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United States presidential election in Michigan, 2012

United States presidential election in Michigan, 2012

November 6, 2012

Nominee Barack Obama Mitt Romney
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Illinois Massachusetts
Running mate Joe Biden Paul Ryan
Electoral vote 16 0
Popular vote 2,564,569 2,115,256
Percentage 54.21% 44.71%

County Results

President before election

Barack Obama

Elected President

Barack Obama

Campaigning Presidential candidate Mitt Romney talks with patrons at the Coney Island Restaurant, Livonia, Michigan. June, 2011.

The 2012 United States presidential election in Michigan took place on November 6, 2012 as part of the 2012 General Election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. Michigan voters chose 16 electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan.

George H.W. Bush won in Michigan.


  • General election 1
  • Analysis 2
  • Results 3
  • Results breakdown 4
    • By county 4.1
    • By congressional district 4.2
  • Electors 5
  • Democratic primary 6
  • Republican primary 7
  • Polling 8
    • Campaign 8.1
    • Results 8.2
    • Delegate allocation controversy 8.3
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

General election

Candidate Ballot Access:

  • Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan, Republican
  • Barack Obama/Joseph Biden, Democratic
  • Virgil Goode/Jim Clymer, US Taxpayers
  • Jill Stein/Cheri Honkala, Green
  • Rocky Anderson/Luis J. Rodriguez, Natural Law

Write-In Candidate Access:

  • Gary Johnson/James P. Gray, Libertarian


All of the local polling firms had predicted a close election here, some even giving an advantage to Michigander Romney over Obama; however, statistician Nate Silver pointed out several problems with the local pollsters' methodology and sampling errors, instead giving more credence to the national pollsters who posited a clear victory for Obama (by a mean of 7.3 points and a median of 7.0 over Romney).[2]

In the end, Silver and the National pollsters were correct: Obama defeated Romney by over 9 points in the November 2012 election.


United States presidential election in Michigan, 2012[3]
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 2,564,569 54.21% 16
Republican Mitt Romney Paul Ryan 2,115,256 44.71% 0
Green Jill Stein Cheri Honkala 21,897 0.46% 0
Constitution Virgil Goode Jim Clymer 16,119 0.34% 0
Libertarian (Write-in) Gary Johnson Jim Gray 7,774 0.16% 0
Natural Law Rocky Anderson Luis J. Rodriguez 5,147 0.11% 0
Socialist (Write-in) Stewart Alexander Alex Mendoza 89 0.00% 0
Socialist Equality
Jerry White Phyllis Scherrer 68 0.00% 0
America's (Write-in) Tom Hoefling J.D. Ellis 42 0.00% 0
Totals 4,730,961 100.00% 16
Voter turnout (registered voters) [3] 63.46%

Results breakdown

By county

County Obama Romney
Alcona County 2,472 3,571
Alger County 2,212 2,330
Allegan County 20,806 31,123
Alpena County 6,549 7,298
Antrim County 5,107 7,917
Arenac County 3,669 4,057
Baraga County 1,574 1,866
Barry County 11,491 16,655
Bay County 27,877 24,911
Benzie County 4,685 5,075
Berrien County 33,465 38,209
Branch County 6,913 10,035
Calhoun County 29,267 28,333
Cass County 9,591 12,659
Charlevoix County 5,939 8,000
Cheboygan County 5,831 7,286
Chippewa County 7,100 8,278
Clare County 6,338 6,988
Clinton County 18,191 20,650
Crawford County 2,994 3,744
Delta County 8,330 9,534
Dickinson County 4,952 7,688
Eaton County 27,913 26,197
Emmet County 7,225 10,253
Genesee County 128,978 71,808
Gladwin County 5,760 6,661
Gogebic County 4,058 3,444
Grand Traverse County 20,875 26,534
Gratiot County 7,610 8,241
Hillsdale County 7,106 11,727
Houghton County 6,801 8,196
Huron County 6,518 8,806
Ingham County 80,847 45,306
Ionia County 11,018 14,315
Iosco County 6,242 6,909
Iron County 2,687 3,224
Isabella County 13,038 10,800
Jackson County 32,301 36,298
Kalamazoo County 69,051 52,662
Kalkaska County 3,272 4,901
Kent County 133,408 155,925
Keweenaw County 582 774
Lake County 2,752 2,487
Lapeer County 18,796 23,734
Leelanau County 6,576 7,483
Lenawee County 21,776 22,351
Livingston County 37,216 60,083
Luce County 991 1,580
Mackinac County 2,652 3,397
Macomb County 208,016 191,913
Manistee County 6,473 5,737
Marquette County 18,115 13,606
Mason County 6,856 7,580
Mecosta County 7,515 9,176
Menominee County 5,242 5,564
Midland County 17,450 23,919
Missaukee County 2,274 4,665
Monroe County 36,310 35,593
Montcalm County 11,430 13,621
Montmorency County 2,049 2,928
Muskegon County 44,436 30,884
Newaygo County 8,728 12,457
Oakland County 349,002 296,514
Oceana County 5,063 6,239
Ogemaw County 4,791 5,437
Ontonagon County 1,586 1,906
Osceola County 3,981 6,141
Oscoda County 1,657 2,308
Otsego County 4,681 7,011
Ottawa County 42,737 88,166
Presque Isle County 3,192 3,794
Roscommon County 6,198 6,701
Saginaw County 54,381 42,720
St. Clair County 33,983 39,271
St. Joseph County 10,112 12,978
Sanilac County 7,212 10,963
Schoolcraft County 1,865 2,142
Shiawassee County 17,197 15,962
Tuscola County 11,425 14,240
Van Buren County 16,290 16,141
Washtenaw County 120,890 56,412
Wayne County 595,846 213,814
Wexford County 6,184 8,450

