How Will Trump’s Presidency Affect the Midterm Elections in Michigan?

GOP strategist Dennis Darnoi talks about Trump’s possible effect on the midterms in Michigan and marijuana legalization.

Jake Neher/WDET

It’s almost a historical inevitability in America that a new political party in the White House means losses for that party in the midterm elections.

Democrats are hoping for a major “blue wave” in November, which can propel them into control of one or both chambers of Congress and help win down-ballot races in statewide and local elections.

This week, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign and possible Russian interference in the 2016 election hits the one-year mark.

Are Republicans worried what the trajectory of that investigation will mean for their party in the midterms? Should they be worried?

On the other hand, President Trump’s approval ratings are improving. Should that make Democrats worried about their hopes for a wave in their favor in November?

Each week, Stephen Henderson invites someone to join Detroit Today who sits on a different side of the political spectrum to talk about the latest local, state, and national political news. The goal is to highlight ways to disagree, but still have a civil, productive conversation.

In that role this week is Dennis Darnoi, a Republican political consultant here in Michigan based in Oakland County.

“I think regardless of whether it’s an active investigation or if it’s wrapping up, it’s still going to cast a pall over this election,” says Darnoi. 

But Darnoi says he doesn’t see the investigation affecting Michigan’s race for governor or local congressional races.

“In terms of spilling over into other races, I don’t think so,” he says.

Darnoi also talks about the likely statewide ballot proposals in Michigan in November, including ones to legalize recreational marijuana and to change the way Michigan draws its congressional lines. He says Republicans should get ahead of the marijuana proposal by passing it themselves, but doubts that will happen.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


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