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Presidential Candidate Fundraising in Michigan

November 10, 2011

This article is re-posted from Opensecrets.org.

Southeastern Michigan was the setting for the latest GOP presidential debate Wednesday night. The state’s significance as the symbolic center of the American auto industry and as an epicenter of a sluggish economic recovery were lost on no one, as the candidates debated bailouts to American car manufacturers and the economy at length.

Though a Republican presidential candidate hasn’t won Michigan since 1988, residents’ political contributions indicate the state could turn red in the 2012 elections. According to research by the Center for Responsive Politics, Michigan residents contributing $200 or more have given about 60 percent of their contributions to Republicans this election cycle, much of it to one candidate: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Romney, who was born and raised in Michigan and whose father also served as governor of the state, has so far received $1 million from Michigan residents. President Barack Obama, meanwhile, has raised about $600,000 from such donors in Michigan. Combined, the two candidates have raised significantly more than the other presidential hopefuls.

Detroit and it’s surrounding suburbs — ever the heart of the American auto industry — has favored Republicans in 2011, having given them 65 percent of their contributions, including $868,000 to Romney thus far.

Detroit-based car companies Ford and General Motors have also preferred Republicans with their political contributions this cycle, while prominent labor unions such as the United Transportation Union have been heavily Democratic in their donations in 2011.

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