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July 30th, 2022         Political Note #488 Carl Marlinga MI 10

2022                             General Election 

Here’s a sleeper.  In its old configuration, MI 10 was The Thumb. Look at the

palm of your right hand.  Your hand is roughly the shape of Michigan without the upper peninsula.  MI 10, before redistricting, was roughly the shape of your thumb.  In 2020, Donald Trump carried the district 2-1, sustained by his success in gaining the support of members of white ethnic groups.  MI 10 had the highest concentration of Polish Americans in the country.

The Thumb is now MI 09.  Lisa McLain, the MI 10 Republican, is running in MI 09.  Redistricted, MI 10 is The Thumb’s knuckle on the lake.  Just south is MI 13 – D+45.  Just west is MI 11 – D+15.  Two Democratic incumbents – Andy Levin and Haley Stevens are fighting it out in MI 11.  Each of them, apparently, thought they would have a better chance to defeat the other rather than run in MI 10, which, redistricted, leans Republican – R+6.  Not that big a lean, actually.

County Probate Judge Carl Marlinga and three other Democrats had few qualms about running in MI 10.  Nor did they have many qualms about running against John James.

John James is an African American businessman who thought he could peel away Democratic voters.  Michigan Republicans agreed.  He seemed perfect for the role.  He was local – born in Michigan, attended a Catholic High School, served eight years in the army, and got an MBA from the University of Michigan.  He was not a bootstrap guy.  His dad was CEO of the James Group International – a company that managed the supply chain for other companies.  John James started at the top – Director of Operations.  Then he moved up to be CEO of a subsidiary.

In 2018, John James won the Republican nomination for the US Senate by more than 9 points in the primary. In the general election, Incumbent Debbie Stabenow won by 6.5 points.  In 2020, John James was the Republican nominee for the US Senate again.  This time he lost to incumbent Gary Peters by 1.7 points

Surely, he thought.  Surely, the Republican think.  John James can achieve his goal on a smaller stage. He can peel off Democratic voters in a district that already has a Republican lean. Frontrunning Democrat Carl Marlinga may actually have had a qualm or two.  It took him months to create a website.

By January 31, 2022, the Detroit Deadline, which describes itself as the source for local news, reported that website-less Carl Marlinga was the front runner among Democrats.  A poll showed him favored by 33 percent of the voters, twice the percent of the second-place finisher.  The same poll showed John James, who had just formally announced, was the favorite of 68% of the Republicans.  The poll also showed a close general election race – Carl Marlinga defeating John James 46-43.

That was then.  By June 30, 2022 John James had raised $3.6 million and still had available $2.4 million.  By June 30, Carl Marlinga had had a website for a couple of months.  By June 30, Carl Marlinga had raised $250,000 and had less than $50,000 for the balance of the campaign.

Carl Marlinga graduated from the University of Detroit, a Catholic University.  He got his law degree from the University of Michigan. He became a partner in a Southfield law firm in 1982.   In 1984, he was elected the Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney.  He was elected again in 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000. After serving as an Assistant US Attorney, he was elected in 2012 to the Macomb County Probate Court and was elected again in 2016.

It is a kind of pleasure to watch Carl Marlinga work.  When he ran for Probate Court judge, he was asked in a questionnaire about which Supreme Court Justice had a judicial philosophy most similar to his.  His response: Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Asked about that response as a Democratic candidate for Congress, Carl Marlinga explained that he was a “strict constitutionalist” and admired those justices for their devotion to the constitution.  He added that he is pro-choice on constitutional grounds. He said his position is based on the Fourth Amendment which “holds that the right of the people to be secure in their persons shall not be violated.”  He promised that in Washington he would “do everything [he could] to protect a woman’s right to choose.”

Asked why, in his early 70s, he decided to run for Congress, he explained there was a constitutional reason for that as well. He wanted to ensure that Democrats had a majority in the Michigan Congressional delegation, that a Democratic victory in MI 10 would ensure that Democrats had at least a 7-6 majority.  After our 2020 election experience, it was “no longer [a] farfetched concern that the House of Representatives might be called on to decide the next presidential election. ….if no candidate wins a majority of votes cast by the Electoral College … each state [in the House of Representatives] would cast one vote for whichever candidate commanded a majority of its congressional delegation’s votes….”

As for his campaign, Carl Marlinga makes four points.  He would:

  • Protect reproductive freedom and the right to choose.
  • Provide good paying jobs in advanced manufacturing.
  • Bring back the supply chain from foreign regimes.
  • Protect our great lakes and waterways.

