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Michigan's electoral votes in U.S. presidential elections 1836-2020

The state of Michigan has taken part in 47 U.S. presidential elections, correctly voting for the nationwide winner in 37 of these, giving a success rate of 79 percent. Throughout most of the nineteenth century, Michigan generally voted for the Republican Party's nominee, although it has regularly swung between the two major parties since the 1930s. The only time when the Wolverine State voted for a third party candidate was in the 1912 election, when former President Theodore Roosevelt carried Michigan while running as the Progressive Party's nominee. While born in Nebraska, Gerald R. Ford was raised, studied and represented Michigan in Congress, before he became the only Michiganian to ascend to the presidency following Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974.

Swing state

After voting for the Democratic candidate in all elections from 1992 until 2012, the Republican nominee Donald Trump carried the state in the 2016 election, with just a 0.23 percent larger share of the popular votes than Hillary Clinton. Trump's victory has been attributed to a large number of working class voters who traditionally voted Democrat, but had become disenfranchised with the party during the Obama presidency. In the 2020 election, however, increased turnout among black voters and stronger appeal to unionized workers saw Joe Biden swing Michigan blue again, with a three percent margin in the popular vote.

Michigan demographics

Michigan was designated three electoral votes in the 1836 election (despite not being admitted to the union until 1837), and over the next 130 years its allocation grew to 21 votes. This came as a result of Michigan's significant population growth and positive net migration rate in mid-1900s, which was largely due to the expansion of the automotive industry in the Detroit area. Since the 1970s, job automation and increased competition have substantially weakened the industry's employment opportunities; therefore Michigan's population growth has slowed significantly, and its number of electoral votes has also decreased to just 16. This number is expected to drop to 15 in the 2024 election.

Number of electoral votes from Michigan designated to each party's candidate in U.S. presidential elections from 1836 to 2020

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Release date



United States (Michigan)

Survey time period

1836 to 2020

Supplementary notes

*Overall winner.

**Provisional entry, subject to change following the meeting of electors on December 14.

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Statistics on "History of U.S. presidential elections 1789-2016"

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