Michigan Democrats crush 2016 turnout numbers suggesting trouble for Trump


Turnout in the Democratic primary increased by more than 30%.

Michigan Democrats saw a surge in turnout in the state's high-stakes primary on Tuesday, with nearly 400,000 more voters casting ballots in 2020 than they did in 2016.

In 2016, 1,194,643 people voted in Michigan's Democratic primary, compared to the 1,585,231 who voted in 2020's contest — with votes still being counted. The turnout set a record for the most Democratic votes cast in a primary, according to the Detroit Free Press.

That means turnout will increase by at least 33% from four years ago — and could mean Democrats are invigorating the kind of coalition the party needs to oust Donald Trump in November.

Notably, turnout skyrocketed in the suburbs of the state's largest city, Detroit, the kind of territory that has turned against Trump since his Electoral College victory in 2016.

In Oakland County, a historically Republican area that trended blue in the 2018 midterms helping Democrats flip two GOP-held seats, turnout increased by approximately 36%.

In Wayne County, the state's most populous county that contains the city of Detroit, turnout jumped more than 10%.

Turnout even increased in more rural, white working-class areas of Michigan. St. Clair County, for example, which has the second-large population of white working-class voters in the state, saw turnout increase from 8,880 in 2016 to 17,476 in 2020 — nearly doubling.

That could be a promising sign for Democrats, who need to stop the trend of working-class white voters jumping ship to support Trump if they hope to win in November.

It wasn't just Michigan that saw a bump in Democratic primary turnout.

In Mississippi, turnout increased nearly 20%, from 220,790 votes in 2016 to 262,363 votes in 2020. In Missouri, Democratic primary turnout saw a smaller 6% increase.

Turnout increases in Washington are more difficult to calculate given that the state switched from a caucus to a primary in 2020. Officials there are also still counting mail-in ballots.

Ultimately, Trump won Michigan by roughly 11,000 votes in 2016. Even just a small Democratic turnout boost could be enough to restore the state to Democrats' "Blue Wall" in the Midwest.

As veteran Michigan pollster Bernie Porn said ahead of Michigan's primary: "I think Trump is in trouble."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.