The New York Times has called the race in Michigan for Joe Biden, restoring another of the “Rust Belt” states that Trump won in 2016 to Democratic hands. Biden’s win is being driven by high turnout in the City of Detroit, signaling that many African-Americans who didn’t turn out for Hillary Clinton in 2016 have done so for Biden.
According to Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, “Michigan may not even wind up being that close in the end.” The state’s mail-in ballots are heavily Democratic.
Although Trump won the state in 2016, Democrats wrested back control at the state level in the midterm elections, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer has helped maintain the Democrats’ popularity among Michiganders. Whitmer’s national profile rose in 2020 with her handling of the coronavirus epidemic, her early consideration as a running mate for Biden, and a recent plot by a far-right group to kidnap her.
Biden’s Michigan win means that Donald Trump will need to win all the remaining states – Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Nevada – for an electoral college victory, which he is unlikely to do.
Biden’s win here is also good news for Democratic prospects in the Senate, as Michigan Democrat Gery Peters is currently neck-and-neck with his GOP challenger.