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Two Democratic Party strongholds in Michigan are scheduled to be on the 2020 presidential campaign trail this week.

Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris is scheduled to make campaign stops in Detroit and Flint on Tuesday.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The wife of Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden was campaigning for her husband in Michigan Tuesday.

Jill Biden toured a food pantry in Grand Rapids and met with military family members in Battle Creek. 

At the home of former congressman Joe Schwarz, Biden promised her husband would support military families struggling with deployments, health care and COVID-19.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump brought his re-election campaign to Michigan on Thursday.

With Air Force One as a back drop, literally surrounded by thousands of mainly maskless supporters, the president took aim directly at former Vice President Joe Biden, his Democratic opponent in November.

“If Biden wins, China wins. If Biden wins, the mob wins. If Biden wins the rooters, anarchists, arsonists and flag burners win,” Trump cautioned his supporters. “But I wouldn’t worry about it because he’s not winning.”

Presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks in Warren.
Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for president, tore into Republican President Donald Trump at a campaign stop in Warren, Michigan.

That's after tapes revealed that the president knew far more about the dangers of COVID-19 than he told the American public.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump will bring their respective presidential campaigns to Michigan over the next few days.

Former Vice President Biden is scheduled to meet with UAW workers in Warren Wednesday afternoon.  The Democratic Party presidential nominee is expected to talk about his plans for American workers.

Michigan’s Republicans and Democrats finalized their November tickets this past weekend with party conventions.

There was no roar of the crowds as the nominations, speeches and voting all took place online due to COVID-19. The conventions chose their candidates for the Michigan Supreme Court, three public university boards, and the Michigan State Board of Education.

ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

As the presidential election gets closer, many people are paying close attention to how the race is shaping up in the Midwest, including here in Michigan. The state, which President Donald Trump won by less than 11,000 votes in 2016, is seen as a key swing state this election.

The Crisler Center
Andy Piper / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic are scrapping plans for a 2020 presidential debate taking place in Ann Arbor this fall as planned. 

The University of Michigan was scheduled to host the second of the three debates between President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee former vice president Joe Biden on October 15.

But university officials this week withdrew from the debate hosting duties, saying it would be not be “feasible” to safely host the presidential debate as planned.

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

A resurgent Joe Biden has continued his momentum with a win in Michigan's Democratic primary, denying Bernie Sanders' attempt to rekindle his presidential campaign in what will be a presidential battleground in November.

Michigan's primary was the largest delegate prize in this week's slate of contests, in what effectively is a two-man race after Biden's big Super Tuesday wins winnowed the field.

With a shiny city bus as backdrop, Vice President Joe Biden rolled up his shirtsleeves for a 2015 speech in Detroit.

"Detroit isn't just an important city," he told the crowd at an event celebrating the arrival of 80 new city buses. "It's an iconic city."

a young black boy's hands under a sink faucet
Adobe Stock Images

Today on Stateside, Democratic front-runners in the presidential primary are making their final pitch to Michigan voters. We spoke to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and heard about former Vice President Joe Biden's message to voters in Grand Rapids. Plus, the city of Detroit will restore water to thousands of households because of fears about the spread of COVID-19. 

Joe Biden at podium
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke about the importance of community healthcare in his visit to Grand Rapids Monday.

With support from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Biden says helping former President Barack Obama establish the Affordable Care Act was one of his crowning achievements as Vice President.

Sanders speaks to thousands of supporters during a rally on the University of Michigan campus Sunday.
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Michigan dominated the Democratic presidential campaign trail this weekend.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders kicked off the weekend with a rally in Detroit Friday night.     

At the TCF Center, Sanders told thousands of his supporters he and former Vice President Joe Biden have pledged to support the Democratic Party’s nominee. He says defeating Donald Trump is what matters most.

profile shot of Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has endosered for Vice President Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination. The endorsement comes five days before Michigan's primary.

Whitmer announced her endorsement Thursday on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "He's got my enthusiastic support and my vote on Tuesday," she said, adding, "When Michigan needed help ... Barack Obama and Joe Biden had our backs."

