Thursday, March 31, 2005

Congressional District 11

Congressional District 11

2006 Contest
Republican Candidates – Thad McCotter (Livonia)
Democrat Candidates – Tony Trupiano (Dearborn Heights)

Current Rep – Thad McCotter (R-Livonia)
Years in office – 3 (2003-present)

2004 Results
Thad McCotter – 56.98%
Phil Truan – 29.54%

Presidential results:
2004 (Approximate – my numbers)
Bush - 52.00%
Kerry – 46.86%

Barone’s numbers
Bush – 53%, Bush 51%
Kerry – 47%, Gore 47%

Cook’s partisan index – Republicans +1

Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Strongly Republican.

District covers:

Oakland County:
Commerce, Highland, Lyon, Milford, Novi, Walled Lake, White Lake, and part of Waterford Townships. Cities of Northville, Novi, South Lyon, and Wixom.

Wayne County:
Canton, Northville, Plymouth, Redford, and Van Buren Townships. Cities of Belleville, Garden City, Livonia, Northville, Plymouth, Wayne, Westland, and part of Dearborn Heights.

This district was created as an open seat for the GOP after the 2002 redistrict. It was a mix of parts of Lynn Rivers and Joe Knollenberg’s old districts. Thad McCotter ran for the open seat and won. He is not a flashy politician, and as such, democrats always think they have a chance at him – but he fits this district well with his straightforwardness.

Thad McCotter has a strongly competitive race in 2002, but had an easier time of it in 2004. Both times, he won with around 56-57%. In both 2002 and 2004, he won every municipality outside of the strongly democrat areas - Belleville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, Redford, Van Buren, Wayne, and Westland. He ran well ahead of Bush in his Livonia base, winning the slightly democrat leaning Wayne County portion of his district by 23,000.

The Oakland County part of the district is almost all solid republican. Walled Lake swings (Gore 2000, Bush 2004), but the rest of the municipalities are base counties, and the edge ones are fast growing exurban areas becoming more Republican. Milford, Highland, and Lyon Township are closer to Livingston County in views than the stereotypical Oakland County resident we hear about from the pundits. This part of Oakland is quite conservative.

The democrats are hyping up Tony Trupiano who is a radio talk show host somewhere. The only chance they have is if they can take away McCotter’s base inroads and turn his 20,000 vote Wayne County advantage into a 20,000 vote disadvantage, since that part of Oakland is not going democrat. As McCotter’s in Livonia, that will not be an easy task. I can see this seat being competitive if it opens up, but it will likely stay in McCotter’s hands at least till redistricting.

1 comment:

Up North Dem said...

Excellent analysis - and thanks for doing this.

It's worth noting that it's not exactly an accident that the district fits McCotter as well as it does. As vice chair of the state senate redistricting committee, he essentially drew himself a congressional district. By including all of his former state senate seat in the new 11th, McCotter ensured that he already represented over half of the primary electorate, and over 40% of the whole district. As a result, in the newly drawn GOP seat, McCotter didn't even face a primary challenge when he first ran.

In an article in The Hill published a full ten full months before he was first elected to Congress, McCotter essentially admitted all this, saying "It's in the very nature of every elected official who could run for something to have a unique self interest [in the process]."

This does nothing, though, to take away from your analysis. Keep up the good work!