Morning Digest: Despite GOP gerrymanders, 2014 shows how Michigan Democrats could make gains in 2018

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard.

Leading Off

Pres-by-LD: Daily Kos Elections’ project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation hits Michigan, a state that unexpectedly—and distressingly—flipped from blue to red last year. As a bonus, we’ve also calculated the 2014 election results for U.S. Senate, governor, attorney general, and secretary of state for each state House, state Senate, and congressional district. You can find our master list of states here, which we’ll be updating as we add new data sets; you can also find all of our calculations from 2016 and past cycles here.

Campaign Action

The GOP had complete control of Michigan’s state government when it was time

redraw its state legislative lines for the decade, and it shows. In 2012, even as Mitt Romney was losing the state by a wide 54-45 margin to Barack Obama, he still carried 21 of 38 state Senate seats and 57 of 110 state House seats. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump’s narrow 47.6-47.4 victory over Hillary Clinton last year was enough to allow Trump to win even more legislative districts. Trump traded one Romney Senate seat for three Obama districts, and just three Romney state House seats for 13 Obama districts.

The GOP holds a 27-11 Senate supermajority and a formidable 63-47 House edge. (Daily Kos Elections assigns all vacant seats to the party that last won them; right now, two of those Democratic state House seats are vacant.) The Senate is only up in midterm election cycles, while the House is up every two years.

We’ll start with a look at the Senate. In 1983, two members of the Democratic majority were recalled after they backed a tax increase, and they were replaced with Republicans early the next year. The move gave the GOP control of the Senate, and they’ve held it ever since. During the 2006 Democratic wave, Team Blue came relatively close to winning the chamber back, but the GOP still held a 21-17 majority despite a 54-46 statewide popular vote edge for Democratic candidates; the 2010 and 2014 GOP waves gave Team Red the supermajority they enjoy today.

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