Date: December 11, 2014
Contact: Wes Nakagiri – RetakeOurGov, Hartland, MI
For Immediate Release
The Michigan Republican Party’s declining loyalty
Hartland, MI –RetakeOurGov announces the release of its analysis of Michigan’s 2014 mid-term election results. The report concludes there has been a significant decline in loyalty among Michigan Republican voters as measured by straight ticket voters and Education Board election results.
Straight ticket voters, a political party’s most loyal supporters, suffered a decline of 14.4% since the 2010 mid-term elections. “Straight ticket voting rates are a barometer of what voters think about the Michigan Republican Party as a whole”, said Wes Nakagiri. “If a voter is delighted with the Republican Party brand they’ll vote a straight ticket Republican ticket, otherwise they’ll pick and choose among the several parties on the ballot.
o The 14.4% decrease in Michigan Republican straight ticket voters is in contrast to the 1.1% increase in Michigan Democrat straight ticket voters.
o Republicans won just 1 of 8 Education Board races in 2014 compared to winning all eight in 2010.
o Decreases in Republican STVs were fairly uniform across Michigan counties.
o A comparison of Michigan and Iowa showed opposite trends. Loyal Michigan Republican voters decreased by 14.4% while Iowa increased by 2.6%. In comparison, loyal Michigan Democrat voters increased by 1.1% while Iowa decreased by 5.0%.
This decline in voter loyalty has the greatest impact on down ballot elections, such as Education Board races where voters typically know little about the individual candidates other than their party affiliation. “I believe the decline in Republican voter enthusiasm, as measured by straight ticket voting rates, contributed to the Republican Party winning only 1 of 8 Ed Board elections in 2014, compared to winning 8 of 8 in 2010.”
The analysis concludes that state party leaders need a new plan to increase Republican voter loyalty and Republican enthusiasm prior to 2016. Nakagiri went on to say, “I think the party faithful is looking for a leader with a plan that unites them around the principles laid out in the Republican Party platform. I am looking for a leader who understands that accepting the status quo is accepting decline.”
Update to original article
Below is an article published by MIRS. As stated in the article, MIRS conducted their own analysis and observed the large drop off in straight-ticket voters.
Nakagiri: GOP Loyalty Down
Wes NAKAGIRI, the former lieutenant gubernatorial candidate and Tea Party leader, today issued his analysis of the Nov. 4 election and has come away with one conclusion: There's been a 'significant decline in loyalty among Michigan Republicans . . ."
His barometer to prove that conclusion is the number of straight ticket voters, which he reports is down by 14.4 percent from 2010 while the straight party line voting among Democrats crept up 1.1 percent. His numbers from 12 counties is nearly identical to MIRS' analysis of 20 counties, which found straight-ticket voting down 13 percent for the GOP while Democratic straight-ticket voting held steady from 2010 (See "GOP Straight-Ticket Voting Down In 2014 From '10," 11/14/14).
Nakagiri wrote in his three-page analysis: "If a voter is delighted with the Republican Party brand they'll vote a straight Republican ticket, otherwise they'll pick and choose among the several parties on the ballot."
He noted, as has been widely reported, that the Republicans secured only one out of eight statewide education seats, compared to winning all eight in 2010.
"I believe the decline in Republican voter enthusiasm" contributed to those loses, he wrote. He also indicates that the decline is "fairly uniform" across the state.
In the wake of this finding, he calls on the party leaders to develop "a new plan to increase Republican loyalty" for 2016 and then he makes a pitch for a party leader "who understands that accepting the status quo is accepting decline."
He made no mention of whether he endorsed current chair Bobby SCHOSTAK or anyone else for that matter.
Sources tell MIRS Schostak is leaning toward running for re-election in 2016, but he made no formal announcement at this past weekend's state committee meeting in Grand Rapids.
Another update: Schostak will not run again
About a week after RetakeOurGov distributed this election analysis, Bobby Schostak announced he will not be seeking re-election to the post of Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party.
His decision not run was somewhat of a surprise as, the week before his announcement, he had indicated he was leaning toward running again. In any event, there is now a better opportunity to address issues mentioned in the election report.