Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Michigan Senate 2006

As I was looking through the election returns, the funniest thing I noticed is the poor job the Republicans did gerrymandering districts in the senate. There will be a LOT of competitive races in 2006. Here's a quick rundown of the open seats that I know about.

The Dems will be leaving three seats without an incumbent; the 5th district, Burton Leland's seat in Detroit and the 27th, Bob Emerson's district in Flint to term limits as well as the 23rd, Virg Bernero's seat in Lansing as he is running for Mayor (See below). The only race amongst these that would be close is the 23rd, but Gretchen Whitmer will be able to pump more than enough money to scare everybody away. Dems hold all three.

The Republicans will be leaving four seats without an incumbent due to term limits and a few are quite vulnerable. Shirley Johnson in the 13th (SE Oakland), Beverly Hammerstrom in the 17th (Monroe, Washtenaw, Jackson), Ken Sikkema in the 28th (Kent) and Mike Goschka in the 32nd (Saginaw). Nancy Cassis may challenge Granholm and not run for a second term so that makes about 5 open seats for the Republicans. Of those, only one is a sure hold, Ken Sikkema's seat is solid Red. If Cassis gives up her seat, a Republican will probably take it, but the other three show serious promise.

Mike Goschka won with 55% of the vote in a district that voted for Kerry by a 4 point margin. Dems who have campaign committees in the 32nd are Alfred Frank (Lawyer in Saginaw), Bob Blaine, Dave Adams. This should be a fun one, the GOP hasn't found anybody to run yet, but that should change. I think the dems will pick up this seat easily.

Beverly Hammerstrom has a great district, except for the fact that Dingell represents the district and he has no qualms about getting involved in state politics. Bush edged out Kerry in this district by a couple points, but whenever Dingell puts his weight behind something... Expect him to pick a candidate and ram them into office.

Shirley Johnson's district is pretty solid for the GOP, Bush won by 5pts. A good dem candidate might be able to make some noise here, but it would have to be real good. Odds are the GOP holds onto this one.

That's it for the opens seats. Look for the Dems to pick up two here. There will be a lot of contested seats with incumbents however, I'll post about those soon.

So far, 2007 Senate looks like GOP 20, Dems 18...

All of the dems open senate seats will hold and are 59%+ for Kerry.

D13 - Johnson's seat went about 52% for Bush. Kerry won Royal Oak(54.5%), Madison Heights (54.92%), and Berkley(53.21%). Clawson swings and went for Bush and Gore. Bloomfield Hills, Troy, and Bloomfield Twp are strongly republican. Birmingham leans slightly republican.

While it's a slight republican district, I would not call it (outside of Troy) a conservative district. The Republicans need a good balancing act between the right, moderate, and liberals to win here. Bob Gosselin would have a tough time winning here.

D17 - A true swing seat. Bush won it with about 50-51%, but it's more dem on local levels. Monroe swings. The part of Washtenaw in that district tilts dem, and the part of Jackson tilts GOP. A pro-2a populist dem in Dingell's mold would run best.

D28 - Sikkema's seat is solid GOP.

D32 - Goschka's seat is interesting. Saginaw County went dem, but Gratiot went 56% GOP, so it's not a gimme for the dems if the GOP has a strong candidate. Jim Howell may be able to save this seat for the GOP. The dems may take it, especially with a pro-2a'er(AT Frank?), but it won't be easy.
D13 - The Dems can win this seat. If whoever runs picks up some points in Royal Oak (a must) and can limit the losses in Troy, he or she can win.
I would agree, if the dems can pick up a good candidate and fund them, it should be interesting. I don't know how Brewer will deal with this race, but I would bet that both primaries will be contested.
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