By congressional district

Obama won 5 of 14 congressional districts.[4]

District Obama Romney Representative
1st 45% 53% Dan Benishek
2nd 43% 56% Bill Huizenga
3rd 46% 53% Justin Amash
4th 46% 54% Dave Camp
5th 61% 38% Dan Kildee
6th 49% 50% Fred Upton
7th 48% 51% Tim Walberg
8th 48% 51% Mike Rogers
9th 57% 42% Sander Levin
10th 44% 55% Candice Miller
11th 47% 52% Kerry Bentivolio
12th 66% 33% John Dingell
13th 85% 14% John Conyers
14th 81% 18% Gary Peters


Technically the voters of Michigan cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Michigan is allocated 16 electors because it has 14 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 16 electors, who pledge to vote for their candidate and his or her running mate. Whoever wins the majority of votes in the state is awarded all 16 electoral votes. Their chosen electors then vote for President and Vice President. Although electors are pledged to their candidate and running mate, they are not obligated to vote for them. An elector who votes for someone other than his or her candidate is known as a faithless elector.

The electors of each state and the District of Columbia met on December 17, 2012 to cast their votes for President and Vice President. The Electoral College itself never meets as one body. Instead the electors from each state and the District of Columbia met in their respective capitols.

The following were the members of the Electoral College from the state.

Democratic primary

Incumbent president Barack Obama won the Democratic Primary with 89% of the vote according to the Michigan Secretary of States Office . he wasn't challenged in the primary the rest of the vote went to write in candidates or voters who were undecided. The Primary in Michigan was held on the same day as the Republican primary and was non-binding, The selection of delegates took place two mounts later at the state caucus's held in May, Michigan democrats awarded all of the states 203 delegates which were pledged to vote for him at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina

Republican primary

Michigan Republican primary, 2012

February 28, 2012 (2012-02-28)

Candidate Mitt Romney Rick Santorum
Party Republican Republican
Home state Massachusetts Pennsylvania
Delegate count 16 14
Popular vote 409,522 377,372
Percentage 41.1% 37.9%

Candidate Ron Paul Newt Gingrich
Party Republican Republican
Home state Texas Georgia
Delegate count 0 0
Popular vote 115,911 65,027
Percentage 11.6% 6.5%

Results by county. Orange represents Romney-won counties; Green Santorum-won counties.

The Republican primary took place on February 28, 2012,[6] the same day as the Arizona Republican primary. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney won both of these elections.

This Michigan election used a semi-open primary system (which the state referred to as "closed") in which each voter made a public declaration at their election site and received the ballot for the approriate party, rather than the fully open system used in the past.[7] The state had 7,286,556 registered voters as of February 15, and delegates were awarded proportionately.[3]

Michigan was given 59 delegates to the Republican (GOP) national convention, but that number was reduced to 30 as a penalty for bringing the election date forward before March 6 as the GOP rules set.[6] The candidate with the greatest number of votes in each of the 14 congressional districts will receive that district's two delegates. Two additional delegates for Michigan were announced by the media to be given proportionally before the election[6] but after the election the Michigan GOP announced there had been an error in the memo published and that the two delegates will be given to the winner, which sparked accusations of Mitt Romney rigging the results from Rick Santorum's team.[8]



While Romney has close ties to Michigan, where he was born and grew up and his father was the Governor, Santorum, who once trailed Romney badly in the state, had a clear lead over him in mid February after Santorum won Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri caucuses and primary on February 7. And the competition became a statistical tie between these two candidates before the primary.[9]

Since Michigan allows primary voters to declare their affiliation at the time they vote, Santorum campaign paid for robo-calls inviting Democrats to cross over and vote for him.[10] Romney called this tactic "outrageous" and "disgusting" but Santorum defended himself as not doing anything wrong but getting people to vote in an open primary.[11]

Some Democrats also urged their supporters to vote for Santorum in the Republican primary, in hopes of forcing the Republican candidates to use more resources and help make it easier for

  • The Green Papers: for Michigan
  • The Green Papers: Major state elections in chronological order.