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren appeared before a crowd of at least 2,000 in Detroit's Eastern Market on Tuesday, giving no indication she has any intention of dropping out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

That's despite being far behind front runners Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden in picking up delegates.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The NAACP national convention is drawing many high-profile Democratic Party officials to the Motor City this week.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is scheduled to address the annual convention Monday morning in Detroit.   The attendees will also hear from former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and Michigan U.S. Rep. Rashia Tlaib, who’s been a frequent target of President Trump.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Marianne Williamson is the rare presidential candidate a lot of people know, but many of them don’t know she’s running for president.

Williamson is a well-known author of best-selling books on spirituality, including her new book the Politics of Love. She has more than 2 million Twitter followers, but she is not yet showing up on presidential polls.

GERALD R. FORD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY / FLICKR

This week, Michiganders and others will have their chance to say goodbye to the late Congressman John Dingell.      

John Dingell died last week. He was 92. He served longer in Congress than anyone in U.S. history.

Vice President Joe Biden in Detroit.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Joe Biden made one of his final appearances as vice president at the Detroit School for Digital Technology on Tuesday.

Biden was the public face of the Obama administration’s limited efforts to help the city through its bankruptcy and aftermath.

Biden says that after eight years of slow but steady recovery, he’s confident the country remains a place that “will never bend, never break, and always go forward.”

“And Detroit is the single shining example, if you were to pick any one place in America, to demonstrate that’s who we are,” he said.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“Detroit’s back,” Vice President Joe Biden shouted at the audience in a city bus depot today.   

Sounding like the presidential candidate he insists he is not (yet), Biden touted federal and local efforts to help Detroit rebound.

Biden was in Detroit to formally announce a milestone in the city’s bus service. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Vice President Joe Biden repeatedly raised the issue of income inequality during a speech before the start of today’s Labor Day parade in Detroit.

Thousands of union workers packed the grounds of Old Tiger Stadium at Michigan and Trumbull to hear the Vice President speak. Biden was flanked on stage by  Teamsters President James P. Hoffa and United Auto Workers president Dennis Williams.  

Biden lashed out at corporations and the wealthy who make millions of dollars while union workers continue to struggle.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Vice President Joe Biden told a crowd of activists Thursday that “we are at an inflection point in national and world history.”

Biden addressed the Netroots Nation convention at Detroit’s Cobo Center.

That group describes itself as a means to “amplify progressive voices by providing an online and in-person campus for exchanging ideas and learning how to be more effective in using technology to influence the public debate.”

Sonari Glinton / NPR

Vice President Joe Biden says the US government bet on American automakers—and won.

Biden touted the auto industry’s comeback during a stop at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show Thursday.

Biden said Detroit’s automakers have come a long way since GM and Chrysler went bankrupt in 2009.

And he said that resurgence proves the government-backed restructuring worked—and saved the country from a much deeper recession.

Barack Obama Photostream / Flickr

DETROIT (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden plans to attend a working dinner with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan during a visit to the city.

The White House says Biden will travel Wednesday to Detroit and attend the dinner Wednesday evening.

On Thursday, Biden is scheduled to attend the North American International Auto Show. The White House has said that Biden will discuss the future of the U.S. auto industry and "highlight its strong recovery following the tough restructuring and shared sacrifice" under the 2009 federal bailout.

News media, industry and other previews for the show began Monday, and the show is open to the public Saturday though Jan. 26 at Cobo Center.

Jake Neher / MPRN

Michigan’s 16 delegates to the Electoral College have officially cast their votes for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

The President netted 54 percent of the popular vote in Michigan during last month’s general election.       

Monday’s gathering of Electoral College delegates in the state Senate chambers also included a resolution condemning state lawmakers’ actions in recent weeks.

State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer presided over the meeting.

“To cast all 16 votes for President Barack Obama, we know that Michigan is a state that believes in opportunity and embraces a vision for our state and for our nation that looks forward. Not one that focuses on an extreme ideological agenda,” Whitmer said.

The resolution criticized the Republican-controlled state legislature for swiftly passing a number of controversial bills in the final weeks of its session.

Official White House portrait

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) - President Barack Obama's re-election campaign says the wife of Vice President Joe Biden will speak at events in three Michigan cities on Saturday.

The campaign says Jill Biden will appear in Battle Creek, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. It says details on her appearances will be announced later.

The stops come during a planned tour during which the vice president's wife will appear Friday in Minneapolis and Sunday in Pittsburgh.

