Red Racing Horses

Make a New Account



Forget your username or password?


Red Racing Horses analyzes and discusses elections from a Republican-leaning perspective. Thank you for visiting, and we hope you'll enjoy the blog. Please read our site Terms of Use.

~The RRH Moderators: BostonPatriot, Daniel Surman, GoBigRedState, Greyhound, Izengabe, James_Nola, Right Reformer, Ryan_in_SEPA, and Shamlet.

Problems logging into your account? Inside information? Complaints? Compliments? E-Mail us at: We check it often!

An Important Announcement about Upcoming Changes to RRH

The Current RRH Race Ratings:



Row Officers

Michigan Redistricting: Congressional Map Passed

by: Conservative First

Mon Jul 04, 2011 at 19:28:10 PM EDT

( - promoted by SCRep)

The state legislature has passed the Republican plan for redistricting Michigan congressional districts.  The plan has been analyzed at several other sites, as congressional plans attract more attention than legislative ones.

Michigan Redistricting Maps
Redistricting: Hail To the Michigan GOP?

Conservative First :: Michigan Redistricting: Congressional Map Passed

Here are brief district descriptions.

1. Benishek (R) Upper Peninsula, northern lower peninsula.
2. Huizinga (R) West Michigan coast, Walker, Grandville, Wyoming, Kentwood.
3. Amash (R) Kent excluding Grand Rapids suburbs, Ionia, Barry, Calhoun.
4. Camp (R) Central lower peninsula.
5. Kildee (D) Genesee, Saginaw area, west Tuscola, Bay, Arenac, Iosco.
6. Upton (R) Southwest Michigan.
7. Walberg (R) South-central Michigan.
8. Rogers (R) Livington, north Oakland, Ingham.
9. Levin (D) and Peters (D) south Macomb, Royal Oak, Bloomfield.
10. Miller (R) North Macomb, St. Clair, Huron, Sanilac, Lapeer, east Tuscola.
11. McCotter (R) Northwest Wayne, Southwest Oakland, Troy.
12. Dingell (D) Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Downriver, Dearborn.
13. Clarke (D) south, west Detroit, Redford, Westland, Romulus, Dearborn Heights.
14. Conyers (D) north Detroit, Grosse Pointes, Southfield, Oak Park, Farmington, Pontiac.

Republican Michigander has written more detailed district descriptions.  He also compiled election results in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections and a recent congressional election broken down by jurisdiction.

Congressional District 1 - Redistricted (MI-01)
Congressional District 2 - Redistricted (MI-02)
Congressional District 3 - Redistricted (MI-03)
Congressional District 4 - Redistricted (MI-04)
Congressional District 5 - Redistricted (MI-05)
Congressional District 6 - Redistricted (MI-06)
Congressional District 7 - Redistricted (MI-07)
Congressional District 8 - Redistricted (MI-08)
Congressional District 9 - Redistricting (MI-09)
Congressional District 10 - Redistricted (MI-10)
Congressional District 11 - Redistricted (MI-11)
Congressional District 12 - Redistricted (MI-12)
Congressional District 13 - Redistricted (MI-13)
Congressional District 14 - Redistricted (MI-14)

Here are more vote totals from 2008 and the average of the governor, secretary of state, and attorney general races from 2006.  (via Ryan_in_SEPA at Red Racing Horses)

District (Color) McCain/Obama DRA Average (GOP/Democrat)

MI-1 (Navy Blue) 48.4/49.8 55/45
MI-2 (Dark Green) 50.3/48.1 63.4/36.6
MI-3 (Purple) 48.7/49.6 60.6/39.4
MI-4 (Red) 48.6/49.7 58/42
MI-5 (Yellow) 35.4/63 56.2/43.8
MI-6 (Teal) 45.2/53.1 56/44
MI-7 (Gray) 47.4/50.9 57.1/42.9
MI-8 (Brown) 46.6/52 59.7/40.3
MI-9 (Blue) 40.2/58 50/49.6
MI-10 (Pink) 50.1/48.1 60.1/39.9
MI-11 (Lime) 48.3/50.2 61.2/38.8
MI-12 (Light Blue) 31.4/66.9 42.3/57.7
MI-13 (Tan) 15.7/83.2 25.8/74.2
MI-14 (Olive) 18.5/80.8 70.6/29.4

