Michigan's 'blue wave' materializes in big races, falls short down-ballot

Editor's note: Vanguard President and CEO TJ Bucholz comments on how the 'blue wave' impacted the Michigan's midterm election and what that means for the future.

The 'blue wave' predicted by Michigan Democrats materialized for statewide candidates like governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, but fell short in races farther down the ballot.

The state House and Senate stayed red, a disappointment to Democrats who had hoped Whitmer would have Democratic control at the legislative level.

TJ Bucholz of Vanguard Public Affairs, a Lansing-based firm that works mainly with Democratic candidates, said the wave was smaller than expected.

"Instead of maybe a 20-foot tsunami they got maybe an 8-foot tsunami," he said of Democrats.

The wins at the state level were big, Bucholz said, but coupled with Republicans retaining legislative majorities. Democrats did pick up seats in the legislative chambers, but not enough to sway the balance of power.

That leaves Bucholz nervous about the possibility of gridlock.

"I'm worried about obstructionism on the part of Senate Republicans, who I think would try to create sort of 2006 with Jennifer Granholm and Mike Bishop," Bucholz said.

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