Trump’s Michigan Failure Came Outside Detroit’s City Limits

The President lost the Great Lakes State in the suburbs and on the Lake Michigan shoreline.

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Those three women in Michigan

All three women angered Trump during the campaign, and their popularity hurt him in November. Behind the scenes, Benson’s reforms dropped Detroit’s out-of-balance precincts from 68% in 2016 to 28% in 2020.

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Winning Michigan was enough to make the government recognize him as the president-elect of the United States (Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash)
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Trump failed on the state’s west side, especially along the Lake Michigan shoreline (photo by author)

Betsy DeVos fails to deliver her hometown

He had the same problem in a neighboring county. Kent County includes Grand Rapids, home of President Gerald Ford and the DeVos family and the state’s most conservative major city. In 2016, Trump won the county with 52% of the two-party vote but only managed 47% against Biden. In one of the state’s most populous areas, that translated to a drop of more than 17,000 votes.

Losing Detroit’s wealthy neighbors

The other area where the Trump campaign failed was the area surrounding Detroit. The state’s three wealthiest counties — Oakland, Livingston, and Washtenaw — are all in southeastern Michigan and played critical roles in Biden’s win. Trump fell from 46% to 43% in Oakland — located on the northern side of Detroit’s infamous Eight Mile Road — and dropped from 28% to 26% in Washtenaw. Those counties contain three of Michigan’s 15 public universities — Oakland University in its namesake county and Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan in Washtenaw. A fourth, Wayne State University, is in downtown Detroit.

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Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan came up big for the new president-elect. (Photo by author)

Freelance writer and data scientist in Metro Detroit. Covered pro sports for NHL.com and the Associated Press before COVID-19. Mentally ill and not ashamed.

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