’s old free soil country. The only area that went for Obama was Three Rivers. Bush did very well in the rural parts of SW and South Central Michigan along the I-94 corridor and I-69 N/S Corridor – much better than both Romney and McCain. Romney won it with 55.55%, but Bush broke 60% here. McCain cratered and barely won it. Three Rivers is reliably dem. Romney and Bush both won the rest of the area, although Bush to a much larger degree.

Cass County to the West I know very little about. I drove through it once. It’s old free soil country, and it was a major stop on the Underground Railroad. It has a sizable black population for a rural county (Dowagiac, Cassopolis and Vandalia) that goes back 150 years, although the population is much lower than Berrien County. It’s also prone to wild election swings. Bush and Romney got 57 and 56% with a similar number of votes. Bush struggled here more in 2000. McCain cratered here with 46.89%. McCain didn’t break 57% in any municipality. Romney broke 60%+ in 6 of them, Bush in 5 of them. McCain lost 8 municipalities, Romney lost three and Bush lost two. LaGrange Twp and Dowagiac are the constant dem areas. Calvin Twp went for Obama twice, but Bush won it in 2004. In a district like the 6th, this is a key area for the R’s.

Van Buren County is erratic, but has had a bit of a blue taint lately. There’s a sizable Chicago influence here, and no Benton Harbor to counter-influence. The Mexican population has increased here as well with the farms. Bush won the area narrowly. Romney lost it by 160 votes. Obama won Antwerp Twp twice. Covert twp is heavily minority. South Haven is a former small industrial area now a tourist haven for Chicagoland. Bangor, Decatur Twp, Geneva Twp, Paw Paw Twp, and South Haven City/Twp have gone dem the last three presidential elections, mostly narrowly in Bush’s case, but less so for Romney. It’s been close in elections since 92, and is a key county in this district. Hopefully Obama being gone will flip this district as Chicago homerism is less of a factor.

Lastly, Berrien County is the battle of strongholds. It’s the Southwest corner of Michigan, and you are as likely to see Chicago sports teams supported as Detroit teams. New Buffalo is about an hour away from there, and there’s a lot of vacation homes there. Niles is across the border from South Bend, which is the closest major city. There are a couple swing areas that are competitive, like Buchanan and New Buffalo, but most of this district is heavily red or blue. A candidate wins by turning out the base and narrowing the wins in other parts of the district. The three strongholds for the dems here are Benton Harbor, Benton Township, and to a much lesser extent, Niles. Niles sometimes is close. Benton Township/Benton Harbor is majority black and votes accordingly. Obama won the township with about 75%, and the city 97%+ the last two elections. Kerry won the two areas by 5800, Obama in 2008 by 7900 and in 2012 by 6600. Lincoln Township is the big Republican stronghold, along with many of  the smaller townships (60%+). They also do well in St Joseph (almost always called St Joe) by a lesser amount. Bush won the county by 8200 votes, McCain lost by 4200, and Romney won by 4700. It leans R, but not safe. This is also a key county in the district if it opens up. Obama being gone may make this more Republican as Chicago homerism wanes. 


District 6 Romney Obama Total  Diff GOP  DEM
Allegan County





Allegan 765 989 1790 -224 42.74% 55.25%
Allegan Twp 987 953 1967 34 50.18% 48.45%
Casco Twp 707 689 1412 18 50.07% 48.80%
Cheshire Twp 420 441 874 -21 48.05% 50.46%
Clyde Twp 326 400 744 -74 43.82% 53.76%
Door Twp 2545 1124 3728 1421 68.27% 30.15%
Douglas 266 447 719 -181 37.00% 62.17%
Fennville 162 243 415 -81 39.04% 58.55%
Fillmore Twp 1184 240 1436 944 82.45% 16.71%
Ganges Twp 693 655 1363 38 50.84% 48.06%
Gunplain Twp 1560 1398 2994 162 52.10% 46.69%
Heath Twp 1267 400 1695 867 74.75% 23.60%
Holland 9-4 555 320 886 235 62.64% 36.12%
Holland 11-5 511 331 852 180 59.98% 38.85%
Holland 12-5 691 269 964 422 71.68% 27.90%
Hopkins Twp 817 450 1277 367 63.98% 35.24%
Laketown Twp 2433 1172 3631 1261 67.01% 32.28%
Lee Twp 395 480 889 -85 44.43% 53.99%
Leighton Twp 1954 607 2585 1347 75.59% 23.48%
Manlius Twp 1023 475 1505 548 67.97% 31.56%
Martin Twp 746 420 1183 326 63.06% 35.50%
Monterey Twp 631 374 1031 257 61.20% 36.28%
Otsego 700 852 1576 -152 44.42% 54.06%
Otsego Twp 1238 1245 2522 -7 49.09% 49.37%
Overisel Twp 1372 223 1619 1149 84.74% 13.77%
Plainwell 761 882 1662 -121 45.79% 53.07%
Salem Twp 1606 544 2180 1062 73.67% 24.95%
Saugatuck 230 357 598 -127 38.46% 59.70%
Saugatuck Twp 874 907 1797 -33 48.64% 50.47%
South Haven (part) 2 5 7 -3 28.57% 71.43%
Trowbridge Twp 600 525 1153 75 52.04% 45.53%
Valley Twp 474 385 876 89 54.11% 43.95%
Watson Twp 509 392 913 117 55.75% 42.94%
Wayland 899 719 1644 180 54.68% 43.73%
Wayland Twp 885 602 1499 283 59.04% 40.16%
Total 30788 20515 51986 10273 59.22% 39.46%







Berrien County





Bainbridge Twp 976 405 1397 571 69.86% 28.99%
Baroda Twp 908 453 1379 455 65.84% 32.85%
Benton Harbor 92 3797 3906 -3705 2.36% 97.21%
Benton Township 1461 4393 5893 -2932 24.79% 74.55%
Berrien Twp 1400 802 2234 598 62.67% 35.90%
Bertrand Twp 902 495 1408 407 64.06% 35.16%
Bridgman 664 455 1134 209 58.55% 40.12%
Buchanan 909 887 1829 22 49.70% 48.50%
Buchanan Twp 1011 604 1638 407 61.72% 36.87%
Chikaming Twp 928 863 1818 65 51.05% 47.47%
Coloma  434 264 705 170 61.56% 37.45%
Coloma Twp 1494 728 2237 766 66.79% 32.54%
Galien Twp 342 269 617 73 55.43% 43.60%
Hagar Twp 1002 622 1648 380 60.80% 37.74%
Lake Twp 1060 613 1699 447 62.39% 36.08%
Lincoln Twp 5367 2589 8044 2778 66.72% 32.19%
New Buffalo 423 493 923 -70 45.83% 53.41%
New Buffalo Twp 646 655 1321 -9 48.90% 49.58%
Niles 1876 2320 4242 -444 44.22% 54.69%
Niles Twp 3250 2650 5969 600 54.45% 44.40%
Oronoko Twp 1802 1543 3402 259 52.97% 45.36%
Pipestone Twp 707 336 1057 371 66.89% 31.79%
Royalton Twp 1916 742 2670 1174 71.76% 27.79%
Sodus Twp 606 363 983 243 61.65% 36.93%
St Joseph 2364 1937 4357 427 54.26% 44.46%
St Joseph Twp 3398 2543 5990 855 56.73% 42.45%
Three Oaks Twp 643 574 1247 69 51.56% 46.03%
Watervliet 329 258 596 71 55.20% 43.29%
Watervliet Twp 748 449 1214 299 61.61% 36.99%
Weesaw Twp 551 363 937 188 58.80% 38.74%
Total 38209 33465 72494 4744 52.71% 46.16%







Cass County





Calvin Twp 405 454 871 -49 46.50% 52.12%
Dowagiac 712 1258 1981 -546 35.94% 63.50%
Howard Twp 1602 1266 2902 336 55.20% 43.63%
Jefferson Twp 665 487 1166 178 57.03% 41.77%
LaGrange Twp 614 827 1452 -213 42.29% 56.96%
Marcellus Twp 511 484 1008 27 50.69% 48.02%
Mason Twp 685 371 1066 314 64.26% 34.80%
Milton Twp 1047 502 1565 545 66.90% 32.08%
Newberg Twp 395 313 717 82 55.09% 43.65%
Ontwa Twp 1862 1010 2900 852 64.21% 34.83%
Penn Twp 537 351 897 186 59.87% 39.13%
Pokagon Twp 515 426 956 89 53.87% 44.56%
Porter Twp 1262 584 1863 678 67.74% 31.35%
Silver Creek Twp 908 562 1488 346 61.02% 37.77%
Volinia Twp 314 192 513 122 61.21% 37.43%
Wayne Twp 625 504 1145 121 54.59% 44.02%
Total 12659 9591 22490 3068 56.29% 42.65%







