MICHIGAN POLITICS MIGHT BE your passion, or you might not be able to name one of the state’s U.S. senators. Either way we’re hoping you’ve found your best online resource for insights into Michigan’s 2018 election. Welcome to the Michigan Political Almanac, where you can access the basics (who is seeking your vote), study vital decision-making knowledge (who is donating campaign cash, incumbents’ voting records), or dive deep into a trove of data such as precinct-by-precinct election results.
You cannot break anything by exploring, so go ahead and start clicking. Intuition is a good compass for navigating the Michigan Political Almanac. You will be correct when you guess that our maps are an easy way to find your district – or any Michigan district. Zoom in to find a smaller urban district, or – on the appropriate map – for a close look at precinct data. You can always return to this page by clicking on Home.
We’ve designed the Michigan Political Almanac so those who pay attention to politics just once every two years can honor a resolution to be a more informed voter and, meanwhile, those can’t stop talking politics will find even more to talk about. Concentrate your visit on a single office – state representative, for example – or keep coming back until you have scoped out every candidate on the ballot, including state university trustees.
We’ll update the site during and after the 2018 election cycle. So enjoy, learn, and come back for more.
Editor, Michigan Political Almanac
Each Michigan Political Almanac map is dedicated to one political entity or event and leads to an expansive data trove on that subject. The State House, State Senate, and U.S. House, for example, define each electoral district. Zoom in as needed to find your community and its district number. Click anywhere within that district and start scrolling to skim or closely study a wide range of information about incumbents, challengers, and district demographics. Precinct-by-precinct maps of 2014 State House election results and 2016 presidential election results reveal a fascinating up-close view of how your neighbors voted. We’ll add more maps from time to time. (Menu bar topics at top of page take you to the same maps.)
State House Districts
The 110-member Michigan House of Representatives, as well as the upper chamber of the state Legislature, became quite a different entity in 1992 when state voters approved a constitutional imposing term limits on lawmakers. Unlike Dominic Jacobetti, who represented a wide swath of the Upper Peninsula in the House for between 1955 and 1994, state representatives no longer can stay in office more than six years, or three elected terms. By the time state reps reach this six-year expiration date, they have become familiar at last with the job of legislating. One result is that many “term-limited” state reps seek—and win—a seat in the 38-member State Senate (though they might have to wait a couple years for a vacancy).
State Senate Districts
Michigan has 83 counties, but only 38 state senators, the highest attainable office attainable without standing for election statewide. Before term limits (two four-year terms), some state senators sustained notably lengthy political careers in Lansing. Nowadays, whenever higher elective office or appointed positions become available, there is no shortage of term-limited state senators eyeing the job. State representatives are elected every two years, but State Senate elections are held two years after every presidential election. That’s why all 38 senate seats will be on the ballot November 6.
US House Districts
Michigan’s 14-member Congressional delegation is guaranteed a new look next term. U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, first elected in 1982, is not seeking re-election in November. Rep. John Conyers, who held his seat for 52 years, retired amid sexual harassment allegations last year. And Congressman David Trott, a Republican who represents the 11th District, is hanging it up after only two terms. That’s unusual. Once elected from Michigan, a member of Congress can usually stay indefinitely as long as they’re doing the job. Rep. John Dingell retired from the U.S. House in 2015 after 59 years, making him the longest-tenured House member in history, from any state. His father served 22 years, and the younger Dingell’s wife, Debbie, succeeded him in Washington. For Michigan Political Almanac’s full menu of info on incumbents and challengers, click here.