Michigan Republicans were hopeful for a repudiation of the state’s current leftist trajectory Tuesday night. They were met with the opposite.
Democrats are projected to win key races and ballot measures across the board in the Great Lakes State, led by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s re-election victory. The party is also set to win multiple tight U.S. House races, enshrine a right to abortion in the state’s constitution, and take control of the state legislature for the first time in 40 years.
“We have come a long way, Michigan,” Whitmer told a crowd of her supporters early Wednesday morning. “We are thrilled at the unexpected high turnout, we are thrilled that the three ballot initiatives got passed.”
Michigan joined California and Vermont in passing ballot initiatives to add a right to abortion in their states’ constitutions. The approved measure now supersedes a 1931 Michigan law that bans all abortions unless the mother’s life is at risk. Whitmer campaigned heavily on the issue of abortion, pointing at her opponent Tudor Dixon as too radical in her opposition to abortion.
The approved amendment recognizes a “right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care.” Opponents of the proposal argue it goes beyond codifying abortion rights by erasing Michigan’s protections of those born alive after a botched abortion and “pav[ing] the way for eugenic abortions, or abortions based on sex, disability, or race.”
U.S. House results from Michigan were another bright spot for Democrats as the party looks to hold onto more seats than what many expected. In the state’s 7th congressional district toss-up race, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) is projected to defeat GOP challenger Tom Barrett. Democrats appear poised to flip the state’s 3rd district, with current vote counts showing Democrat Hillary Scholten up by 13 points on Trump-endorsed Republican John Gibbs. Democrats poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Gibbs’ primary race to boost his run against Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI). Current results also show incumbent Democrat Dan Kildee holding onto a 5-point lead against Republican Paul Junge in what was considered another toss-up race.
In another show of Democratic dominance in Michigan on Tuesday night, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson soundly defeated Republican Kristina Karamo, and Attorney General Dana Nessel appears set to win her election against Matthew DePerno, leading by seven points with an estimated 92% of the vote counted.
Democrats are also projected to gain control of the state’s legislature for the first time since 1983. The party said Wednesday morning that they will hold a one-vote majority in the state House and believe they will win a two-seat majority in the Senate. Republicans conceded their control of both chambers, according to the Detroit News.