Michiganders will head to the voting booths tomorrow for the state’s primary. This is when Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians will choose who they want to see represent their party in various races come November.
Matt Grossmann directs the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University. He said there could be greater turnout among Democrats this year because of President Donald Trump.
“Democrats are quite motivated to participate this year because of the loss in 2016 and their dismay with the president’s record,” Grossman said.
Democrat Gretchen Whitmer faces challenges from former Detroit Health Department executive director Dr. Abdul El-Sayed and businessman Shri Thanedar.
There have been some high profile endorsements, including by the president. Donald Trump has endorsed Bill Schuette for governor and John James for U-S Senate.
Grossmann said if the name recognition for the candidate is already high, the endorsement won’t matter as much.
“People already know who Bill Schuette is, they were already kind of capable of selecting between the candidates, whereas in the Senate race, it’s really not very well known candidates on the Republican side so it’s entirely possible that that endorsement can really sway that race," said Grossman.
James is up against Sandy Pensler for the Republican Senate nomination. Schuette hopes to defeat Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, state Senator Patrick Colbeck, and businessman Jim Hines and be the Republican candidate for governor in November.
Some people have already cast their ballots. Absentee ballots, that is.
Fred Woodhams is with the Secretary of State’s office. He said the ballots turned in already have exceeded the number of ballots sent out in 20-14. Woodhams says this could translate into a bigger overall primary turnout.
“Due to the contested nature of the primary, just a lot of voter interest, especially with the gubernatorial race and US Senate, I think we will see a lot more turnout on Election Day," said Woodhams. “Four years ago there was not open seats at the top of the ticket and not as many contested top of the ticket races.”
From 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., voters will pick their party’s candidates for governor, US Congress, US Senate, and Michigan House and Senate.
Michigan Attorney General and Secretary of state positions will not be on the ballot. Those nominees are chosen by their parties at conventions.