Map: See how Gretchen Whitmer rolled to victory in Michigan governor race

Gretchen Whitmer’s path to victory

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer won 17 of 83 MIchigan counties, including nine that had gone for President Trump and picked up all of the six largest counties in the state. Click on a county to get more information.

Update: 5 places where Michigan’s governor and legislature can make deals​

Gretchen Whitmer was elected Michigan’s 49th governor by flipping swing counties to the Democrats and scoring big wins in the state’s most populous counties.

During balloting Tuesday, Whitmer held all eight Michigan counties that Democrat Hillary Clinton won in during the 2016 presidential election, while picking nine counties that backed Republican President Donald Trump.

Overall, Whitmer won with 50.2 percent of the vote to Republican Bill Schuette’s 46.9 percent with more than 99 percent of precincts reporting.

Whitmer rode strong performances in Wayne County, winning by 44 percentage points (70.7 to 26.7) in the state’s largest county. She also crushed Schuette in Washtenaw (72-26), Ingham (67-30) and Oakland County (57-41).

Eaton County, just west of Lansing, gave her a 53-44 win just two years after it backed Trump 49-44.

And Macomb County, perhaps the biggest swing county in the state, gave her an easy 50-47 win; it had backed President Trump 54-42, a margin that was instrumental in his 10,704-vote narrow win.

Related: Overnight, it’s a new Michigan. Women sweep to power in change election.​
Chart: Democrats can thank more educated voters for swinging Michigan seats

Schuette, who is attorney general, tied himself to the president throughout the campaign and scored wins across much of rural Michigan where the Trump rolled up big margins in 2016.

Some swing counties that had gone for President Barack Obama before flipping to President Trump remained on the red side of the ledger, like Monroe County in far southeast Michigan.

Battered by the economic downturn, it backed Schuette 53-44.

In West Michigan, traditionally Republican Ottawa County backed Schuette as well, 60-39.

But Kent County, which had long voted Republican, went for Whitmer, 50-47.

Turnout was huge: More than 4 million voters, the most in 50 years, so even though Schuette did well in sparsely populated areas, he couldn’t overcome Whitmer’s big vote margins in southeast Michigan and in the population centers of the state.

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Richard Cole
Wed, 11/07/2018 - 3:50pm

Gretchen Whitmer has demonstrated a tremendous capacity to enlist people from across the state to her cause of bringing our state's infrastructure into this century, significantly upgrading public education (including early education, a cause supported by the Center for Michigan for years,) and preserving Michigan's environment. None of this can be done, however, without significant investments, and significant investments will not occur without residents across the state beginning today to mount campaigns in support of returning Michigan to the kind of state people want to move to instead of moving away from. So let's not pretend Gretchen can do it all alone. Rehabilitating Michigan, and taking advantage of the advantages we have here, will require a movement. Fortunate for our children and theirs, I believe we have elected a person who can inspire and lead the kind of movement Michigan needs now more than ever.

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 6:43pm

She won Kent County? Now that is really interesting.

Kimberly Hooper
Wed, 11/14/2018 - 4:42pm

Please, please, please, change the map graphic to one that shows the proportion of votes won by each candidate in each county- and do this for ALL election outcomes! I read a facebook post by someone ranting that because Schuette won more counties, it meant urban liberals picked the governor! I pointed out Whitmer got votes in EVERY county, and in many counties the number of votes for each candidate were very close. If the map graphic were adjusted to show each county colored proportionate to the votes for each of the choices, then it'd be a lot easier to see at a glance our state is not as divided as the current graphic makes it appear. It'd also be easier for people who don't read, and only look at visuals, to see the "other" candidate got nearly as many votes in their county as the person they voted for. A voting proportion graphic by county would both be more accurate, and trigger fewer emotional reactions from those who don't realize many of the people in their own county voted differently.

Sat, 04/11/2020 - 11:58am

Forgot to say that marijuana was on the ticket.