I’d like to take a quick look at 3 House seats that I think we can pick up from the Republicans.
64th district – This district covers Jackson and surrounding areas, and was not changed in the redistricting process.
It is currently held by Earl Poleski. As far as I know, there is no Democratic candidate for this district yet. There is no good reason for this; this is a competitive district and a Democrat should be able to carry this district with Obama’s GOTV operations. The district is not a safe district for either party, but a strong pro-worker Democrat should be able to take this one and keep it until terming out.
65th district – This district includes Eaton Rapids and a number of outlying rural areas, and it currently represented by Mike Shirkey.
(The darker, thinner orange line is the old district. The new district is outlined by the lighter, wider line)
The district gained Eaton Township, which makes it slightly more Republican. A Democrat could take this seat if we carry all of Obama’s districts and make some inroads on Eaton Township and some of the other rural areas. This is another district where we do not yet have a candidate.
70th district – It looks like this is going to be a rematch between Mike Huckleberry and Rick Outman.
Huck held this district from 2008 – 2010, and was one of the victims of the “enthusiam gap meets dirty GOP” that cost us the house in 2010. This district is similar to the old 70th, but it dropped the Ionia Co leg and picked up a section of Gratiot Co that includes Forest Hill, Alma, and St Louis. Without doing all of the math for each precinct, I think the new district gives Outman a slight edge. However Obama won this section of Gratiot Co in 2008 and made the race against Opsommer competitive for the Democrats. Huck’s name recognition and Obama’s GOTV operation should return this seat to us.
I’d like to do more thorough analyses of our new districts when I have time to really dig into the maps and precinct numbers. If anyone else out there is interested in analyzing the districts for us please let me know.