Why state Democrats scored big in the 2022 Midterms

State Democrats now have a big opportunity to pass more of their agenda, say state reporters and analysts.

supporters hold "Whitmer/Gilchrist" campaign signs at the election night watch party in Detroit

Democrat supporters celebrate at Gov. Whitmer's election watch party in Detroit on Nov. 8, 2022.

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There are a few things that have availed themselves in the state Midterm Election results. Michiganders have chosen to enshrine reproductive rights in the state’s constitution. The other two proposals passed as well, increasing financial transparency among state representatives and expanding voting rights.

Michigan Democrats also had an historic night, reporting the Democrats have won both the state House and Senate. With Democratic incumbents winning the races for Attorney General and Secretary of State, Governor Gretchen Whitmer will, for the first time in her administration, have her party in the majority in the state legislature.

“It’s really hard to overstate how good of a night Democrats had, especially in a Midterm Election year.” — Lauren Gibbons, reporter.


Listen: Experts discuss Michigan’s Midterm Election results.

 


Guests

Lauren Gibbons is a reporter covering Michigan politics for Bridge Michigan. She says flipping the state legislature in both chambers is a “major, major shift.”

“It’s really hard to overstate how good of a night Democrats had, especially in a Midterm Election year,” says Gibbons.

Jordyn Hermani is a political reporter for MLive. She says Downriver state House and Senate districts delivered for Democrats, helping the party win power.

“If your top-of-the-ticket races are going to be a lot closer, then your down-ballot races are probably going to be a lot more up for grabs,” says Hermani.

Dennis Darnoi is a Republican political consultant who tracks voter data. Darnoi says residents in Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties voted for Democrats, helping to give them the edge.

“When we’re looking at margins of victory and margins of defeat, what Democrats were able to do is, in areas that had been and still went for Republican candidates, they were able to successfully reduce the number of votes that they lost by, while increasing — in Democratic-leaning areas — the numbers that they won by,” says Darnoi.

Alethia Kasben is a managing editor at Gongwer News Service Michigan. Kasben says the Democratic majority has a lot of leeway to pass their agenda.

“Repealing the Right to Work law has to be one of the top priorities, I would think, on a Democratic legislature’s mind. Campaign finance changes, different election law changes, environmental regulations — there’s so many things that could come up,” says Kasben.

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