Michigan Defunding Presidential Election in Predominantly Democratic Detroit
By: Sarah JonesApril 19, 2012
If Republicans took over the country with the White House and a majority in the House and merely maintaining filibuster ability in Senate, Michigan could be a blue print for what is in store for us.
Detroit is facing a crisis. It may not be able to conduct a Presidential election due to lack of funding in the budget. Detroit spent $1.49 million on the 2008 Presidential election, and this year requested $1.2 million but was only granted $737,000.
After Detroit Mayor Dave Bing (D) cut the budget for the Presidential election in half and cut the Department of Elections by 25%, Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey said there is no way they can conduct the 2012 Presidential election due to their inability to comply with federal law under the severe budget constraints. The Mayor tried to pass this off as shared sacrifices, but sacrificing the root of democracy itself is not exactly the same thing as cutting salaries.
The Detroit Free Press reported the clerk as saying, “You can’t do it. You just can’t do it. We’re mandated by law to do certain things, to have certain things in place, to have a certain number of poll workers. There’s no way we can conduct a presidential election.”
In Detroit, one out of two eligible voters turned out to vote for President Obama in 2008. Detroit is a big city in a state where a Republican presidential candidate hasn’t won since George H.W. Bush in 1988.
Romney should have a home state advantage in Michigan, with his father being a former Governor as well as being a Presidential candidate. But Romney’s stand against the auto bailouts have hurt him in Michigan. His exact quote was “Let Detroit go bankrupt.” Now, he and his Republicans are doing just that. The thinking seems to be that if the voters are going to punish you for your positions, you can just render them powerless to vote.
In the 2008 election, Democrat Obama was the victor among every age group of Michigan voter, but was particularly popular among voters under 30 years old (68% representing 20% of voters) and African-Americans (97% representing 12% of voters.)
In the last four presidential elections, Michigan voted as follows:
• 2008 – 57% for Democrat Obama, 41% for Republican McCain
• 2004 – 51% for Democrat Kerry, 48% for Republican Bush
• 2000 – 51% for Democrat Gore, 46% for Republican Bush
• 1996 – 52% for Democrat Clinton, 39% for Republican Dole, 9% for Other
The data for registered voters in Michigan shows Wayne County (Detroit is a large portion of Wayne County) with a total of 1,347,245 voters. Consider the impact if those voters can’t vote, in a state with a TOTAL of 7,286,556 registered voters. These numbers indicate that 18% of Michigan voters are in Wayne County. (Wayne County is bigger than Detroit, but Detroit is the major city within the County). McCain lost Michigan by 16% in 2008. Ostensibly, if Detroit couldn’t vote, it would be fair to say assume that it would create a huge opportunity for a Republican Presidential candidate to take the state, as well as assisting with down ticket votes.
Read the rest of the article at the link above.
More about Michigan from Rachel Maddow.