See 2012 Battleground States for brief analyses of a dozen key states in the 2012 elections, and predictions as to who could win those states.
How Michigan Votes: Red State or Blue State?
Although Michigan voters supported the Democratic candidate only five time in the last ten presidential contests, the Democratic victories were the last five consecutive elections: Obama in 2008, Kerry in 2004, Gore in 2000, and Clinton in 1996 and 1992.
This trend is largely due to dissatisfaction with Republican policies toward labors unions by rank-and-file workers in the auto industry. Over the past 20 years, the Michigan-centered U.S. auto industry has generated disastrous financial results.
More than 801,000 Michigan residents, representing 19.6% of all state workers, are labor union members, the 5th highest number of union members among all states.
In the 2008 election, Democrat Obama was the victor among every age group of Michigan voter, but was particularly popular among voters under 30 years old (68% representing 20% of voters) and African-Americans (97% representing 12% of voters.)
In the last four presidential elections, Michigan voted as follows:
- 2008 - 57% for Democrat Obama, 41% for Republican McCain
- 2004 - 51% for Democrat Kerry, 48% for Republican Bush
- 2000 - 51% for Democrat Gore, 46% for Republican Bush
- 1996 - 52% for Democrat Clinton, 39% for Republican Dole, 9% for Other
Summary of Top Issues in Michigan
In 2012, the economy is the top election-year issue, including Michigan's painfully high unemployment, home foreclosure, and poverty rates.
Republican threats to slash Social Security and Medicare are also important campaign issues, since 13.8% of Michigan's population is 65 year old and above.
Michigan Economic Facts and Voter Demographics
Michigan is suffering from one of highest unemployment rates, which was 10.5% in mid-2011, ranking 5th in the nation.
Foreclosure Rates as of June 2011 - Michigan is also experiencing a painfully high home foreclosure rate, 1 in 352 homes in mid-2011, which well above the national average of 1 of every 583 homes and ranking 6th among all states.
Michigan Residents Living Below Poverty-Level Income - 14.4% of Michigan residents live on below poverty-level income, a very high rate than ranks 16th among all states.
Labor Union Membership - More than 801,000 Michigan residents, representing 19.6% of all state workers, are labor union members. The Great Lakes State has the 5th highest labor union membership population in the nation, giving unions substantial influence and political sway.
Senior Citizen Population - Residents 65 year old and above comprise 13.8% of Michigan's population, ranking 18th among all states.
Women as a Percentage of Michigan's Population - Women comprise 50.9% of all Michigan resident, which ranks 20th among all states.
African-American Population - 14% of Michigan residents are African-Americans, a percentage that ranks 14% among all states .
Hispanic Population - Only 4.4% of Michigan residents are of Hispanic descent, a percentage that ranks 37th among all states.