Trump-loving GOP lawmaker struggles to hold on to Michigan House seat


David Wolkinson is running to represent a traditionally Republican area, but enthusiastic Democratic voters could flip the seat from red to blue in November.

Republicans nationwide are in danger of being ousted in a "blue wave" that ushers Democrats back in control of Congress, and GOP-controlled state legislatures may get swept along as well, turning from red to blue.

In Michigan, Trump supporter David Wolkinson could be one of the Republicans pushed aside by such a wave as he faces Democratic nominee Mari Manoogian. Both are running in an open seat vacated by Republican state Rep. Michael McCready, who cannot run again due to term limits.

Wolkinson, running to represent the traditionally conservative areas around Birmingham and Bloomfield in the state House, recently saw first-hand the intensity of Democratic enthusiasm.

The August primary saw a record level of voters head to the polls, eager to have their voice heard. And in Wolkinson's case, their message was, "It's time for a change."

The Republican candidates in the race received around 11,600 votes, with Wolkinson coming out on top. Yet the Democratic candidates received a total of more than 16,700 votes, a massive gap in a local race.

Manoogian hopes to ride the wave of enthusiasm to the state house in November. She comes from a union household and vows to fight for civil rights, economic opportunity and environmental justice.

Wolkinson, in stark contrast, is a Trump-supporting Republican who recently praised the scandal-plagued president. Wolkinson said he appreciates Trump's "bold, no-nonsense approach to getting things done in Washington."

Trump has made headlines for speaking kindly about Nazis marching in Charlottesville, endorsing alleged sexual predator Roy Moore in a recent Senate race, and ripping thousands of children away from their families.

What Wolkinson sees as "bold," others view as appalling and cruel.

And recent polls show Wolkinson is way out of touch with Michigan residents. A strong majority disapprove of Trump (57 percent) while barely one in three approve of him (37 percent).

The Detroit News reports that "women and independent voters hold especially negative opinions" of Trump. Further, "his poor rating threatens to drag down Republican candidates up and down the Nov. 6 ticket."

Democrats need to pick up nine seats in order to regain control of Michigan's House of Representatives. Democratic enthusiasm, plus Wolkinson's allegiance to an unpopular Trump, definitely puts this seat in play.