Strong feelings about President Donald Trump, a competitive governor's race and congressional retirements fueled what probably was a record MI primary turnout, with more than half-million more people voting than in 2010 - the last time the governorship was open. That is almost 28 percent higher than the 1.7 million who turned out in 2002, which is believed to be the previous MI midterm primary record. Just over 28 percent of the voting-age population cast ballots, an increase from the previous high of 24 percent from 1982.
About $23 million was spent airing broadcast TV ads, including almost $17 million on governor's races won by Democrat Gretchen Whitmer and Republican Bill Schuette.
In the Republican battle, Schuette - a veteran politician who has served in Congress, the Legislature and as an appellate judge - emphasized his endorsement from Trump and a proposal to cut the state income tax.
Mr. Shapiro said he was "excited" that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, who won her primary in NY for a House seat, has been framed as the future of the Democratic Party.
On the Republican side, the results again reinforced how Trump has refashioned the party in his own image while playing an influential role in many primary races.
"It's not totally predictive, but I think it's a very good sign that we're going to have an engaged, excited Democratic electorate turning out in November", said Dillon, whose party has struggled with turnout in past midterm elections. And either Republican business executive Lena Epstein or Democratic former auto bailout chief of staff Haley Stevens will succeed a retiring congressman in suburban Detroit.
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"We need to throw Bill Schuette a big retirement party come November", Whitmer told jubilant supporters in Detroit. Democrats have hammered the administration across the state recently for Trump's protectionist steel tariffs, which they say are raising prices on everyday goods and hurting MI workers.
"The blue wave, it's a thing".
But Whitmer wants the debates focused on different issues.
Ocasio-Cortez said that she and Ing had similar life experiences even though they grew up worlds apart because they both lost their fathers when they were young and had to work multiple jobs to help their families make ends meet.
"Our voters will come home".
Crowds outside the GOP rally were not that large, much smaller than what President Trump has drawn in West Michigan.