Michigan is a swing-state, meaning that it’s constantly being contested by those from both the left and right ends of the political spectrum. But over the past few years, the right has been shifting further into that area of its populist dimensions, following closely behind the sway of former President Donald Trump.
This brings up a lot of questions as to whether the gambit will pay off — whether Republicans can win in the November midterms and beyond? Two political analysts discuss.
“Trump’s hold over the party is certainly strongest where there isn’t unified opposition, where there’s a blank slate of candidates, and his endorsement then matters, and we definitely saw that with the (Tudor) Dixon campaign.” — Dennis Darnoi, Republican political consultant
Listen: How Michigan Republican voters have changed over the past few years
Chad Livengood is the politics editor and a columnist at The Detroit News. He says the Republican base follows Trump “at every turn now,” including in the attorney general race and gubernatorial primary.
“It really shows just how powerful Trump has become, that he can crown people at conventions, and make them a nominee. And it doesn’t matter to people — at least Republicans, rank and file — that (Matt) DePerno has a huge disadvantage when it comes to money,” says Livengood.
Dennis Darnoi is a Republican political consultant who tracks voter data. He says Trump’s influence is felt most strongly when no Republican candidate is particularly popular.
“Trump’s hold over the party is certainly strongest where there isn’t unified opposition, where there’s a blank slate of candidates, and his endorsement then matters, and we definitely saw that with the (Tudor) Dixon campaign,” says Darnoi.