Monday, March 27Welcome

Michigan is ready to dominate the presidential election

Illustration of a magnifying glass examining the state of Michigan

Illustrated by Sarah Grillo/Axios

Michigan is one step closer to participating in the Democratic presidential primary in early 2024. This is a major shift after months of intense lobbying and an official vote in the state Senate supporting the effort.

Important reasons: The calendar change, if endorsed at this weekend’s meeting of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, would have significant implications for President Biden’s party.

  • It would also cement Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer — who was once the frontrunner for Biden’s vice presidential nomination — as a Democratic star who could one day become a formidable presidential candidate.
  • With Whitmer easily elected to a second term and Democrats overthrowing the state legislature for the first time in 38 years, Michigan is one of the party’s top mid-term success stories.

News promotion: The Michigan Senate voted Tuesday night to move up the date for the state’s presidential primary to the second week of February, vying for an elusive position in the window ahead of Super Tuesday.

  • Michigan and Minnesota are the two frontrunners to become the first Midwest states on the calendar after Iowa lost Democratic support over the 2020 caucus debacle and widespread diversity concerns. Candidate.
  • Michigan looked like a tougher sell before Democrats regained full control of state government. Now Democrats can unilaterally change the calendar without Republican endorsement.

Big picture: The size difference between Michigan and Iowa alone will dramatically change incentives for future campaigns.

  • Michigan is the 10th largest state in the nation by population and has awarded more reserve delegates in 2020 than the other three early states. Combined: New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina.
  • Starting Phase 1 in Michigan favors wealthy candidates and funding giants at the expense of grassroots underdogs.
  • The primary calendar early voting window has traditionally prioritized the interests of small states where retail politics prevail.

Zoom in: In addition to being the battleground Biden won over Donald Trump in 2020, Michigan has been the source of hot issues motivating Democrats across the country, including abortion and voting rights.

  • It is also a state that has a strong union presence and has been severely affected by the recession.
  • Whitmer won the 2018 gubernatorial race on a promise to “fix the damn roads” that focused on cycle infrastructure, often the loudest voice of left-wing progressive candidates.

background: Iowa’s lack of racial and ethnic diversity is a major problem Democrats have grappled with for years.

  • Some Democrats question the relatively low support for Latinos and AAPI in Michigan compared to states like Nevada.
  • Democrats in Michigan say the state will boost the fortunes of union-backed candidates, strengthen the influence of black voters, and divert new attention to the state’s sizable Arab-American constituencies. says that it will
  • Women occupy three statewide offices in Michigan (Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State), and up-and-comers like Rep. Elissa Slotkin and State Sen. strengthens Michigan’s reputation.

What they say: “Michigan represents America in a way no other state does. We live in (urban, rural, suburban),” Whitmer told Axios in a statement.

  • Rep. Debbie Dingell echoed the debate on state diversity, but stressed that Democrats can’t ignore white workers. “Joe Biden works hard, but they look at our caucuses and think, ‘They’re the coastal elite who don’t care about us.'”
  • “Elections are won or lost in the Midwest,” she added.
  • House Majority James Cliburn (DS.C.), a close ally of Biden, almost backed Michigan’s role in the early window in a Washington Post interview last week: Ideal for me It’s a target,” said Cliburn.

Yes, but: Some Democrats operating in other nascent states say Michigan will outperform the competition for billionaires and billionaire-backed candidates with TV ads, a large staff and extensive travel. I am concerned that it will become a “premium” that can be used for

What we see: Biden, a big Whitmer fan, traveled to Michigan this week to pitch his vision for domestic manufacturing and semiconductors, days before the party’s big decision on the primary.

  • Whitmer will also be in DC this week for a donor event at the Alliance for Democracy conference.
  • As party leader, Biden’s view of the realignment of the calendar will likely be the deciding factor.

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