United States presidential election in Michigan, 2012
|Elections in Michigan|
2012 U.S. Presidential Election
The 2012 United States presidential election in Michigan took place on November 6, 2012 as part of the 2012 General Election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. Michigan voters chose 16 electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan.
Michigan was won by Democratic incumbent Barack Obama by a 9.5% margin of victory. Obama received 54.21% of the vote to Romney's 44.71%. It was the sixth presidential election in a row where Michigan voted in favor of the Democratic candidate, with Republicans last carrying the state in 1988, when George H.W. Bush won in Michigan; however, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump did end up winning the state in 2016.
Candidate Ballot Access:
- Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan, Republican
- Barack Obama/Joseph Biden, Democratic
- Virgil Goode/Jim Clymer, US Taxpayers
- Jill Stein/Cheri Honkala, Green
- Rocky Anderson/Luis J. Rodriguez, Natural Law
Write-In Candidate Access:
- Gary Johnson/James P. Gray, Libertarian
All of the local polling firms had predicted a close election here, some even giving an advantage to Michigander Romney over Obama; however, statistician Nate Silver pointed out several problems with the local pollsters' methodology and sampling errors, instead giving more credence to the national pollsters who posited a clear victory for Obama (by a mean of 7.3 points and a median of 7.0 over Romney).
In the end, Silver and the National pollsters were correct: Obama defeated Romney by over 9 points in the November 2012 election. Obama dominated heavily populated areas that tend to trend very Democratic, while Romney did better in more rural areas.
|United States presidential election in Michigan, 2012|
|Party||Candidate||Running mate||Votes||Percentage||Electoral votes|
|Democratic||Barack Obama||Joe Biden||2,564,569||54.21%||16|
|Republican||Mitt Romney||Paul Ryan||2,115,256||44.71%||0|
|Green||Jill Stein||Cheri Honkala||21,897||0.46%||0|
|Constitution||Virgil Goode||Jim Clymer||16,119||0.34%||0|
|Libertarian (Write-in)||Gary Johnson||Jim Gray||7,774||0.16%||0|
|Natural Law||Rocky Anderson||Luis J. Rodriguez||5,147||0.11%||0|
|Socialist (Write-in)||Stewart Alexander||Alex Mendoza||89||0.00%||0|
|Jerry White||Phyllis Scherrer||68||0.00%||0|
|America's (Write-in)||Tom Hoefling||J.D. Ellis||42||0.00%||0|
|Voter turnout (registered voters) ||63.46%|
|Grand Traverse County||20,875||26,534|
|Presque Isle County||3,192||3,794|
|St. Clair County||33,983||39,271|
|St. Joseph County||10,112||12,978|
|Van Buren County||16,290||16,141|
By congressional district
Obama won 5 of 14 congressional districts.
Technically the voters of Michigan cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Michigan is allocated 16 electors because it has 14 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 16 electors, who pledge to vote for their candidate and his or her running mate. Whoever wins the plurality of votes in the state is awarded all 16 electoral votes. Their chosen electors then vote for President and Vice President. Although electors are pledged to their candidate and running mate, they are not obligated to vote for them. An elector who votes for someone other than his or her candidate is known as a faithless elector.
The electors of each state and the District of Columbia met on December 17, 2012 to cast their votes for President and Vice President. The Electoral College itself never meets as one body. Instead the electors from each state and the District of Columbia met in their respective capitols.
The following were the members of the Electoral College from the state.
- Cindy Estrada of Whitmore Lake
- Steve Cook of Lake Odessa
- Dorothy Johnson of Kincheloe
- Marge Faville of Muskegon
- Marion Vanderveen of Grand Rapids
- Toni Sessoms of Weidman
- Norwood Jewell of Davison
- Jess Minks of Buchanan
- Howard Pizzo of Lansing
- Joanne Murphy of Brighton
- Peggy Ciaramitaro of Roseville
- James Winne of Washington Twp.
- Walter Sobczak of Novi
- Jane Ahern of Dearborn
- Hilliard Hampton of Inkster
- Edna Bell of Detroit
The Democratic Party used a caucus system to determine the proportion of delegates awarded to Democratic candidates. The caucuses took place May 5; as the only Democratic candidate, President Obama won all 183 pledged delegates in the caucus. They, along with the other 20 unpledged delegates, voted for Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Michigan results by county
|Elections in Michigan|
2012 U.S. Presidential Election
This Michigan election used a semi-open primary system (which the state referred to as "closed") in which each voter made a public declaration at their election site and received the ballot for the appropriate party, rather than the fully open system used in the past. The state had 7,286,556 registered voters as of February 15, and delegates were awarded proportionately.
Michigan was given 59 delegates to the Republican (GOP) national convention, but that number was reduced to 30 as a penalty for bringing the election date forward before March 6 as the GOP rules set. The candidate with the greatest number of votes in each of the 14 congressional districts will receive that district's two delegates. Two additional delegates for Michigan were announced by the media to be given proportionally before the election but after the election the Michigan GOP announced there had been an error in the memo published and that the two delegates will be given to the winner, which sparked accusations of Mitt Romney rigging the results from Rick Santorum's team.
While Romney has close ties to Michigan, where he was born and grew up and his father was the Governor, Santorum, who once trailed Romney badly in the state, had a clear lead over him in mid February after Santorum won Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri caucuses and primary on February 7. And the competition became a statistical tie between these two candidates before the primary.
