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Some people want to believe that because we were unsuccessful in winning seven of the eight education races in the November election, there must have been something wrong with the State Party efforts in 2014.

Nothing can be further from the truth.

A recent memorandum regarding the fall-off of GOP straight ticket voting from the 2010 election to the 2014 election fails to take into account two very important differences between these two elections:

  • In 2010 all our candidates swept the top of the ticket, in 2014 we did not.
  • In 2010 candidate Snyder won a landslide with 58 percent of the vote. In 2014, the Governor won a relatively close election, capturing 51 percent of the vote.

The Michigan GOP did a tremendous job in persuading voters and turning them out in races for Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Congress, State Senate and State House.

The 2014 election was a great success for the Michigan GOP and their operations. Anyone who tries to tell you differently does not know much about elections, or what it takes to win them.

In 2010, Rick Snyder, Bill Schuette and Ruth Johnson all won, and the Governor won in a landslide. Strong partisans will vote a straight ticket when they intend to vote for all candidates of the same party at the top of the ticket. When this happens, the effect on the races at the bottom of the ballot is positive for the Party that wins at the top. We won all top of the ticket races, and subsequently won eight of the eight education races in 2010.

In 2014, we lost the U.S. Senate race by a wide margin, 54.6 percent to 41.3 percent. However, we still managed to make the education races close, and win one. Ron Weiser and Rob Steele were both within 7,500 votes of winning. Candidates at the bottom of the ticket rarely perform better than the lowest performing candidate of the same Party at the top of the ticket. Melanie Foster was successful in her race for MSU Trustee, yet still received fewer votes than Terri Lynn Land.

The amazing thing in 2014 is how small the drop off was between the number of votes cast for Terri Lynn Land, and our candidates for the education posts.

Don’t let anyone tell you that the Party underperformed, in anyway, in 2014. It is not true, and the election results bear that out.

The Michigan Republican Party was successful in 2014 for two major reasons:

  1. They had the financial resources to support our candidates at every level. The only reason the Party had those resources is because of the tremendous fundraising efforts of Chairman Schostak.
  2. The Party, under the leadership of Bobby Schostak, developed a grassroots operation second to none in the country. The State Party assisted local parties and candidates at every level and in every part of the State.

Chairman Schostak and his team should be applauded for a fantastic performance in 2014.

The charts below show the total votes cast for the major statewide GOP candidates and the total vote cast for the GOP candidate with the most votes in their respective statewide education race. Italics indicate winning candidates.

2014 Races Total Votes
Governor-Snyder: 1,607,399
Secretary of State-Johnson: 1,649,047
Attorney General-Schuette: 1,603,471
U.S. Senator-Land: 1,290,199
State Board of Education-Carl: 1,279,122
UofM Regents-Weiser: 1,260,318
MSU Trustees-Foster: 1,289,104
WSU Board of Governors-Busuito: 1,242,691

2010 Races Total Votes
Governor-Snyder: 1,874,834
Secretary of State-Johnson: 1,608,270
Attorney General-Schuette: 1,649,223
State Board of Education-Weiser: 1,485,746
UofM Regents-Newman: 1,451,066
MSU Trustees-Breslin: 1,447,179
WSU Board of Governors-Karmanos: 1,422,761

Dave Doyle is the Executive Vice President of Marketing Resource Group, Inc. Before joining MRG he served as the director of the Michigan House and Senate Republican Campaign Committees and also served as chairman of the Michigan Republican Party.

MRG Clients in the 2014 General Election


Justice David Viviano
Justice Brian Zahra
Circuit Court Judge-elect Kimberly Booher
District Court Judge-elect Mike Clarizio


Congressman Dan Benishek
Congresswoman Candice Miller

State Senate

Senator-elect Margaret O’Brien
Senator Tonya Schuitmaker
Senator-elect Jim Stamas

State House

Working on behalf of the HRCC or for the candidate individually, MRG produced radio and television advertising or direct mail on behalf of the following State Representatives and Representatives-elect.

Representative Pat Somerville
Representative Farrington
Representative Klint Kesto
Representative Mike McCready
Representative Martin Howrylak
Representative-elect Lana Theis
Representative-elect Jim Tedder
Representative-elect Jason Sheppard
Representative Nancy Jenkins
Representative-elect Brett Roberts
Representative-elect Tom Barrett
Representative Ben Glardon
Representative -elect Holly Hughes
Representative Kevin Cotter
Representative Ray Franz
Representative Peter Pettalia
Representative-elect Brandt Iden
Representative-elect John Bizon

Categories: MRG Blog