Many observers have detailed the basic features of the map.  Gary Peters' district is carved into four pieces.  Most of the Republican districts get safer.  Thad McCotter is the big winner, with his district getting about four points more Republican.  All the other incumbents get about one point safer, except for Amash, who loses one point.

  • Benishek adds the Grand Traverse area and loses areas north of Bay City
  • Huizinga loses a couple northern counties and takes some Grand Rapids suburbs from Amash
  • Amash takes Calhoun from Walberg
  • Camp takes Clinton and south Schiawassee back from Rogers (he had them in the 90s)
  • Upton adds north Allegan, a heavily Republican area
  • Walberg loses Calhoun (including Mark Schauer's base) and takes Monroe from Dingell
  • Rogers takes some of north Oakland from Peters
  • Miller takes the majority of Tuscola from Kildee and loses a chunk of Sterling Heights
  • McCotter loses Redford, Westland, and Van Buren and adds Waterford and Troy
The districts are all safe for their current incumbents.

Nonetheless, there are some issues that have either gone unremarked or misunderstood.

3. Some commenters have speculated that the legislature was trying to weaken Amash.  I would have preferred that Huizinga take part of Grand Rapids rather than the suburbs.  Nonetheless, this district is not vulnerable in the general election and is the second or third most Republican in Michigan.

Some have also speculated that they may have wanted to weaken Amash for a primary challenge by former secretary of state Terri Land.  I would be very skeptical of this, as Amash has not voiced any complaints about the map.  Of the area Amash lost, he did well in Wyoming, Walker, and Grandville in the primary.  Kentwood was dominated by Bill Hardimann, who was mayor there before he was a state senator.

Calhoun County may have something of a reputation for moderation, but this is exaggerated.  Much of this has to do with longtime state senator Joe Schwarz.  But it has also voted for state reps Jerry VanderRoest and Jase Bolger, who are hardly moderates.

Nonetheless, Amash won almost all areas of the district over two credible primary opponents.  The only way he would have a chance of losing a primary is if Right to Life didn't endorse him.  Some folks were miffed when he voted present on defunding Planned Parenthood.  (He supports defunding them but didn't like singling out an organization.)  As long as Amash has the support of the Devos family, I can't see Right to Life abandoning him.

6. People keep saying that the sixth district would be vulnerable as an open seat.  I don't agree.  Their opinion seems to follow from Presidential election results.  People don't realize that John McCain publicly pulled his campaign out of Michigan, which netted him the votes of some upset independents and joiners who wanted to be on the winning side.

While the sixth has occasionally gone democrat at the top of the ticket, this doesn't hold in downballot races. The district has all Republican state senators.  Moreover this has been true for many decades, with term limits ensuring frequent turnovers.  Only the Kalamazoo seat has been close, and it has still leaned Republican.

There is one solidly democrat state representative in Kalamazoo and seven Republicans.  Again, it has stayed this way for many decades.  Only two of the Republican districts have even had close races in 2008.  Only one county commission has had a democrat majority (Kalamazoo, 2006-2010).

9. Commentators have discussed the options for Gary Peters.  The consensus (which is correct) is that he would have no chance against Sander Levin.  Actually, he might not have an easy time even if Levin retired.  The new district 9 is based in south Macomb, which likes a particular type of democrat.  Macomb democrats are white, blue collar, pro-union, pro-gun, and often pro-life.  Peters doesn't fit the bill.

The other widely discussed option is running in McCotter's district.  But this district has basically no democrat areas left.  Peters would lose here.

