Legislative & Regulatory
Democratic Tidal Wave Washes Ashore in Michigan

In an election that saw record voter turnout across the United States, results in the State of Michigan were no exception to the nationwide Democratic tidal wave.

Starting at the top of the ticket, and not surprising, President-elect Barack Obama took all of Michigan’s 17 electoral delegates, with a 57 percent to Senator John McCain’s 42 percent. This result was expected after the Republican nominee’s October 2nd withdrawal from further campaigning in Michigan.

In the race for a seat in the U.S. Senate, incumbent Carl Levin held off the challenge of Republican nominee State Representative Jack Hoogendyk of Kalamazoo. Levin has held his Senate seat since 1979.

Perhaps the most significant indicators of Michigan’s mood of “change” were the electorate’s rejection of incumbent and Republican-backed Michigan Supreme Court Justice Clifford Taylor and the defeat of two incumbent Republican Congressmen. Democrat-supported Diane Marie Hathaway defeated the incumbent Justice Taylor 49 to 39 percent (Libertarian candidate Robert Roddis received 11 percent) in an expensive and frequently negative campaign.

Longtime Congressman Joe Knollenberg (R-Bloomfield Hills) was unsuccessful in earning a ninth term in Washington, DC. Former Democratic State Senator Gary Peters beat Knollenberg in a hard-fought Oakland County race, winning roughly by 52 to 43 percent. In the south-central Lower Peninsula, current State Senate Democratic Leader Mark Schauer (D-Battle Creek) unseated first-term Republican incumbent Congressman Tim Walberg (R-Tipton), giving the Democratic Party an 8-7 majority in Michigan’s Congressional Delegation.

State Legislature
Finally, and another sign of the Democratic momentum, the party’s 58-52 majority in the Michigan House of Representatives was expanded to 67-43, a nine-seat gain and the largest majority of either party in nearly four decades. No Democratic or Republican incumbents were defeated; rather, the nine-seat gain by Democrats took place within the 46 open seats vacated due to term limits.

For more information on all of Michigan’s election results, visit the Michigan Secretary of State’s website at www.michigan.gov/sos.