Sally Marsh

Sally Marsh

2017 Undergraduate Fellow
Government

Thesis title and description:

“Election 2016 in Michigan: Understanding the Trump Vote”

Michiganders have voted to give the state's electoral votes to Democratic Presidential candidates since 1992. In 2016, mainstream pollsters and analysts - even the Detroit Free Press - were proven wrong when then-candidate Trump won the state on election night. With this win, a few outcomes were particularly surprising on the county and individual level. Most significantly, in twelve counties where a majority of voters elected President Obama in both 2008 and 2012, President Trump won the majority of votes cast; in some cases, this was a net change of more than 20 points between parties in just 4 years. Preliminary analysis suggests this is not simply a story of turnout, and some voters who at one point voted for Democrat Barack Obama voted for Republican Donald Trump just a few years later. Who are these voters, and why were their votes in play? To answer these questions and better understand what change occurred in the past 8-10 years, if any, I will closely analyze relevant factors and voter attitudes in 4 counties across the state by interviewing civic leaders and voters directly.