Michigan’s Election Results and Aftermath Show a State Divided

“It’s one thing to defeat [Trump]. Its another thing to defeat what he stands for,” says Ron Fournier of the Truscott Rossman PR firm.

Donald Trump supporters gather at TCF Center in downtown Detroit in November 2020.

Donald Trump supporters gather at TCF Center in downtown Detroit in November 2020.

Joe Biden continues to chip away at his path to electoral college victory, capturing Michigan and the state’s 16 electoral votes. As the country awaits national results, President Trump continues to pursue legal challenges in several states, energizing calls to stop the vote counting.

Crowds formed in downtown Detroit yesterday, echoing the President’s calls to cease vote tabulation. The protesters claimed they were being denied access to the TCF center where votes were being totaled.  “I was down there (at TCF Center) on Monday… And I interviewed a Republican attorney who said he was so proud they had 130 people down there observing the process,” says WDET reporter Laura Herberg.

Listen: Biden wins Michigan, Trump challenges results and protestors gather in downtown Detroit. 


John Sellek is a Republican political communications consultant and President and CEO of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs. He says that protests like the one at the TCF Center have always been a part of the country’s political process.

He adds that hiccups in communication have led to feelings of uncertainty in the electoral process. “Frankly, in the past, there’s been enough controversy about the counting of votes in Detroit…that people are going to watch… The bottom line is transparency is the best answer,” says Sellek.

Adrian Hemond is a Democratic political consultant and partner & CEO at Grassroots Midwest. He says that the protestors’ claims of being denied access to the TCF Center are inaccurate. “Poll challengers are credentialed by the political parties…so the idea that Republicans were trying to get challengers into the room and weren’t able to is patently false because they credentialed those challengers,” says Hemond.

Ron Fournier is the president of the Truscott Rossman PR firm and former publisher of Crain’s Detroit Business. He says that Michigan’s election results point to a deeply split political landscape. “At the end of the day, Biden grew his base a little more than Trump… And structurally, probably not a lot has changed… It’s still going to be a divided country… and a divided Congress,” says Fournier.

He adds that while it seems that Biden could narrowly beat President Trump to claim the presidency, the American electorate failed to defeat what Trump stood for. “The cancer. The bigotry. The acceptance of incompetency because he’s my guy. We did not defeat that,” says Fournier.  

This post was written by Clare Brennan.

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