Five groups of people who care about next week’s primary election


Why are we voting in this presidential primary again?

Unless you’re super excited about Donald Trump or Joe Biden (one way or the other), I concede there isn’t much of a point.

Whether Trump is the eventual Republican nominee or not will not hinge on what happens in Michigan next Tuesday. Party insiders will pick their Trump delegates at a closed-door March 2 convention regardless of whether he wins by 10, 30 or 50 percentage points.

It’s the same with Biden. Whether he ultimately pushes through with another general election victory won’t be because of what Michigan voters say or don’t say.

That said, just because the election isn’t important to you doesn’t mean it’s not important to somebody. There are a lot of somebodies who care about this election.

That’s not to say you should vote to make these people’s lives better, but if you’re in a giving mood, consider the:

  1. Local clerks – The Feb. 27 presidential primary is the first Michigan election with nine days of early voting. The new constitutional requirement from Proposal 2 of 2022 makes the prolonged voting process the new normal.

What does staffing have to look like? How does this impact who shows up on Election Day? Will more ballots need to be printed? Will turnout be the same but spread out over a longer time?

A lower-energy primary election is the perfect time to kick the tires on these new Prop 2 requirements, which also include more drop boxes, security cameras, pre-paid postage on mail-in ballots and the like.

  1. The Michigan Democratic Party – It’s getting its dream scenario here. With Proposal 2, there is officially NO reason someone who wants to vote can’t vote. Absolutely none. Conventional wisdom is an expanded voting pool helps Democrats. It has in Michigan’s last few elections.

The Michigan Republican Party is torn in half. One side is run by a Christian fundamentalist with a small army of God-fearing precinct delegates who are hell-bent on painting anyone who doesn’t agree with them as a RINO (Republican In Name Only), a “globalist,” a Democrat or a combination of the three.

The other half is run by a saner group of Republicans, but they don’t have the stamping machine that gives them the better postage rate, voting lists or the bank accounts. Those are all in possession of the Christian fundamentalist who MAY turn them over if a judge orders it.

Neither faction has any money or an expanded get-out-the-vote effort.

Also, remember, this primary is Tuesday because folks like U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell have been hammering on the Democratic National Committee for at least a dozen years.

If the Democrats don’t have a good showing on Tuesday, they should be embarrassed.

  1. Arab Americans – No other state has an Arab population as large as Michigan’s, and they’re hot. Biden has not been as sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians as they’d like, and they’re threatening to withhold their vote over it.

Preliminary numbers from Mark Grebner at Practical Political Data show Arabs are voting in far fewer numbers than normal. If enough of them don’t vote, vote “uncommitted” or pick an alternative, it will get the Biden camp’s attention.

  1. TV and radio stations – This primary election is a dud, but the 2028 one likely won’t be. To the extent they are still relevant in connecting to certain demographics, the media stations want this early Michigan primary to catch on for the bonus advertising revenue from the various campaigns.
  2. Political consultants and the tourism industry – For the same reason the media companies want politicians spreading their money around, so do the pollsters, political consultants and popular tourist traps, which can make all sorts of money here.

Can you imagine a future presidential candidate showing up on a ski slope? Dropping by a lake to ice fish? Arriving in a snowmobile? Unless Michigan’s turnout next Tuesday is so abysmal that DNC reassesses Michigan’s place in the upcoming primaries, I certainly can.

(Email Kyle Melinn of the Capitol news service MIRS at


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