Kasich, Sanders Stump for Michigan Primary Votes

Following a strong finish in New Hampshire, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) is betting big on the Midwest to help him fulfill his presidential ambitions. Michigan is the first Midwestern primary state, so, it seemed worth it for Kasich to take a break from his official duties in Ohio and the critical South Carolina primary to make a swing through Michigan to stump for Republican votes and try to quell some Big 10 rivalries.


Matt Morley

Ohio Gov. John Kasich stumped in Macomb County Monday.

Can we put the fact that I’m from Ohio aside ‘til after the primary?” he asked to the laughter of an audience at Grand Valley State University on Monday.

Kasich, who also served in Congress, offered few specific policy prescriptions. He does oppose the full legalization of marijuana and favors a more muscular foreign policy. But Kasich’s focus was more on
the type of president he’d be rather than what he’d do if and when he’s sitting in the Oval Office. He told Republican primary voters that what the country needs is more bipartisanship. And if people had a problem with that, well, too bad. 

“The Republican Party is my vehicle and not my master,” he said.

Matt Morley

Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail in Michigan.

Kasich did offer this endorsement – sort of – to the other presidential candidate stumping in Michigan at the same time, and that’s Bernie Sanders (D) of Vermont. “I’m for Bernie being president, but of Ben and Jerry’s, not the United States,” he said.  

Sanders, at an appearance on the campus of Eastern Michigan University, made his case for beating out Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, but also seemed to be running against Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. In front of a boisterous crowd of more than 9,000, Sanders reiterated his scorn for Snyder’s handling of the Flint Water Crisis.


Matt Morley

Supporters for Bernie Sanders turned out by the thousands Monday in Ypsilanti.

You know, I’ve called for Snyder’s resignation,” he said. “But if the local government cannot protect those children, if the state government cannot protect those children, then the federal government better get in and do the right thing.”
It was also Sanders’ first opportunity to weigh in on the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court since the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia over the weekend. “Here you have the Constitution as clear as clear can be. The president of the United States nominates people to the Supreme Court. Republicans, start hearings on his nomination. Do not obstruct. Obey the Constitution.”

Austin Nickleson is an 18-year-old first-time voter who drove way from Ludington on the west side of the state to hear Sanders speak. He says the Vermont Senator embodies what he’s looking for in a presidential candidate.

“I’m really looking for someone who’s genuine in their views. Bernie seems to be. I want someone that’s truly caring about real American problems, that’s finally standing up for real American families.”

Sanders hopes people like Nickleson will drive a big young voter turnout for Michigan’s presidential primary on March 8.

Image credit: Matt Morley

Filed Under: #elections

This post is a part of 2016 Elections: Issues & Candidates.

You take voting seriously, and so do we.

Find WDET's coverage of the 2016 presidential and Congressional races as well as state legislative offices.

About the Author

Rick Pluta


Rick Pluta has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.

Follow @rickpluta

Wait a second, there’s more…

Become A Gerrymandering Expert Just By Listening [PODCASTS]

MichMash: For Governor Candidates, 'Tax' is A Four-Letter Word When Discussing Roads [VIDEO, TRANSCRIPT]

Detroiters: Proposal A...Proposal B...Both or Neither?

LIVE STREAM: Policy Meets the People - The Redistricting Issue Special [VIDEO]

What's Next In Michigan's Gerrymandering Debate?

Find your voting place and ballot information

Who Should Draw Michigan's Political Maps? Voters May Decide [PHOTOS + MAP]

Voters Talk Prop. 3: "My ancestors were killed for the right to vote."

NPR News Election Night Coverage

Ohio Offers Its Own Solution to Gerrymandering [MAPS + GRAPHS]

Voter Voices on Transit

Michigan IS Gerrymandered, New Study Concludes

Does Michigan Have a District that Looks Like Homer Simpson? You Be the Judge

Gerrymandering: Why It's a Technology Issue [TRANSCRIPT]

Policy Meets the People: Introducing the Issue of Gerrymandering

Prepare to Vote: Economic Development and the Candidates for Governor

Redistricting 101: Your District, Your Politicians, But Does Your Vote Matter?

Prepare to Vote: The Candidates for Governor and Where They Stand on Issues [VIDEO]

NPR's Hidden Brain: Gerrymandering and You

Prepare to Vote: Government Transparency and the Candidates for Michigan Governor [VIDEO, TRANSCRIPTS]

Voters Not Politicians: The Pros [TRANSCRIPT]

Prepare to Vote: Auto Insurance and the Candidates for Michigan Governor [VIDEO, TRANSCRIPTS]

Voters Not Politicians: The Cons [TRANSCRIPT]

Prepare to Vote: Enbridge Line 5 and the Candidates for Michigan Governor

We want to hear from you.
Share your thoughts and opinions: