Flipping Michigan’s Congressional Delegation

A story in the online political magazine Rollcall points out that flipping Michigan’s congressional delegation from red to blue isn’t only possible, it’s also quite doable.

Of Michigan’s 14 seats in congress, only five are currently held by Democrats. But of the nine that are held by Republicans, several are within reach of Democrats, especially if 2018 turns out to be a referendum on Trump’s volatile and adlepated presidency.

The article says the Democratic party is looking to flip three Michigan seats in particular, among them two of the congressional districts surrounding Lansing. They are:

  • 7th District — Republican Rep. Tim Walberg
  • 8th District — Republican Rep. Mike Bishop
  • 11th District — Republican Rep. Dave Trott

What this says is that, while Michigan’s congressional districts are gerrymandered to tilt in favor of Republicans, the degree of that tilt isn’t too great to overcome in many places.

Based on 2016 voter turnout, it would take the following number of additional votes for a Democratic candidate to reach 50 percent plus one:

  • 7th District: 33,394 votes
  • 8th District: 39,684 votes
  • 11th District: 37,284 votes

A few notes of caution. The numbers above are based in presidential year turnout, and turnout in midterms is often lower — meaning the votes needed would also be less. That said, a lot of the future results will depend on who is running, and it is still far too early to know who might end up on the ballot. And it’s unknown how much of a factor Trump might be in all of this. Also, it’s traditionally harder to get Dems to turn up for midterm elections, though the amount of energy out there right now says this might not be the case this time around. Additionally,  the effect of third-party runs can also put a pothole in the road to victory. Nothing is certain.

All that said, is it impossible to find 39,684 votes, for example, to get rid of Mike Bishop? No. Not if we start now. Not if we commit to doing more than simply turning up on election day. Not if we organize, and not if we knock doors and make phone calls.

Will it take work? Most certainly.

Are you up for it?


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