How Trump Won Michigan And Began A Political Realignment by Jamie Roe
On Monday, November 7, 2016, one day before the election, Hillary Clinton campaigned at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. This is a suburb of Grand Rapids in the Republican stronghold of Ottawa County. Donald Trump followed later that night with the final stop of his campaign in Grand Rapids. Clinton wasn’t firing up her Democrat base, she was trying to peel votes away on Republican turf that Trump was trying to protect to deliver Michigan to Republicans for the first time in 28 years.
The results in the West Michigan Republican stronghold were not what Donald Trump would have hoped. Trump underperformed Mitt Romney’s 2012 West Michigan performance, an election Romney lost by 450,000 votes statewide. Romney won the “Dutch Triangle” of Kent, Ottawa and Allegan Counties by over 78,000 votes, a 100,000 vote margin is usually required for Republicans to win statewide, but Trump carried it by only 68,000 votes which should spell certain defeat.
So how in the world did Trump win Michigan?
In 2016 roughly the same number voted in Michigan as voted in 2012 when Obama posted a victory of nearly 450,000 votes and four years later gave Trump an 11,000 vote victory. Trump received 164,000 more votes than Romney and Clinton 293,000 fewer votes than Obama. The partial totals from Jill Stein’s ridiculous and wasteful recount showed it wasn’t Russian hackers or space aliens that turned Michigan from blue to red, it was blue-collar and rural voters.