Kalamazoo County





Alamo Twp 1271 897 2185 374 58.17% 41.05%
Brady Twp 1392 945 2364 447 58.88% 39.97%
Charleston Twp 575 441 1039 134 55.34% 42.44%
Climax Twp 736 490 1235 246 59.60% 39.68%
Comstock Twp 3622 3993 7708 -371 46.99% 51.80%
Cooper Twp 2735 2608 5409 127 50.56% 48.22%
Galesburg 307 365 682 -58 45.01% 53.52%
Kalamazoo  7280 21942 29671 -14662 24.54% 73.95%
Kalamazoo Twp 3469 6946 10547 -3477 32.89% 65.86%
Oshtemo Twp 4600 6252 10959 -1652 41.97% 57.05%
Parchment 369 534 912 -165 40.46% 58.55%
Pavilion Twp 1589 1358 2980 231 53.32% 45.57%
Portage 11918 12966 25178 -1048 47.33% 51.50%
Prairie Ronde Twp 824 458 1289 366 63.93% 35.53%
Richland Twp 2462 1898 4406 564 55.88% 43.08%
Ross Twp 1747 1251 3016 496 57.92% 41.48%
Schoolcraft Twp 2299 1877 4230 422 54.35% 44.37%
Texas Twp 5070 3616 8753 1454 57.92% 41.31%
Wakeshima Twp 397 214 615 183 64.55% 34.80%
Total 52662 69051 123178 -16389 42.75% 56.06%







St Joseph County





Burr Oak Twp 568 417 995 151 57.09% 41.91%
Colon Twp 685 544 1243 141 55.11% 43.77%
Constantine Twp 862 658 1535 204 56.16% 42.87%
Fabius Twp 946 682 1644 264 57.54% 41.48%
Fawn River Twp 393 242 642 151 61.21% 37.69%
Florence Twp 329 188 524 141 62.79% 35.88%
Flowerfield Twp 393 315 715 78 54.97% 44.06%
Leonidias Twp 291 160 465 131 62.58% 34.41%
Lockport Twp 875 824 1717 51 50.96% 47.99%
Mendon Twp 641 608 1263 33 50.75% 48.14%
Mottville Twp 334 229 586 105 57.00% 39.08%
Nottawa Twp 791 603 1403 188 56.38% 42.98%
Park Twp 702 534 1251 168 56.12% 42.69%
Sherman Twp 1015 534 1559 481 65.11% 34.25%
Sturgis 1746 1304 3085 442 56.60% 42.27%
Sturgis Twp 487 298 795 189 61.26% 37.48%
Three Rivers 986 1443 2470 -457 39.92% 58.42%
White Pigeon Twp 934 529 1469 405 63.58% 36.01%
Total 12978 10112 23361 2866 55.55% 43.29%







Van Buren County





Almena Twp 1391 1291 2712 100 51.29% 47.60%
Antwerp Twp 2846 2892 5805 -46 49.03% 49.82%
Arlington Twp 437 380 830 57 52.65% 45.78%
Bangor 227 373 605 -146 37.52% 61.65%
Bangor Twp 431 334 774 97 55.68% 43.15%
Bloomingdale Twp 644 612 1270 32 50.71% 48.19%
Columbia Twp 492 486 989 6 49.75% 49.14%
Covert Twp 258 714 980 -456 26.33% 72.86%
Decatur Twp 675 769 1465 -94 46.08% 52.49%
Geneva Twp 664 731 1409 -67 47.13% 51.88%
Gobles 176 143 332 33 53.01% 43.07%
Hamilton Twp 328 325 660 3 49.70% 49.24%
Hartford 362 362 733 0 49.39% 49.39%
Hartford Twp 628 417 1060 211 59.25% 39.34%
Keeler Twp 558 392 970 166 57.53% 40.41%
Lawrence Twp 699 583 1299 116 53.81% 44.88%
Paw Paw Twp 1384 1528 2947 -144 46.96% 51.85%
Pine Grove Twp 773 613 1411 160 54.78% 43.44%
Porter Twp 689 613 1321 76 52.16% 46.40%
South Haven 1060 1328 2403 -268 44.11% 55.26%
South Haven Twp 861 876 1760 -15 48.92% 49.77%
Waverly Twp 558 528 1102 30 50.64% 47.91%
Total 16141 16290 32837 -149 49.15% 49.61%







Total All 163437 159024 326346 4413 50.08% 48.73%


1 comment:

Conservative First said...

A little more detail on Kalamazoo.

Oshtemo has a bunch of student apartments which turn out in presidential years, but not in midterms.

Portage is upper middle class, with a lot of professionals at Pfizer and Stryker. It usually votes R, but not always.

Comstock is more blue collar and competitive. Rs won a majority of the township board.

Parchment is blue collar and swings depending on the election.