Saturday, July 30, 2011

State Senate Redistricting - District 20 (SD-20)

State Senate - District 20
Current Rep – Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton) or open

2010 Results - Old District (20th)
Tonya Schuitmaker - 47,680
Bobby Hopewell - 34,507

This district just got even tougher. It had to contract due to population growth, and it now consists solely of Kalamazoo County. Kalamazoo County leans democrat at the top of the ticket (Gore, Granholm, Kerry, Obama) but does elect some republicans downticket. Upton's won here several times. The suburban districts have all gone for republicans consistently for state rep. The old 20th district has stayed with the GOP voting for Tom George twice narrowly and then Tonya Schuitmaker. That's despite Schuitmaker being from Van Buren County.

Schuitmaker has two choices. She can run from her home in Van Buren County in the 26th District, or she can do what Valde Garcia did in 2002 and move to the district where she most represents. Kalamazoo County. There will likely either be a very tough primary against an Allegan County candidate or a tough general election race against a Kalamazoo Democrat.

The numbers below show how difficult this district can be. Luckily for the GOP, the democrat turnout is much higher in presidential years with the WMU community and minorities in Kalamazoo. The big key is in the suburbs. There will be likely a 12-20K vote deficit after Kalamazoo City/Township/Osthemo Twp (WMU) votes are in. The key to overcoming that is in the outer GOP townships and marginal suburbs like Portage and Comstock.

Kalamazoo County GOP DEM Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
2008 Presidential 51554 77051 128605 -25497 40.09% 59.91% -19.83%
2004 Presidential 57147 61462 118609 -4315 48.18% 51.82% -3.64%
Last St Senate 43606 32826 76432 10780 57.05% 42.95% 14.10%

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