2020 Congressional Campaign Update
2020 Congressional Campaign Updates is a new feature of USRESIST NEWS. It is intended to help our readers follow Congressional races in the House and Senate that are key to the ability of democrats to gain control of both houses of Congress.
Update # 6
By: William Bourque
Presidential battleground state election results are great predictors of what direction the nation is headed politically, and Michigan is the perfect exemplar. In 2016, Michigan fell narrowly to President Trump, which aligns with the results of presidential election in that year. The results from Michigan’s 2018 Congressional election didn’t quite align with the national trend with House of representative seats going to 9 Republicans and 5 Democrats.
Michigan also has two democratic senators, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters. Michigan also boasts former republican-turned-libertarian Justin Amash, who, until mid-May, was running for president.
To try and figure out where Michigan might go this year, let’s take a look at some of their Congressional races.
In the 1st district, the republican’s will almost certainly keep the seat held by incumbent Jack Bergman, who is in the midst of his second term. The district was held mostly by Democrats until 2011, but has remained in Republican control since. This district is one that President Trump will probably win easily.
Michigan’s 2nd district is located on the upper peninsula, a rural area of the state. The majority of its residents identify as white and republicans are the highest registered voting group. The incumbent is republican Bill Huizenga, who won the seat in 2010 after another republican, Peter Hoekstra, stepped down. All polls show that democratic challenger Bryan Berghoef, a pastor who has focused on campaign finance reform, has an uphill battle.
The incumbent in District 3, Justin Amash, has had an eventful year. He announced his bid for the presidency as a libertarian in early 2020, but decided to take his name out of the running in Mid-May. He has also decided he will not be running for congress, which leaves an opening that could lead to a much tighter race than in the past. Hillary Scholten, an immigration attorney, is the democratic nominee and has shown that she has a significant base, raising almost 1 million dollars. The republican that leads in funding, via opensecrets, is Peter Meijer, a veteran and urban developer. The republican primary on August 4th will determine the nominee, but Meijer is our bet to face Scholten.
The 4th district of Michigan is one that is strongly republican and we expect it to stay that way. It doesn’t include any major metropolitan areas and has a strong republican base that voted for President Trump in 2016. John Moolenaar is the incumbent and won sizably in 2016, by about 70,000 votes. Jerry Hilliard, who ran for the seat in 2016, is the leading candidate in the primary and we expect him to face Moolenaar but to ultimately lose.
District 5 includes a moderately sized metropolitan area, the city of Flint. Dan Kildee is the incumbent and he seems to have a solid grasp on the seat. Kildee has been an outspoken advocate for federal funding being given to Flint because of their water crisis and lead the way in having a $170 million relief fund sent to the city in 2016. His likely opponent is Republican state representative Tim Kelly, who doesn’t seem to pose much of a threat. We expect the democrats to hold onto this seat by a fair margin.
We will provide continuing coverage of all of the house races in Michigan as well as house races in several key presidential battlegrounds.