91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

President Obama in Detroit: "By not voting, you're giving away your power"

screen grab

President Obama told a Detroit crowd Saturday that Democrats can pull off some big victories in Michigan races this Tuesday – if there’s a “sense of urgency” about getting out the vote.

The president rallied an exuberant crowd of more than 6,000 on the Wayne State University campus.

He urged them to sustain that energy over the next three days, and use it to get fellow Democrats to the polls.      

“The biggest corporations don’t need another champion. The wealthiest Americans don’t need another champion. You do,” the president said. “Opportunity for a few is not what Michigan’s about. Opportunity for all is what built the middle class in this country.”

The president said U.S. Senate hopeful Gary Peters and candidate for governor Mark Schauer share that vision.

Democrats hope the president’s visit gives them a last-minute momentum boost, particularly for Schauer. Most recent polls show him trailing Gov. Snyder slightly, while Peters has a solid lead over Republican opponent Terri Lynn Land.

Democrats have had particular trouble getting voters to the polls in mid-term election years. And the president noted that in recent years, Michigan has had one of the biggest gaps in voter participation between presidential and off-year elections – an estimated 900,000 between 2008 and 2010.

“I don’t know what’s going on with those folks,” Mr. Obama said. “But we’ve got to let them know their vote matters.

“By not voting, you’re giving away your power.”

Republicans hope Obama’s visit has just the opposite effect.

In a statement, Michigan GOP Chairman Bobby Schostack said that “Schauer’s decision to stand next to President Obama underscores how truly wrong he is for Michigan.”

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
Related Content