Oddly the option that seems clearly the best shot for Peters does not seem to have been mentioned anywhere.  He could run against John Conyers in the new 14th district.  He would certainly take some flack for running in a black-majority district, but that hardly makes it unwinnable.  Due to clever line-drawing, Conyers has only about 20% of his old constituents.  Part of that black majority is Pontiac, which is currently in Peters' district.  Southfield is full of middle-class blacks who fled Detroit, and probably wouldn't be thrilled with Conyers.

Conyers is 82 and hasn't had a remotely competitive race (primary or general) in decades.  His wife Monica is in state prison for corruption when she was on the Detroit city council.  I suspect that he may be vulnerable to a strong primary challenge.

11. Thad McCotter is currently running for president, and nobody seems quite sure why.  The best guess I've heard is that he is hoping to get a talk show.  People seem to think that McCotter will not run for reelection, though I don't know that this is certain.

If he doesn't the seat will be open.  Some commenters assume that term-limited state rep. Marty Knollenberg is a shoo-in for the nomination.  True, he is the son of Congressman Joe Knollenberg, who was defeated by Peters in 2008.  But Knollenberg has had Republican detractors on both the left and the right.  He was primaried by liberal Republican former state rep. Pat Godchaux in 2006.  She got about 30%.

I would expect a tough fight for the nomination for this seat.  A top candidate for conservatives and the Tea Party if he chose to run would be Senator Pat Colbeck of Canton.

Tags: , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

So which seat will Tim Allen run for?
He's done enough commercials for the state's tourism arm already. I'm just kidding, by the way.

Two questions:
1. How safe do you think Benishek is? Does it help that he comes from Iron County, one of the more Democratic areas of the 1st?

2. How safe is Tim Walberg in your opinion?

22, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

1. Benishek is pretty safe.  He beat a strong democrat candidate and it wasn't particularly close.  If the democrats want to beat him, it would pretty much have to be in 2012.

Benishek has pledges to serve only three terms, so the 1st may see an open seat before too long.  Senator Tom Casperson would be a good future candidate.

Having a representative from the UP is essential.  Yoopers want a representative from the UP.  Folks below the Mackinac Bridge ("trolls") don't care so much.  As for the specific part of the UP, I'm not sure.

2. Walberg is pretty safe.  He doesn't have much crossover appeal, unlike Upton, Miller, or Rogers.  But the district is conservative enough.  When Walberg lost in 2008, he only lost by 3% and he outperformed McCain.  This was in the aftermath of 2006, when he defeated RINO Rep. Joe Schwarz in a bitter primary.  Schwarz supported Schauer in 2008.

Schauer will be out of the district.  The democrat bench was destroyed in 2010.  There are no democrat senators or reps in the new 7th.

MI-6: Fed up with Fred Upton

[ Parent ]
No :( The Pointes are losing Clarke for Conyers?!

I commend him for taking out Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick, and they were the reason why he did it! I'd rather have them under his watch than under Conyers's watch!

From IL-09, familial roots in MI-14, college in PA-02/07, and working for the summer in DC-AL.

Andy Hill for WA-Governor!

Id rather have them
With Knollenberg in the new 9th  

Male, LA-01
Scott Walker '16

[ Parent ]
A wonderful and comprehensive diary. Thanks a ton. Keep it up.

26, Male, R, NY-10

Scott Walker for President!

Wow another great post
get aload of some that detail for the Oakland,MacComb and Wayne county stuff.  Great details.  

Oakland county is runs the gamut from AA heavy, blue collar white, jewish and heavy GOP.  fascinating

Conservative First has come up with some great maps and analysis, I think we now have a Michigan expert.


[ Parent ]
More Ottawa counties.

Just looked at the county results and saw that Snyder got a meager 79.1% in this big county. On what is the GOP strength there built on, what type of people live there?

26, Male, R, NY-10

Scott Walker for President!

