Are Michigan Republicans Hedging Their Support of a Second Trump Term?

AP Photo/Al Goldis

As a lifelong Michiganian (not Michigander), I’m not shocked that a story has emerged that elected members of the Michigan GOP are staying arm’s length from former POTUS Donald Trump.


Most of the elected GOP here has never loved him but tolerated him. Even the ones that constantly post pictures of themselves down at Mar-a-Lago and brag about being a phone call away from the 45th President of the United States. Behind the scenes, they will diss Trump faster than The Donald would turn on a Fox News contributor who offered mild criticism of him.

Michigan is, of course, a blue state and Republicans here, by and large, tend to lean a bit more to the left than in other states. I covered this here at RedState back in February with Michigan Is a BLUE State and Lying About It Won’t Change That Fact.

From that AMAZING article…

Michigan, since the 2002 election of Jennifer Granholm and her re-election in 2006, has elected progressive-leaning candidates. The hiccup of “republican” Rick Snyder who raised your taxes, let the Flint water debacle happen, and was pro-abortion, was Democrat-Lite. Now with Whitmer elected in 2018 and just re-elected in 2022, this trend continues with the state’s chief executive.

Michigan has not elected a Republican United States Senator since 1994 with Spencer Abraham, who was defeated by now-retiring Senator Debbie Stabenow. In case you are wondering how long that is, due to your time in the state’s floundering public school system, in 2024, it will be a full 30 years since you sent a member of the GOP to D.C. to occupy a seat in the upper chamber of Congress.

Please don’t use the excuse that the GOP has picked establishment hacks to face off against hapless Democrats like Stabenow and Peters. You had newly elected (barely) to a House seat John James, face off against both Senators two years apart and lose. In fact, James only won his seat last November by just under 2,000 votes.

Michigan Republicans just lost both the State House and Senate control for the first time since before John Engler left office. The only bright spot the GOP had was control of the legislature, and now that the redistricting is out of the hands of the legislature and given to a group of citizens who are picked through some weird process, you can bet the GOP won’t be getting a favorable district any time soon.

Those are all just facts that are verifiable. We can discuss the reasons why this has occurred and the overall cause and effect, but what I just wrote above is factual history.


So imagine my surprise, when I came across an article here that said that elected officials of the Michigan Republican Party, at least, were keeping their powder dry on Donald Trump and his sometimes controversial tactics. (By that, I mean I was not surprised by it at all.)

According to the Detroit News, the former president is making a major campaign stop where he will speak at the Oakland County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner and the report states that there is a definite lack of enthusiasm for the Republican frontrunner for the 2024 presidential nomination.

The report notes, “Only a handful of the 72 Republicans who serve in the Michigan Legislature had publicly endorsed Trump’s bid for another term as president by Thursday, a trend that highlights concerns among some GOP leaders in a state that once helped propel him to the White House.”

Case in point is Rep. Ken Borton (R-Mich) who explained, “It’s a hot-button issue in my district. I supported Trump the first time around. But I am going to stay out of it. Whoever the Republican candidate is who comes out of it, I’ll be there for them 100%.”

Rep. John Roth (R-Mich) is backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and bluntly stated Trump’s obsession with his 2020 re-election loss is a contributing factor.


This was even though there was a recent EPIC-MRA poll that showed both Trump and Biden with a tie at 44 percent approval. However, on the disapproval side, Biden checks in at 52 percent and Trump at 57 percent, which is PURE BLUE MICHIGAN.

Now I know I get die-hard Republicans in this state, who also tend to be huge Trump supporters, telling me that the GOP just has to get out the vote for more people to show up, and Republicans will get elected.

The problem with that theory is I’ve been hearing that for 30 years, and Michigan is losing population.

My guess is that 20 years ago, when I kept hearing that argument, there were more people that would lean Republican in the state to make it at least close; Republicans could eke out victories. Yet, with the mass exodus that’s happened over the past 10 years in this state, those who would lean Republican have most likely left. We now have lean Democrat voters left, which explains the results we have had over the past 10 to 15 years.

And just as an add-on, if you’re going to tell me that Trump won the state in 2016—he won it by 11,000, out of over four million votes cast. That was a combination of the Clinton campaign sucking not only here but in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, along with the fact the Trump team did not know any better and kept plugging away.


This is why I have no doubt that the elected members of the GOP legislature here in the state have firmly put their fingers in their mouths and checked the political winds. There is no doubt in my mind that the energy on the ground or the grassroots is firmly behind Donald Trump. He most likely will win the primary or the caucus, depending on which way the party decides to go (another issue in and of itself). But he would lose in the general here.

Members of any elected body generally have as their first priority to be reelected; that is almost always their first concern. So in the interest of self-preservation, these members are going to hedge their bets, by and large, and wait until a nominee is picked. If it happens to be Trump in 2024, they most likely will just give lukewarm support.

With the Michigan GOP in such disarray, as I asked here in March, “Did the Michigan GOP Just Concede the 2024 POTUS Race With Its Latest Move?”

Their priority is to save their own bacon first—not hitch it to Donald’s.

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