Will the blue wave reach the Midwest?

As primary season begins to heat up here in Michigan, I have noticed some interesting trends that very much contradict all the "blue wave" talk of the media insiders.  Instead of being an albatross around the neck of Republicans, Trump appears to be rather popular out here in flyover country.  GOP candidates up and down the ballot openly embrace the president in TV ads at a point in the campaign when the pundits predicted that the GOP rank and file would all be racing to podiums to denounce the man at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  Amazingly (or terrifyingly, depending on perspective), Trump is so popular that even some Democrats are beginning to hop on the bandwagon:

Perhaps the most important aspect of this is the fact that this election is taking place in Macomb County, Michigan.  Macomb County contains many of the northern suburbs of Detroit and has trended purplish-blue in recent history.  Before Trump's win in 2016, Macomb County had gone for the Democrat in four of the last five presidential elections (the exception being George W. Bush in 2004).  Before the Clinton years, however, Macomb County was one of several blue-collar suburban counties around the country where the defection of so-called Reagan Democrats caused electoral devastation for Democrats during the 1980s.  Therefore, a reawakening of the Reagan Democrats (or, more accurately, the children of the Reagan Democrats) could spell disaster for the national Democratic Party as it looks to 2018, 2020, and beyond.

Mr. Simkus no doubt faces an uphill battle as he seeks to unseat two-term incumbent Mark Hackel (D); however, the fact that a Democrat is openly proclaiming loyalty to Trump shows that the president is far more popular than anyone is comfortable admitting.  As Democrats fret over the defection of minority voters due to Kanye West and others finally speaking up, they can now add to their list of worries the wholesale defection of their blue-collar industrial base in the Rust Belt.  Just as the Rockies and the Appalachians shield the heartland from real waves, will the mountains contain the blue wave to the coasts this November?

John Vernon is a lifelong Michigan resident and holds degrees from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Wayne State University in Detroit.

As primary season begins to heat up here in Michigan, I have noticed some interesting trends that very much contradict all the "blue wave" talk of the media insiders.  Instead of being an albatross around the neck of Republicans, Trump appears to be rather popular out here in flyover country.  GOP candidates up and down the ballot openly embrace the president in TV ads at a point in the campaign when the pundits predicted that the GOP rank and file would all be racing to podiums to denounce the man at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  Amazingly (or terrifyingly, depending on perspective), Trump is so popular that even some Democrats are beginning to hop on the bandwagon:

Perhaps the most important aspect of this is the fact that this election is taking place in Macomb County, Michigan.  Macomb County contains many of the northern suburbs of Detroit and has trended purplish-blue in recent history.  Before Trump's win in 2016, Macomb County had gone for the Democrat in four of the last five presidential elections (the exception being George W. Bush in 2004).  Before the Clinton years, however, Macomb County was one of several blue-collar suburban counties around the country where the defection of so-called Reagan Democrats caused electoral devastation for Democrats during the 1980s.  Therefore, a reawakening of the Reagan Democrats (or, more accurately, the children of the Reagan Democrats) could spell disaster for the national Democratic Party as it looks to 2018, 2020, and beyond.

Mr. Simkus no doubt faces an uphill battle as he seeks to unseat two-term incumbent Mark Hackel (D); however, the fact that a Democrat is openly proclaiming loyalty to Trump shows that the president is far more popular than anyone is comfortable admitting.  As Democrats fret over the defection of minority voters due to Kanye West and others finally speaking up, they can now add to their list of worries the wholesale defection of their blue-collar industrial base in the Rust Belt.  Just as the Rockies and the Appalachians shield the heartland from real waves, will the mountains contain the blue wave to the coasts this November?

John Vernon is a lifelong Michigan resident and holds degrees from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Wayne State University in Detroit.