Republicans in driver’s seat to regain the state House


It’s the subject Democrats don’t want to hear, but with Tuesday’s presidential primary in the rearview mirror, it’s the subject they can’t afford not to make a top priority.

As it stands today, the Michigan House of Representatives is likely to shift back to the Republicans after the 2024 election.

This means no more “Democratic trifecta.” Turning back the clock on eight years of Gov. Rick Snyder will come to a permanent halt. And Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s wildly eventful eight years in office will peter out to two more years of legislative paralysis.

Why do I say this? A few reasons, but let’s start with how the Democrats won a majority in the first place.

Everything broke the Democrats’ way in 2022 when they won the state House, 56 seats to 54. The repeal of Roe v. Wade ignited young, professional women to vote in numbers never before seen, allowing Democratic candidates in suburban Macomb County, Wayne County and Kent County to experience unexpected successes.

As much as the Democrats want to make abortion THE topic of 2024, the polling shows that’s not the case. Michigan has made the right to abortion care a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT.

There’s no way to make abortion any more permanently legal in Michigan than the adoption of Proposal 3 of 2022.

Even if Donald Trump finds a way to win the White House in 2024, he’ll never have the Republican numbers in the U.S. Senate to pull off a national abortion ban — even if he wanted one.

The issue of the day is immigration. People from all over the place are flooding across the nation’s southern border in historic numbers. It’s raising issues about cost, potential crime and the possibility that they could snatch up jobs from those who arrived in the country legally.

President Joe Biden is in office. If he can do something about it, he hasn’t figured it out yet.

Regardless of whether he has willing partners in the U.S. House, it’s his problem.

Next, Trump gets voters out in key areas. I’m not saying Trump will win reelection in November, but I am saying that he drives turnout Downriver, and the parts of Macomb County north of Warren. The people north of M-10 love the guy, too, which means a high turnout for Republicans.

Theoretically, Democrats have a shot at picking up a seat or two in Oakland County, but they have already won the seats that were in doubt in 2022. In 2024, they are mostly playing defense.

They swept all four suburban Kent County districts in 2022. No realistic pickups there. The Dems won this crazy-shaped new Lakeshore district that stretched from Saugatuck to Benton Harbor. No pickup there. Suburban Kalamazoo and Ann Arbor are already Dem. Rural Genesee County and the Tri-City area love Trump, too.

As I’ve warned you about in a prior column, the Republican Party’s contentious split is fun palace intrigue, but the vast majority of Republican voters don’t know who the state chair is, and even fewer care. I’d argue the impact of the Karamo debacle on House elections is negligible.

Trump has supporters ready to roll. Republicans likely will pick Mike Rogers as a U.S. Senate nominee, giving them a highly competent standard bearer to drive turnout.

Polling already shows him running neck-and-neck with likely Democratic nominee Elissa Slotkin.

Also, former Gov. Snyder has been raising money for this caucus for months. Snyder has Republicans competitive with House Democrats, even while being in the minority. That’s hard to do.

There’s one final piece to consider, too. Those Michigan Republicans who have money want the state House more than anything else on the ballot.

For them, Rogers in the U.S. Senate would be nice. They’d rather have Trump than Biden. But the state House is where it’s at for them. The Democratic trifecta in Lansing is quickly rolling back the reforms the business community and its allies won with Snyder & Co.

They’re putting their money on the R’s to regain the House.

If I were betting on the possibility, I’d also put my money on it.



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