Whitmer leads the primaries, but Trump-backed candidates are gaining ground


By Simon Albaugh – Yemeni American News

With Michigan’s Primary Results coming into focus early Wednesday, Aug. 3, the candidates for the November general election are now gearing up to continue their campaigns.

There aren’t many surprises for the Democratic Governor race, however, with a few in the GOP race, the November general election is likely to be an interesting one to say the least. On one hand, voters will have to consider the lasting impact of Donald Trump’s myriad of endorsements for those seeking elected office. This could either be a strength in some districts, or a weakness for the GOP as a whole.

Regardless, voters only saw the beginning of campaigns for elected office. Now, the real race to be elected begins.


Whitmer gains the most votes, and the GOP Primary comes into focus

Out of all candidates in the state of Michigan, no one has enjoyed as much support as incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer. With 190,417 voters placing their decision on a Democratic ballot, as opposed to 87,255 Republican voters, it seems that right now people are mostly looking to the current leader for who they want to run the state in the next four years.

Tudor Dixon led the Republican Primary with 40,516 votes, with the next-leading candidate in the Republican primary – Kevin Rinke – receiving less than half of the votes that Dixon garnered. Dixon has been basking in a Donald Trump endorsement going into the Primary Election, leading some to believe that while a Trump endorsement helped in the primaries, it won’t be so much of a strength in the November General Election.

With Rinke being seen as a more centrist candidate – campaigning outside of the far-right fringe of the Republican party – he was seen as the candidate with the highest chance of beating Whitmer in the general election. Now, conservative voters with no real connection to Trump’s brand of politics will be forced to either go further than comfortable to the right or vote democrat this November.

Still, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Dixon won the primary. In a pre-primary poll commissioned by the Detroit News, Dixon had a three-point lead ahead of Rinke. However, Rinke garnered the endorsement of the Detroit Free Press, with the newspaper calling him “the least dangerous candidate” in the GOP Primary.


The Race to Washington

Just down the ballot, Incumbent Peter Meijer (R-3rd), who was one of 10 House Republicans to vote in favor of Donald Trump’s impeachment lost his primary to an ultra-conservative, trump-backed candidate in Michigan’s 3rd District Republican Primary. John Gibbs, who famously called the Democratic party the party of “Islam, Gender-bending, anti-Police” over twitter, gained the favor of former President Donald Trump even before running for congress when he was nominated for the Office of Personnel Management Director position.

Primary voters favored Gibbs by just under 4,000 votes, making a difference of just 2% of votes. With Rep. Meijer out of the race, the general election will be a choice between Hillary Scholten (D) and John Gibbs.

Locally, District 13’s Democratic primary saw former state representative Shri Thanedar take the lead, with 28% of votes. Coming in second, State Senator Adam Hollier took 24% of votes. With the 13th District in a historically democratic arena, it’s more likely than not that Thanedar will be the next representative for the newly-mapped 13th District.

Representative Rashida Tlaib and Representative Debbie Dingell also won their respective primaries, despite the changed district maps.


Early indications for the General Election

In many Southeast Michigan Districts, the congressional seat almost always goes to the democratic candidate. This will most-likely be the case in the districts 11 – 13 where Haley Stevens, Rashida Tlaib, and Shri Thanedar have handily won their respective primaries. However the further the race from Detroit, the more likely a Republican candidate will win the seat.

This is certainly the case with Republican John James, a former Trump-endorsed candidate for senate who’s now running from District 10 – encompassing Warren, Rochester Hills and St. Clair Shores.

For some districts, the Trump endorsement may carry some weight, such as in John Gibbs’ general election. However, with Michigan being one of many states where Trump lost the presidential election, it’s likely that the state’s collective votes won’t be so friendly to Trump-backed candidates like Tudor Dixon or Matthew DePerno who’s running for state attorney general.

However, with voter turnout especially low in Southeast Michigan, there’s going to be plenty of surprises when the general election results come into focus.