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.
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.
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.
Previous Gretchen Whitmer stories:
- What Gretchen Whitmer promises to do as Michigan’s next governor
- Gretchen Whitmer column: Michigan needs a get-it-done governor
- Gretchen Whitmer promises fixed roads. Can she find the money to deliver?
- Gretchen Whitmer says she accomplished more than her record shows.
- Gretchen Whitmer interview: I’ll pay to fix Michigan by ‘closing loopholes’
- As governor, Whitmer would create a ‘Detroit-specific strategy’ for K-12 education
- Gretchen Whitmer’s plan for Michigan: $3B of promises and wishful thinking
- Gretchen Whitmer column: Grow Michigan by offering debt-free community college
- Truth Squad: Questioning Gretchen Whitmer’s gun control record in Michigan