Since Michigan allows primary voters to declare their affiliation at the time they vote, Santorum campaign paid for robo-calls inviting Democrats to cross over and vote for him. Romney called this tactic "outrageous" and "disgusting" but Santorum defended himself as not doing anything wrong but getting people to vote in an open primary.
Some Democrats also urged their supporters to vote for Santorum in the Republican primary, in hopes of forcing the Republican candidates to use more resources and help make it easier for Barack Obama to win the general election. This is similar to Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos", where Limbaugh urged voters in the 2008 Democratic Presidential primaries to vote for Hillary Clinton, whom he saw as being a weaker candidate than Obama. Michigan has a long history of such crossover voting; in 2000, strong Democratic crossover votes helped Senator John McCain win the Michigan Republican primary. In 1972, Republican crossover votes propelled Governor George Wallace to victory in the Democratic primary.
Polls closed at 8 PM local time on election day. While most of the state is in the Eastern time zone (UTC -5), four counties in the Upper Peninsula are on Central time (UTC -6), so the final closures came at 9 PM Eastern time. As of 2/28, results showed Romney winning 7 congressional districts and Santorum winning 7.
|Michigan Republican primary, 2012|
|Candidate||Votes||Percentage||Projected delegate count|
|Rick Perry (withdrawn)||1,816||0.18%||0||0||0|
|Buddy Roemer (withdrawn)||1,784||0.18%||0||0||0|
|Michele Bachmann (withdrawn)||1,735||0.17%||0||0||0|
|Jon Huntsman (withdrawn)||1,674||0.17%||0||0||0|
|Herman Cain (withdrawn)||1,211||0.12%||0||0||0|
|Gary Johnson (withdrawn)||458||0.05%||0||0||0|
At the Republican state convention in May, it was reported that of the 30 voting delegates for the national convention in Tampa, 6 were Paul supporters, and 24 were Romney supporters. Paul organizers disputed these numbers, stating that they had actually taken 8 (instead of 6) of the voting delegates, plus several non-voting slots.
Delegate allocation controversy
A controversy arose over the delegate allocation in Michigan, where 28 congressional district delegates and two at-large delegates were awarded. The Republican Party of Michigan rules stated that the two at-large delegates would be awarded proportionally, meaning that Santorum and Romney would get one delegate each for a 15-15 tie. But the following day the party's credentials committee allocated both at-large delegates to Romney, saying it had changed the rules a few weeks prior to award the delegates to the statewide winner but "in error" sent a memo to the candidates saying they would be awarded proportionately. Santorum's campaign protested, saying the committee's six members were mostly Romney supporters, and filed a protest with the Republican National Committee. Santorum's general counsel wrote in a letter to the RNC, "It is our understanding that several public supporters and Michigan surrogates of an opposing campaign voted in favor of the delegate allocation change which assisted their chosen candidate. This request is not about the allocation of a single delegate; it is about ensuring a transparent process, avoiding unscrupulous tactics and backroom deals by establishment figures and campaigns who have not received the result they hoped for at the ballot box." Committee member and former state attorney general Mike Cox endorsed Romney, but said the delegates should have been awarded 15-15: "I have this crazy idea that you follow the rules. I’d love to give the at-large delegates to Mitt Romney, but our rules provide for strict apportionment."
- Republican Party presidential primaries, 2012
- United States presidential election, 2012 timeline
- Republican Party presidential debates, 2012
- Results of the 2012 Republican Party presidential primaries
- Michigan Republican Party
- "2012 Presidential Election - Michigan". Politico. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- Nate Silver (August 28, 2012). "Aug. 27: Michigan Isn't a Tossup". New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
- "2012 Voter Registration Totals" (PDF). Michigan Secretary of State. February 15, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- Ms. Bell submitted a letter of resignation dated November 15, 2012 to Governor Rick Snyder. Pursuant to MCL 168.47, the vacancy was filled when the electors met on December 17.
- "Michigan Republican Delegation 2012". The Green Papers. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
- Questions and Answers: Michigan’s Feb. 28, 2012 Presidential Primary (PDF), Michigan Secretary of State, 2012-02-21, retrieved 2012-03-02
- "Michigan results provoke accusations, ire". CNN. March 1, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
- "After Many Momentum Shifts, Michigan Is Too Close to Call". FiveThirtyEight. February 28, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
- "Santorum Campaign Invites Democratic Votes In Michigan Robo-Call". ABC News. February 27, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
- "Romney blasts Santorum for 'dirty trick' calls to Michigan Dems encouraging vote in GOP primary". Fox News. February 28, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
- Angela Wittrock (February 28, 2012). "Yes, Michigan Democrats are voting for Rick Santorum". MLive. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- Jon Bershad (February 28, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh Has "No Problem" With Rick Santorum Copying His Operation Chaos Approach". Mediaite. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- Camia, Catalina (February 27, 2012). "Crossover voting encouraged in Mich. GOP primary". On Politics. USA Today. Retrieved March 1, 2012.
- Mitchell, Steve (February 23, 2012). "Michigan's quirky primaries". The Detroit News. Retrieved March 1, 2012.
- Rosenthal, Jack (May 17, 1972). "Survey Ties Issues, Not Shooting, to Wallace Victory". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2012.
- "What hours are the polls open on Election Day?". Michigan Secretary of State. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 2, 2012. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- Michigan Primary - AP
- Michigan Primary - CNN
- Michigan Primary - Green Papers
- Mitt Romney gets Michigan's at-large delegates
- Republican discord continues, national GOP to investigate Michigan party leaders?
- Rick Santorum files protest over Michigan delegates