GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan, specifically Kent County, will become the focus of national attention as the 2020 presidential election unfolds.

NBC News political director Chuck Todd announced Sunday that Kent County will be one of five counties across the country that will get intense scrutiny as part of the network’s coverage.

“If you look at a place like Grand Rapids … the avatar is Gerald Ford, so for me that means the moderate Republican. Well, the moderate Republican right now seems to be flirting with Democrats,” Todd, also the host of “Meet the Press,” told News 8.

The extra attention will include NBC News taking a closer look at local issues that could impact the presidential race and having a reporter on the ground to get voters’ reactions to big events like the State of the Union.

Todd explained by watching a county like Kent, the network will have a better idea of how the race for the White House is shaping up.

“You know, if we see Democrats carrying Kent, that will say a lot,” he said.

But, Todd said, as always, the county will be influenced by the final players in the race.

“Now Kent becomes even more interesting to me if Elizabeth Warren becomes the (Democratic) nominee because it’s that suburban voter in Kent County that, I think, while they don’t like President (Donald) Trump, might not be comfortable if Democrats pick somebody too far to the left,” Todd said. “So it would even increase the relevance to me of the importance of Kent County depending on who the Democratic nominee is going forward.”

On “Meet The Press” Sunday morning, Todd announced the special coverage in Kent and four other counties — Milwaukee County, Wisconsin; Beaver County, Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh); Miami-Dade County, Florida; and Maricopa County, Arizona (Phoenix). He explained further with News 8 political reporter Rick Albin on “To The Point”.


NBC News: County to County coverage