External links

  1. ^ "2012 Presidential Election - Michigan". Politico. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  2. ^  
  3. ^ a b c "2012 Voter Registration Totals". Michigan Secretary of State. February 15, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Ms. Bell submitted a letter of resignation dated November 15, 2012 to Governor Rick Snyder. Pursuant to MCL 168.47, the vacancy was filled when the electors met on December 17.
  6. ^ a b c "Michigan Republican Delegation 2012". The Green Papers. Retrieved February 29, 2012. 
  7. ^ Questions and Answers: Michigan’s Feb. 28, 2012 Presidential Primary (PDF), Michigan Secretary of State, 2012-02-21, retrieved 2012-03-02 
  8. ^ "Michigan results provoke accusations, ire".  
  9. ^ "After Many Momentum Shifts, Michigan Is Too Close to Call".  
  10. ^ "Santorum Campaign Invites Democratic Votes In Michigan Robo-Call".  
  11. ^ "Romney blasts Santorum for 'dirty trick' calls to Michigan Dems encouraging vote in GOP primary".  
  12. ^ Angela Wittrock (February 28, 2012). "Yes, Michigan Democrats are voting for Rick Santorum". MLive. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  13. ^ Jon Bershad (February 28, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh Has "No Problem" With Rick Santorum Copying His Operation Chaos Approach". Mediaite. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  14. ^ Camia, Catalina (February 27, 2012). "Crossover voting encouraged in Mich. GOP primary". On Politics (USA Today). Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  15. ^ Mitchell, Steve (February 23, 2012). "Michigan's quirky primaries". The Detroit News. Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  16. ^ Rosenthal, Jack (May 17, 1972). "Survey Ties Issues, Not Shooting, to Wallace Victory". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  17. ^ "What hours are the polls open on Election Day?". Michigan Secretary of State. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Michigan Primary - AP
  20. ^ Michigan Primary - CNN
  21. ^ Michigan Primary - Green Papers
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^!/sanuzis/statuses/203941395424223232
  26. ^
  27. ^ Mitt Romney gets Michigan's at-large delegates
  28. ^ a b Republican discord continues, national GOP to investigate Michigan party leaders?
  29. ^ Rick Santorum files protest over Michigan delegates


See also

A controversy arose over the delegate allocation in Michigan, where 28 congressional district delegates and two at-large delegates were awarded. The Republican Party of Michigan rules stated that the two at-large delegates would be awarded proportionally, meaning that Santorum and Romney would get one delegate each for a 15-15 tie. But the following day the party's credentials committee allocated both at-large delegates to Romney, saying it had changed the rules a few weeks prior to award the delegates to the statewide winner but "in error" sent a memo to the candidates saying they would be awarded proportionately.[27] Santorum's campaign protested, saying the committee's six members were mostly Romney supporters,[28] and filed a protest with the Republican National Committee. Santorum's general counsel wrote in a letter to the RNC, "It is our understanding that several public supporters and Michigan surrogates of an opposing campaign voted in favor of the delegate allocation change which assisted their chosen candidate. This request is not about the allocation of a single delegate; it is about ensuring a transparent process, avoiding unscrupulous tactics and backroom deals by establishment figures and campaigns who have not received the result they hoped for at the ballot box."[29] Committee member and former state attorney general Mike Cox endorsed Romney, but said the delegates should have been awarded 15-15: "I have this crazy idea that you follow the rules. I’d love to give the at-large delegates to Mitt Romney, but our rules provide for strict apportionment."[28]

Delegate allocation controversy

At the Republican state convention in May, it was reported that of the 30 voting delegates for the national convention in Tampa, 6 were Paul supporters, and 24 were Romney supporters.[22][23][24][25] Paul organizers disputed these numbers, stating that they had actually taken 8 (instead of 6) of the voting delegates, plus several non-voting slots.[26]

Michigan Republican primary, 2012[18]
Candidate Votes Percentage Projected delegate count
Mitt Romney 409,522 41.10% 16 16 16
Rick Santorum 377,372 37.87% 14 14 14
Ron Paul 115,911 11.63% 0 0 0
Newt Gingrich 65,027 6.53% 0 0 0
Rick Perry (withdrawn) 1,816 0.18% 0 0 0
Buddy Roemer (withdrawn) 1,784 0.18% 0 0 0
Michele Bachmann (withdrawn) 1,735 0.17% 0 0 0
Jon Huntsman (withdrawn) 1,674 0.17% 0 0 0
Herman Cain (withdrawn) 1,211 0.12% 0 0 0
Fred Karger 1,180 0.12% 0 0 0
Gary Johnson (withdrawn) 458 0.05% 0 0 0
Uncommitted 18,809 1.89% 0 0 0
Unprojected delegates: 2 0 0
Total: 996,499 100.00% 30 30 30

Polls closed at 8 PM local time on election day.[17] While most of the state is in the Eastern time zone (UTC -5), four counties in the Upper Peninsula are on Central time (UTC -6), so the final closures came at 9 PM Eastern time. As of 2/28, results showed Romney winning 7 congressional districts and Santorum winning 7.



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