Election 2020: Flipping the Michigan State House

mi legislature

The Michigan Capitol Building

Could Michigan be more of a battleground state in 2020? I’m not sure how it could be.

It is, famously, one of the 3 “blue wall” states that Trump won by the narrowest margin in 2016. Since then, however, Michiganders have elected a Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, who has seen her steady leadership during the pandemic raise her profile nationally. But she has no help from the state legislature, which is controlled by the Republicans.

But we have a chance to change that this November.

Quick background

In November, all 110 seats in the state House of Representatives will be up for re-election. Currently, the Republicans have a 58-52 majority. That means the Democrats just need to flip 4 seats to take the power away from the GOP.

The Republicans also have majority control over the state Senate, but none of those seats are up for re-election until 2022. So this November, we must break the GOP control in the state legislature.

Why we need to flip the House

As we’ve seen in so many other states, the Republicans in Michigan are increasingly hostile to their own constituents and refuse to listen to the will of the voters. The most recent example of this is that the GOP has been fighting a 2018 ballot measure that would create an independent redistricting committee, a measure that the voters overwhelmingly passed with over 70% of the vote. Michigan is one of the most gerrymandered states, and clearly the voters no longer wanted politicians to draw the district maps anymore.

But no, the Republicans have been fighting it because they know just how powerful it has been for them to draw the maps. They haven’t been getting the majority of votes in the state yet regularly win more of the districts thanks to their rigged maps.

In addition to that, the Republicans have rolled back paid leave and minimum wage proposals, resisted efforts to improve public education or clean up water pollution.

Of course, if a lot of people both inside and out of the state get invested in turning out the vote to flip the state House, that enthusiasm could spill over into other statewide races like say, oh, I don’t know … the presidency.

How to help

Several organizations are pouring money and grassroots efforts into Michigan to help flip the House. Here’s how you can get involved:

Sister District has the Michigan House on their list of targets for 2020. You can read more about their Michigan plan HERE, and sign up for volunteering opportunities HERE. Note: They do have opportunities you can do from the safety of your own home!

Postcards to Michigan is a grassroots efforts to activate as many Michigan voters as possible across the state, by reminding them and encouraging them to vote. When you sign up with them, they will send you everything you need to participate. Learn more about this effort HERE.

Future Now, who helped Virginia flip their legislature over two election cycles, has the Michigan House on their list of targets for 2020. You can fund their work HERE. Similarly, Emily’s List is supporting four women candidates to flip key districts in Michigan. You can see their candidates and donate HERE.

Of course, if you want to support one of these candidates directly, you can do that, too. You can see the districts that are the ripest for the taking HERE. Donate to them directly, sign up for their emails so you can learn about any volunteering opportunities that come up, and learn more about what they hope to achieve if they win their election so you can share that on social media.

Let’s make sure the Republicans aren’t in full control of the Michigan state legislature after this election, ok?

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