The anticipated “blue wave” Tuesday didn’t sweep as many Democrats into office as expected, and Republicans have managed to keep an important bulwark in Michigan.
It looks like the state House will remain under Republican control — a prize Michigan Democrats have worked hard to take this election cycle.
Democrats needed to flip four seats to upset the current 58-52 GOP majority. Republicans also control the state Senate.
Democrats were holding out hope, saying that all votes still needed to be counted. But Republicans claimed victory first thing Wednesday, after securing 56 seats — with counting continuing in some other races.
If the GOP prevails, as it looks like it will, then this will be the sixth straight legislative session with the House under Republican control, according to the House Republican Campaign Committee.
“The people of Michigan have spoken loud and clear — they want two more years of House Republican leadership at their state Capitol,” said House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) in a statement. “House Republicans have the best plan of action to lead our state forward, and we have a proven track record of turning those plans into tangible results over the past 10 years.”
This could also be a sign that Michiganians want to keep a check on Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s authority. Whitmer upset a lot of citizens and brought the economy to a standstill when she used her executive powers to single-handedly control the state from March until October while battling the spread of COVID-19.
Whitmer must become a better partner with Republican legislative leaders, who want to put together a game-plan for fighting the virus, while also being mindful of the damage another lockdown would do to the state.
On the national front, while U.S. House Democrats will retain their majority, they will do so with fewer members. The Associated Press reported early Wednesday that House Democrats lost at least six incumbents and did not overturn any Republican seats. These are very different numbers than the huge blue wave in 2018 that ushered in record numbers of Democrats in Congress — especially women on the left.
And while it looks like U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Rochester Hills, will hang on to her 11th District seat for a second term, her Republican challenger Eric Esshaki of Birmingham gave her a close race, coming in only several points behind her.
As of this writing, it is also looking increasingly likely that Republicans will retain their control of the U.S. Senate.
Republicans should deliver on the promises they made their constituents, who clearly weren’t ready to turn full control of the state — or country — over to progressives.
— DETROIT NEWS