Dutch people
In particular, Reformed and Christian Reformed.  Conservative Calvinists came from the Netherlands around 100 years ago.  The same applies to much of Kent and Allegan, and Kalamazoo to a lesser extent.

MI-6: Fed up with Fred Upton

[ Parent ]
Western Michigan is the bedrock of Dutch reform
sorta of the anti-finnish or Swedish influence.

If you want to see another sea of Dutch reform folks check out Sioux county Iowa.   It only could manage 81.1% for McCain in 2008.  

[ Parent ]
Fun facts:
Sioux county gave Grassley over 91% of the vote, Steve King 87%, Branstad 88%, other downballot statewide candidates got between 86% and 91%, lowest was AG candidate that only got 81%.

26, Male, R, NY-10

Scott Walker for President!

[ Parent ]
Bush got 86%
Margin in county was bigger than his statewide margin!

26, Male, R, NY-10

Scott Walker for President!

[ Parent ]
minor historical nits
Monica Conyers was sent to Federal prison, not state prison.  I suspect many of his constituents regard them as separated and not divorced only for religious reasons, but their son will still be a drag on him.

Patricia Godchaux (unsuccessfully) primaried the elder Knollenberg in 2006; I am not aware of any indications that she would would try to beat the younger in a primary.

Could have done better in Mich.
I sent a map to my congressman, Mike Rogers that showed the GOP winning 10 seats.

Some of the difference were in the 8th district(mine) which would have given Rogers part of the 7th(West Wash. Co, except Scio Twp), all of Monroe Co, SE Wayne(yes, part of Wayne Co.)Grosse Isle, Trenton, Gibraltor, Huron Twp.
However, he would also lose E Lansing, Lansing, Meridian Twp & Lansing Twp in Ingham Co. that area is a big loser. He would lose the North part of Oakland,He would have Rose, Springfield, Independence, City of Pontiac.

Mi-10(Miller): would lose Huron, Lapeer and half of Sanilac.
Miller would take the west 1/2 of Clinton Twp, all of St. Clair Shores and all of the Grosse Pts, (exc. Park)...she would still win by 70,000 votes.

MI-4(Camp): would take 1/2 of Sanilac, all of Huron & Tuscola, Bay Co's. He would lose Isabella,Gran Trav. Leelenau, Montcalm, among others

Mi-5(Kildee), would lose that part of Bay and some of Saginaw(GOP Friendly Frankenmuth, lose part of Genesee Co. (Fenton, Argentine & Atlas Twp). would gain some of Shiawasee and would take over E Lansing, Lansing, Meridian Twp & Lansing Twp.

Mi-9(Peters):lose City of Pontiac, Waterford & West Bloomfield, Berkely. Gain Lapeer Co, North Oakland(Holly,Groveland,Orion, Oxford, Addison, Oakland Twp's.)That part of Genesse(Fenton, Argentine & Atlas Twp's.)Washington & Bruce Twp in Macomb County

Mi-10(McCotter): Would lose Redford, City/Wayne, Van Buren Twp, 1/3 of Westland, Dearborn Heights...gain Waterford & West Bloomfield

Your map
I'd like to see it. If I give you my email, could you send it along?

From IL-09, familial roots in MI-14, college in PA-02/07, and working for the summer in DC-AL.

Andy Hill for WA-Governor!

[ Parent ]
Welcome, I'm a Michigander by roots as well. My mom was born and raised in Detroit/Grosse Pointe Shores, much of her family still lives in the Grosse Pointes, and I've spend a significant portion of my life there.

From IL-09, familial roots in MI-14, college in PA-02/07, and working for the summer in DC-AL.

Andy Hill for WA-Governor!

[ Parent ]
sure can
I spent a lot of time on it


From IL-09, familial roots in MI-14, college in PA-02/07, and working for the summer in DC-AL.

Andy Hill for WA-Governor!

[ Parent ]

Advanced Search

(C) RRH Elections
Powered by: SoapBlox