More than 50 people proudly wearing “I voted early” and Biden-Harris stickers congregated in front of the Electrical Workers Local 252 building in Ann Arbor to hear from Doug Emhoff, the husband of Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential candidate.

The stop was one of two in Michigan on Sunday for Emhoff, who was in town to launch a canvassing event. This comes a day after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden joined former President Barack Obama in Detroit and Flint for his last campaign event in the state before Tuesday’s election. 

Emhoff spoke to the crowd about traveling around the nation and seeing voters’ exhaustion with the Trump administration.

“Everywhere I go around this country, it’s the same thing,” Emhoff said. “People are sick and tired of what’s going on right now, they’re sick and tired of this lack of leadership. They’re sick and tired, and they want change. And in just a couple of days Michigan, we are gonna win this state.”

Michigan is considered a key battleground state for the 2020 election. Trump narrowly won the state in 2016 by just over 10,000 votes, though Democrats saw big wins in state leadership in the 2018 midterm election. Biden is ahead by eight percentage points in the state with a few days to go before the election, according to The New York Times/Siena College poll. 

Emhoff went on to further emphasize the need to win the election by turning out the vote. 

“We got to vote in massive numbers,” Emhoff said. “We got to win. We got to win big because we need a mandate. We need a mandate that’s so big, so clear, that this guy cannot refute it, no matter how hard, you know, he’s gonna try, and you know he’s gonna try. And the only way to push back on that is to crush him — crush him here in Michigan.”

Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., emphasized the importance of campaigning until the very last second to ensure that Biden wins. 

“We can’t take anything for granted,” Dingell said to the crowd. “The next 48 hours, we got to be on doors. We’ve got to be calling everybody. We can’t stop for the next 48 hours.” 

James Johnson, an organizer for IBEW Local 252, emphasized the need for strong leadership in the Oval Office.

“I want a leader who will fight for me and will fight for all of us,” Johnson said. “I want a leader with a concrete path to give us certainty — security — instead of bullying and lying. But in order to get that leader, we all need to go vote. Michigan’s gonna get to decide the next President of the United States, but only if we go vote.”

LSA sophomore Andrew Schaeffler, the founder and president of Students For Biden, expressed his gratitude to Emhoff paying a visit to Ann Arbor.

“I am so happy that the future first first gentleman Doug Emhoff came to Ann Arbor, and myself and our club are so happy to see the emphasis put on Michigan by the Biden campaign,” Schaeffler said. “At all of these events, including this one, the Biden campaign has made clear that on all issues impacting Michiganders — the choice is clear this November on which candidate is better for Michiganders.” 

Nick Schuler, LSA sophomore and spokesperson for U-M College Republicans, said that the Biden campaign’s efforts will prove ineffective and Trump will win reelection. 

“The Democrats can campaign all they all want,” Schuler said. “But the great people of Michigan will deliver the state for Trump because he brought back jobs and fixed our economy.”

Emhoff told The Daily in an interview Sunday that the campaign is taking Michigan seriously this election, citing visits from himself, Harris and Biden to the state.  

“I’m here and we are doing everything we can to get the word out that we have a plan to tackle multiple crises that are affecting our country,” Emhoff said. “(Biden and Harris) are going to bring us together, people are sick and tired of all the division and hatred that’s coming out of this administration. They want leadership, they want competence, they want unity and some compassion, and Joe and Kamala really bring that.”

Emhoff also said he has seen a lot of misinformation this election cycle from conservatives, specifically to discourage voting. He said the best way to combat this is to do exactly what he says Republicans don’t want people to do: vote.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there and a lot of tactics that the other side is using to try to discourage people from voting and make it sound like it’s something that’s hard,” Emhoff said. “That’s just totally not true — it couldn’t be easier, and the only way that we’re going to be able to push back on that narrative is to vote and to win and win big. And that’s what we plan to do.”

Emhoff said he believes a lot of college students have figured out exactly how elected officials and their decisions directly impact their lives.

“They’re excited because I think they now realize that it does matter, their vote does matter because when they don’t vote, they don’t have voice and when they don’t have a voice, things are happening to them that they don’t like and they want to change,” Emhoff said. 

Emhoff emphasized the importance of everyone exercising their right to vote this year, especially in swing states like Michigan. 

“No matter what, people need to vote,” Emhoff said. “It’s their right, and it’s been a hard fought right. Take the time and exercise your right, just go out and vote. Your vote is your voice.”

Daily Staff Reporters Julia Forrest and Sarah Payne can be reached at and

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