“They told me, ‘It‘s cute, you’re going to be destroyed,'” said Ms McMorrow, who was seeking to challenge the seat of State Senator Marty Knollenberg, a Republican. “It was kind of the attitude. No one took him seriously at all.
But 2018 proved that the blue shift is here to stay.
Ms. McMorrow won her race for the State Senate. And a number of other seats have changed from red to blue as well: two more at State House and two seats in Congress in Oakland County. Democrats took a narrow majority on the County Council of Commissioners for the first time. And of course, state governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, won the county by a 17-point margin that year. The county also helped elect Dana Nessel as state attorney general and Jocelyn Benson as secretary of state, turning those seats from red to blue.
The change was driven in part by demographics. A county that was 93% white in 1980 was only 75% white in 2019. Along with that, Mr Patterson’s goal of turning Oakland County into “Automation Alley”, a landing point for high-tech companies related to the automotive industry, won over various. and highly educated youth with well-paying jobs who, in turn, brought their politics.
“There were a lot of unintended consequences of Automation Alley,” Mr. Alexander said of Mr. Patterson’s push, which began in the 1990s. “These techs moved in and they were more individuals. young and more liberal. ”
In 2019, with an 11-10 first majority on the Council of Commissioners, Democrats had the power to name a successor to Mr Patterson when he died that year at the age of 80. They named Mr. Coulter, who is now running for the 2020 seat against Republican Mike Kowall, a former state lawmaker in White Lake Township in western Oakland County.
Now 2020 is shaping up to be even bluer for Democrats in Oakland County. Mr. Coulter’s internal polls show him and Joseph R. Biden Jr. ahead by more than 20 points. Internal Republican polls also show double-digit margins, albeit a bit smaller.
A New York Times / Sienna poll from Michigan conducted October 23-26 shows Mr. Biden with an eight-point lead over Mr. Trump. Losing Michigan wouldn’t be a fatal blow to Mr. Trump, who won the state in 2016 by a margin of 10,704 votes, but it is one of three states, along with Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, that is turned from blue to red in 2016 and gave him the electoral votes he needed to win the White House. Mr Biden has maintained a steady lead in all tri-states since this summer.