Election edges closer with debate: Why Michigan is key


DETROIT, Mich. (WOOD) — The Democratic presidential candidates arrived in Michigan Monday for the next round of debates.

It is no coincidence that the first two cities hosting the nationally-televised debates — Miami and now Detroit — are in two toss-up states for next year’s presidential election.

Based on the current consensus of polls, the 2020 race may hinge on 80 or 85 electoral votes in five states: Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Arizona.

However, with more than a year before the general election and more than 20 candidates representing just the Democratic Party, it is impossible to guess how the race will shake out.

While many candidates will drop out and there will be many change, the focus on Michigan likely won’t change. Democrats are serious about winning back a state that had been solidly in their column from 1992 until 2016. Republicans are equally determined to repeat their 2016 win with a follow up victory in 2020.

In addition to winning voters to their camps, debating Democrats are hoping to pick up high-profile endorsements. Michigan’s Gov. Gretchen Whitmer — a Democrat who earned a convincing victory just months ago — would be a boost. But she doesn’t yet seem prepared to throw her weight behind anyone in particular.

“People are always asking what is the magic sauce in Michigan. There’s nothing mystical about it. People want leaders that they can look up to, who can solve problems and actually deliver results for our people, improving our quality of life,” Whitmer told CNN Monday. “I haven’t endorsed yet. I may endorse before the primary, I may not. I’m going to be looking very hard at these candidates.”

>>App users: Watch Whitmer on CNN

Expect the debates on Tuesday and Wednesday to focus on issues important to Michigan residents, from PFAS and fresh water to tariffs and the automotive industry.

Stay with 24 Hour News 8 for continuing coverage of both Democratic debates. We have a crew in Detroit and will have team coverage on 24 Hour News 8 and woodtv.com.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!