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Letter: Trump is best gift for Democrats

The Detroit News

I usually don’t agree with my counterparts in the Michigan Republican Party, but I almost completely agreed with a recent op-ed by Terry Bowman ("The GOP is still tied to Trump," Nov. 19). 

Yes, Michigan Republicans up and down the ballot are tied to Donald Trump. Yes, they have tried desperately clinging to him and his broken promises. And the results have been devastating.

In 2018, we saw Democrats sweep away Trump Republicans, winning 16 of 17 statewide offices, gaining five seats each in the state House and state Senate, and picking up two congressional seats in Trump districts.

Two counties illustrate the change that allowed these wins to happen: Livingston and Oakland.

After voting for Clinton by 3 points, Oakland County took a drastic swing and favored Democratic congressional candidates by 18. Livingston, a Republican stronghold, took a similar turn, moving 19 points toward Elissa Slotkin, even after Donald Trump praised the incumbent by highlighting his work on Trump’s regressive tax scam.

2019 elections tell a similar story.

In states like Kentucky and Louisiana that are the deepest shade of red, Democrats fought and won. Donald Trump begged his voters to turn out for Matt Bevin and Eddie Rispone, and they hugged the president as tightly as they could. Voters responded to their loyalty by unceremoniously booting them from office.

In Michigan, there were similar results. In Livonia and Sterling Heights, we saw major gains for Democrats. Livonia elected Democrat Maureen Brosnan aided by a 44.6% voter turnout surge while Democrats flipped two City Council seats in Sterling Heights, a city that voted for Trump by 12%.

For the past three years, two things in politics have remained true: Republicans are tied tightly to Trump and Republicans are losing.

Lavora Barnes, chair

Michigan Democratic Party