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MSU scholars analyze results and reflect on the 2022 midterm election results

left to right: Matt Grossmann, Arnold Weinfeld, Charles Ballard
Russ White | MSU Today
left to right: Matt Grossmann, Arnold Weinfeld, Charles Ballard

MSU Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) Director Matt Grossmann, Professor Emeritus of Economics Charley Ballard, and IPPSR associate director Arnold Weinfeld break down the results and implications of the just-completed midterm election.

The trio talks about how the new maps from the redistricting process “significantly” impacted the results. And they talk about the issues that motivated voters most. They look ahead to 2023 in the Michigan Legislature and to the already-underway 2024 presidential election. The group reflects on whether President Biden will and should run for re-election in 2024.

Ballard looks ahead to the prospects for Michigan’s economy in 2023, and the group discusses Governor Whitmer’s potential national political future.

Conversation highlights:

1:18 – “The national House popular vote moved from about three percentage points in favor of Democrats to about three percentage points in favor of Republicans, which is a little less than normal for a midterm election.”

6:24 – “Certainly abortion is the top candidate for why Michigan performed differently than other states.”

7:43 – “Wherever abortion was on the ballot, Democrats did well.”

8:59 – “The economy is not in great shape, but are we in a recession? No. We are definitely not in a recession. Could we be in a recession six months from now? Maybe. I think avoiding a recession is a little bit less than 50/50, but it’s not zero.”

13:11 – “Candidates endorsed by Donald Trump performed about six points worse in House and Senate elections where he endorsed less experienced and more extreme candidates, and he made the election less of a referendum on President Biden and more of a choice between Biden-preferred and Trump-preferred candidates. That does seem to have made a difference. Trump endorsed a lot of people in winnable seats who lost.”

22:01 – “You can’t beat somebody with nobody. There would have to be consolidation around an alternative, and the same people who don’t want Joe Biden to be the nominee don’t necessarily want Kamala Harris to be the nominee, who would be the most likely alternative. We might wish for different, but we still might see Biden vs. Trump again.”

23:05 – “Certainly a Midwest governor winning by a large amount who already had some national profile is going to continue to be mentioned regularly. And she has an argument.”

24:35 – “We were the strongest economy in the world in the middle decades of the 20th Century. Then with the decline of manufacturing in general and autos in particular, we have struggled for decades.”

30:14 – “On average across the states, if you look at the ideal party position of the Republican Party versus the ideal position of the Democratic Party, we expect each year of full control by one party to move the state policy about one percent in their direction.”

MSU Today airs Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 5 a.m. on WKAR News/Talk and Sundays at 8 p.m. on 760 WJR. Find “MSU Today with Russ White” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get your shows.