Nov 10, 2022 - Politics

Michigan Republicans "shocking" loss of power

Michigan House Republicans

Michigan House Republicans talk at their desks inside the House of Representatives. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

Voters punished Republicans on the issue of abortion access as Prop 3 appeared to boost Democratic candidates, who mostly exceeded expectations.

Driving the news: Predictions that President Biden's low approval rating, plus low turnout in Detroit, could help statewide Republicans didn't come to fruition.

What they're saying: "The House loss is shocking," Lansing-based Democratic strategist Adrian Hemond tells Axios. "Should've been a good Republican year, but they couldn't help themselves with the weird stuff."

  • Hemond says Republicans committed a series of screw ups, including an "utterly disastrous" nominating process, bad resource allocation decisions and a lack of emphasis on neglected seats that the GOP narrowly lost.
  • "Republicans should have kept the House — they did not. It should have been a very close race for attorney general with Republicans potentially able to win — it was not. This can all be laid at the feet of the GOP," Hemond says.

The other side: Republicans likely underestimated the impact Roe v. Wade would have on the electorate, GOP strategist Jason Roe tells Axios. There was some belief voters would separate their views on abortion policy from their decisions on specific candidates, but "that doesn't seem to have materialized."

  • He added that if candidates for top statewide offices don't perform well, it's harder for those running for lower office to succeed because they're often "tethered" together in voters' eyes.

Of note: Each party gets smaller office allotments in the minority, meaning there will soon be fewer Republican staffers in Lansing.

What's next: Republicans are going to be deciding "if we're going to be a party organization that's focused on winning elections, or worshiping at the altar of one man (Donald Trump)," Roe says.


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