5 things to know about Election Day in Michigan: Senate, House, ballot initiatives and more
Here are five things to recap about Election Day in Michigan.
1.OBAMA TAKES ROMNEY IN FORMER BACKYARD
Barack Obama wooed Michigan voters four years ago on his way to the White House for a first term. The love affair continued in Tuesday's general election as Obama easily carried the same state where Republican Mitt Romney grew up and where his father, George Romney, served as governor.
Romney opposed, then later said he supported, a federal government rescue of General Motors and Chrysler, but Michigan voters apparently remembered Obama was in the driver's seat when Detroit's auto industry was pulled from its own exhaust fumes back to profitability.
Romney's loss also extends the GOP's futility in getting a presidential nominee to win Michigan. The last to do so was George H.W. Bush in 1988.
2. STABENOW CRUISES
Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow overwhelmingly defeated Republican challenger Pete Hoekstra to easily win her third term. With 90 percent of ballots accounted for, Stabenow's 780,000-vote lead over the former nine-term member of the U.S. House was greater than Detroit's entire population.
Pre-election polls that showed Stabenow with double-digit leads were accurate. It also didn't hurt that she ran television ads portraying herself as a bipartisan champion of Michigan industries, particularly manufacturing and agriculture. She is chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and was endorsed by the Michigan Farm Bureau. Along with Obama's win over Romney, the Senate race result was one of the first to become evident Tuesday night.
3.BENISHEK TRYING TO HANG ON IN 1ST U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT; BENTIVOLIO ACHIEVES RESPECT IN 11th
By early Wednesday morning it still was unclear who would represent northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula in Congress. Freshman Rep. Dan Benishek was doing an election day tango with former Democratic state legislator Gary McDowell. The two jostled for the top spot as vote totals slowly trickled in.
Benishek, a surgeon from Crystal Falls, defeated McDowell easily in 2010 with support from tea party groups.
Meanwhile war veteran, teacher and part-time reindeer rancher Kerry Bentivolio beat two Democrats in separate elections to fill the unexpired term of Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter and for Bentivolio's own two-year term in the 11th District U.S. House seat. McCotter, a five-term Republican, resigned after failing to produce enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.
4.VOTERS CHECK 'NO' ON ALL STATE BALLOT ISSUES
Gov. Rick Snyder believed only one of six proposals on Tuesday's statewide ballot deserved to pass. Voters didn't agree. All six failed.
Collective bargaining protections sought by unions didn't make it. Neither did efforts by the owner and operators of the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Canada to have voters decide when Michigan could spend money on new international border crossings. That effort cost bridge owner Manuel "Matty" Moroun millions in advertising dollars.
But Snyder also suffered a setback. Proposal 1, a referendum the emergency manager law he signed in 2011 to help municipalities and public school districts out of financial emergencies, also lost.
Managers currently are working in the cities of Benton Harbor, Flint, Pontiac, Ecorse and Allen Park, as well as Highland Park, Detroit and Muskegon Heights schools. A defeat of Proposal 1 won't cast them out, but it will lessen their powers as the state reverts to the older and less intrusive Public Act 72.
5.CONYERS, DINGELL RETAIN RE-ELECTION CHARM
Entering Tuesday's election U.S. Rep. John Conyers of Detroit and fellow Democrat John Dingell of Dearborn had spent a total of 52 terms in Congress. Conyers easily captured his 25th term by walloping Republican Harry Sawicki in Michigan's 13th House district. Dingell is moving on to his 29th term with a win over Republican Cynthia Kallgren in the 12th District.
Conyers is 83. Dingell turned 86 in July.
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