Midterm Election Wrap Up

By Aaron Martinez

This past Tuesday, voters lent their voices to deciding who should be elected to public offices in Michigan and around the country. In the days leading up to the election, pollsters around the country had virtually every state-level race in Michigan marked as a statistical dead heat. However once voters got to the booths on Election Day, the margins of victory proved to be much larger than anticipated.

Voters overwhelmingly affirmed Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s re-election over former Democratic Congressman Mark Schauer of Battle Creek. The governor cruised to an easy victory over Schauer by a margin of 51%-47%. In his victory speech, the Governor highlighted what he saw as a monumental growth for our state in his first term while vowing to continue the work to move our state forward. Snyder alluded to increased funding for roads as one of his priorities in the Legislature’s lame-duck session before 2015. In light of his reelection, the Governor is seen as a possible serious contender to run for President in 2016 as one of the few two-term Republican governors in the country.

Snyder wasn’t the only Republican who was victorious on Election Night. Alongside the Governor, his colleagues Ruth Johnson and Bill Schuette handedly won reelection over their opponents. The Republicans in the Michigan Legislature picked up numerous seats in both the House and Senate resulting in one of the biggest party majorities in state history. The GOP retained a supermajority in the Senate while increasing their House majority to 63 seats, up from a 49 seat minority in 2008.

Michigan wasn’t a complete victory for Republicans however, as Terri Lynn Land lost her election to be our state’s newest United States Senator. Democrat Gary Peters overwhelmingly won the seat vacated by retiring Sen. Carl Levin. Peters’ election to the US Senate marked one of the few Senate seats up for grabs which the Democrats did not lose.

National Republicans took full majority control over the US Senate for the first time during President Obama’s time in office, which many are interpreting as a repudiation of Obama’s policies. Others, however, aren’t too convinced of this because voter turnout was down in Michigan and around the country this cycle.

Many exit polls on Election Day found Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to the direction our country is heading with a majority of them blaming both Republicans and Democrats. Many pollsters have said this could be a direct correlation to why voter turnout was lower than the midterm elections in 2010. Most people in the Democratic Party will tell you that this fight is long from over and that the next few years will be focused on regrouping and reenergizing for future elections, including the presidential election in 2016.

Governor Snyder will be inaugurated into his second term on New Years Day.