User: Brother O'Mara / Flickr

Biden's Labor Day visit

Vice President Joe Biden rallied in Detroit Monday during the Labor Day parade. "He talked about how America is better off today, in part because of the auto industry bailout.  That message will be a central theme for Democrats at this week’s national convention," Kate Wells reports.

Teacher retirement changes

"Governor Rick Snyder will sign legislation today  that will change how teachers and other school employees save for their retirement. Most school employees will have to pay more for their retirement benefits. School employees hired after today will no longer have a retirement health plan, but will pay into a medical savings account to purchase coverage when they are no longer working. Snyder says it will shore up the state’s credit rating, and ensure taxpayers won’t be saddled with the costs of a bailout years down the road. Teachers unions say the plan breaks promises made to school employees, and went to court on Friday with a legal challenge," Rick Pluta reports.

Voters decide on replacement for US Rep McCotter tomorrow

Some voters in Souteast Michigan are heading to the polls Wednesday to vote for a temporary replacement for Republican U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter. "McCotter quit in July after it was discovered that petition signatures were forged or copied in at least two of his campaigns. Five Republicans are vying for the seat. They'll face a Democrat, a Libertarian and a U.S. Taxpayers Party Candidate in the November 6th general election. The taxpayer tab for the special election will be at least $650,000 thousand dollars. Low voter turnout is predicted. Four of McCotter's former staff  members have been charged in the petition scandal. McCotter has not been charged," Rina Miller reports.

Kate Wells

Vice President Joe Biden took the spotlight at Detroit’s Labor Day parade. It's one more sign that the auto bailout is shaping up as a central theme of the Obama-Biden campaign.

Last week Republican nominee Mitt Romney asked Americans if they were better off today than four years ago. Now comes part of the Democrats’ response: you sure are if you’re an auto worker.

It's a "swing-state" edition of It's Just Politics this week. The big political question in the mitten-state currently seems to be "Is Michigan a true battleground - a swing state - in this year's presidential race?" You certainly would not be blamed for thinking so considering all of the campaign love that Michigan got this week.

Vice President Joe Biden was in Detroit on Wednesday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was in West Michigan yesterday campaigning on behalf of fellow Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and, just today, Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan visited Commerce Township.

Are we a (politically) fickle state?

This level of attention would seem to suggest that Michigan is a battleground state alongside  those perpetual swingers: Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Colorado. There are certainly reasons to believe why this could be the case, even though Michigan has gone for the Democratic nominee in the last five presidential cycles. But, if you look back even further, the five cycles before that, Michigan voted for the Republican presidential candidate every time.

It would appear that we are a fickle state. Michigan may be blue, but it elects Republicans in statewide races all the time: Governor Rick Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson – just to name a few. And, even while Democrat Jennifer Granholn was governor, Attorney General Mike Cox and Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land were both Republicans.

Interestingly enough, Michigan’s record tilts more heavily toward sending Democrats to Washington D.C.. Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow are, of course, Democrats. And, in this election cycle, Republican Senate nominee Pete Hoekstra hopes to alter that trend, like Spence Abraham did –albeit for just one term – in 1994.

What do the polls say?

In this year's race, President Obama’s generally been given the edge in most polls in the state, even though Mitt Romney was born in Michigan and his father was governor here. But, just because he can claim "native-son" status, the Romney name does not always equal ballot magic. Romney's brother, Scott Romney, lost his reelection bid to the Michigan State University and his mother Lenore Romney failed in her U.S. Senate bid back in 1970. A former sister in law, Ronna, who ran with the Romney name also lost a Senate race.

A poll was released this week by Foster McCollum White and Associates for the Fox TV station in Detroit that gave Romney a four point lead over President Obama; and a slight lead for Pete Hoesktra over Senator Debbie Stabenow.

But, then, another poll was released this week that put President Obama and Senator Stabenow in the lead. So, it begs the question - which poll is right? The reality is there’s no objective measure for regular folks to use to judge the credibility of a poll. The only reality to compare it to is… other polls.

Is Michigan a swinging state?

So, aside from the polls - the question remains: are we a swing state or not? It would seem if the presidential campaigns didn’t think Michigan was relevant to them in November then they wouldn't be spending so much time here. But, one can argue that there are a whole lot of other reasons why candidates visit a place. Certainly, persuading voters is a big one. Keeping the base energized is another - especially in a year like this when it seems like most people have made up their minds who they want, or who they don’t want in the White House.

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