Election day: What really happens behind scenes

Win for Mitt Romney in Oakland County could be bump for Republican's down ballot

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

ROYAL OAK, Mich. - President Barack Obama swept through Oakland County in 2008, as one strategist said that night, "like a Democratic tsunami."

He grabbed a double-digit victory which changed the makeup of Oakland County's wide offices and brought Democrats Jessica Cooper in as prosecutor and Andy Meisner in as treasurer.

View: Decision 2012 voter guide

This year, every bit of polling shows Mitt Romney winning the county by as little as 3 and as many as 9 points. That can be enough of a bump for the Republicans down the ballot to make some gains.

Tuesday is all about the turnout. Monday night is all about the math.

"You're pouring over the data figuring out where your turnout is going to be and making sure your ground game gets them to the polls," said political strategist  Dennis Darnoi.

The outcome matters, not to politicians such as Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Sheriff Michael Bouchard, who have strong crossover appeal, but to the prosecutor clerk and treasurer's races. Who wins the presidential election can mean everything for them.

In Macomb County, Mitt Romney has consistently polled very well -- as in double digits. Some polls showed him with a 16-point lead.

That kind of lead, if it holds on election day, can be problematic for a candidate such as Sheriff Tony Wickersham. Wickersham is a well-like Democrat who has been the appointed sheriff since Mark Hackel became the county executive. However, there is no history of voting for Wickersham in Macomb County.

Big margins such as the ones Romney has in the county can be trouble for Democratic officials in the county.

"If those numbers hold for Romney in Macomb, Democrats could be in trouble," Darnoi said.

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