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Michigan turnout surge cheers Democrats; GOP expect battle

August 9, 2018

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Strong feelings about President Donald Trump, a competitive governor’s race and congressional retirements fueled what probably was a record Michigan primary turnout, with more than half-million more people voting than in 2010 — the last time the governorship was open.

Nearly 2.2 million votes were cast, a 28 percent spike over the 1.7 million in 2002. Just over 28 percent of the voting-age population cast ballots, an increase from the previous high of 24 percent from 1982.

Analysts attribute the surge to angst over and backing for Trump along with a ballot that had a number of high-profile, high-dollar open races on both sides. About $23 million was spent airing broadcast TV ads, including nearly $17 million on governor’s races won by Democrat Gretchen Whitmer and Republican Bill Schuette.

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