The Michigan Political Consulting Club, a student organization at the University of Michigan, has compiled a set of predictions for Michigan legislature results for all 110 districts across the state using fundraising, incumbency and polling data.
The current partisan composition of the Michigan House of Representatives gives Republicans the majority, 58 to 52. The club predicts this will shift to an even split — 55 Republicans to 55 Democrats — after the 2020 November general election.
LSA freshman Patrick Pullis, an MPC member, emphasized that while the club’s predictions are not a guarantee — but he said the club is confident the predictions will have a minimum 90% rate of success — they can provide helpful insight into what the outcome of an election might look like.
“It is important to understand that election predictions are not perfect,” Pullis said. “Instead of taking them as fact, people should look at election predictions to understand how competitive a particular race is and what the range of outcomes are.”
Club members broke down the different races into categories of safe, which means one candidate is almost certain to win; likely, in which one candidate is likely to win; lean, in which one candidate is slightly favored to win; tilt, in which the race is a toss-up but one candidate is marginally favored to win; and uncontested.
In Washtenaw County, Michigan’s 53rd district, the current incumbent Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) is ranked by the club as “safe,” meaning he is almost certain to win reelection.
Music, Theatre & Dance sophomore Brock Boze, an MPC member, told The Michigan Daily he is hopeful students will engage with the club’s predictions.
“I’m hoping that students are able to take away a general appreciation for the importance of the more local races,” Boze said. “The State Legislature is very powerful and has a direct impact on our day-to-day lives, so it’s important to understand the consequences of elections at a local level.”
Boze said fundraising, primary election turnout, endorsements and incumbency are all important factors to consider when predicting an election. Though he identifies as a Democrat, Boze said his personal political bias does not influence these ratings.
“Fortunately, the data is independent of ideology,” Boze said. “As much as I may want one candidate to win, my wishing will not double the candidate’s fundraising or primary turn out … The data enables me to project impartially.”
Pullis said he hopes that election predictions like the ones made by the club can help students decide where their vote would have the most impact.
“Everyone always preaches about how important it is to be a good voter,” Pullis said. “Part of this is understanding where your vote will have the greatest impact and using this to your advantage … A New York resident who is attending school here at U-M can look at the presidential and U.S. Senate predictions and realize that because New York is safely Democrat, their vote will likely have a bigger impact in the state of Michigan.”
A recent Michigan Daily survey of 1,900 undergraduates found that 57% of out-of-state students who responded were registered to vote in Michigan.
LSA freshman Maxwell Katz, another MPC member, said state house races determine the representatives who will vote on prominent local issues.
“Many people do not realize that a lot of the laws and policies that directly impact them are not enacted nationally, rather they are decided locally,” Katz said. “… It is obviously important for the public to pay attention to the presidential election, but if they want a say in legislation that will directly impact them, they must pay attention to state races as well.”
Daily Staff Reporter Sarah Payne can be reached at email@example.com.
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