Note those position.  Women will decide the election in 2022.  He harks back to Michigan’s great years in manufacturing.  He attacks the inflation issue and reminds MI 10 voters that John James work was to create, for firms in Michigan and elsewhere, a supply chain that relied on foreign countries.  Finally, he looks east to Lake Michigan.

Carl Marlinga has a message.  We need to provide him with the resources to spread that message?  Help him with those resources.  Donate.

Here are 538’s projected 50 closest contests organized so you can see how close each of those races are and in which direction they lean.  Here, I have described the situation of the Democratic candidates.

  1. NH 02 Inc. Annie Kuster (Political Note #476) projected to win by 7 points
  2. IL 14 Inc. Lauren Underwood (Political Note #376) projected to win by 6.5 points
  3. NJ 03 Inc. Andy Kim (Political Note #147) projected to win by 6.5 points
  4. IL 13 Union Leader Nikki Budzinski projected to win by 6.4 points
  5. OR 06 State Rep Andrea Salinas projected to win by 6.2 points
  6. CT 02 Inc. Joe Courtney projected to win by 5.2 points
  7. CA 47 Inc. Katie Porter (Political Note #142) projected to win by 4.6 points
  8. AZ 04 Inc. Greg Stanton (Political Note #467) projected to win by 4.6 points
  9. MN 02 Inc. Angie Craig (Poitical Note #121) projected to win by 4.5 points
  10. MI 08 Inc. Dan Kildee (Political Note #459) projected to win by 4.3 points
  11. CA 09 Inc. Josh Harder (Political Note #227) projected to win by 4.2 points
  12. WA 08 Inc. Kim Schrier (Political Note #451) projected to win by 4.0 points
  13. IL 06 Inc Sean Casten (Political Note #247) projected to win by 4.0 points
  14. CT 05 Inc Jahana Hayes (Political Note #454) projected to win by 3.8 points
  15. RI 02 State Treasurer Seth Magaziner projected to win by 3.2 points
  16. IN 01 Inc. Frank Mrvan projected to win by 3.2 points
  17. NV 04 Inc. Steven Horsford (Political Note #375) projected to win by 3.2 points
  18. NV 01 Inc. Dina Titus (Political Note #444) projected to win by 3.1 points
  19. PA 17 Cyber expert Chris Deluzio (Political Note #475) projected to win by 2.9 points
  20. NH 01 Inc Chris Pappas (Political Note #429) projected to win by 2.2 points
  21. VA 07 Inc Abigail Spanberger (Political Note #438) projected to win by 2.2 points
  22. NY 03 County Legislator Josh Lafazan projected to win by 1.8 points
  23. TX 28 Inc Henry Cuellar projected to win by 1.8 points
  24. CA 13 Assemblyman Adam Gray (Political Note #483) projected to win by 1.8 points
  25. NV 03 Inc Susie Lee (Political Note #356) projected to win by .8 points
  26. MI 07 Inc Elissa Slotkin (Political Note #378) projected to win by .7 points
  27. PA 08 Inc Matt Cartwright (Political Note #469) projected to win by .6 points
  28. OH 09 Inc Marcy Kaptur (Political Note #430) projected to win by .3 points
  29. ME 02 Inc Jared Golden (Political Note #406) is projected to tie, decision made by ranked voting
  30. NY 22 Naval Reserve Commander Francis Conole (Political Note #477) projected to lose by .1 point
  31. IL 17 TV Meteorologist Eric Sorensen (Political Note #489) projected to lose by 1.0 points
  32. MD 06 Incumbent David Trone (Political Note #466) projected to lose by 1.1 points
  33. CA 27 Ex Assemblywoman Christy Smith (Political Note #422) projected to lose by 1.8 points
  34. CA 22 Assemblyman Rudy Salas (Political Note #484) projected to lose by 2.2 points
  35. KS 03 Inc Sharice Davids (Political Note #412) projected to lose by 2.2 points
  36. NM 02 City Councilman Gabe Vasquez (Political Note #423) projected to lose by 2.4 points
  37. NY 18 County Executive Pat Ryan (Political Note #485) projected to lose by 2.8 points
  38. VA 02 Inc Elaine Luria (Political Note #388) projected to lose by 3.0 points
  39. TX 15 Community Leader Michelle Vallejo projected to lose by 3.0 points
  40. PA 07 Inc Susan Wild (Political Note #394) projected to lose by 3.0 points
  41. NJ 07 Inc. Tom Malinowski (Political Note #363) projected to lose by 3.3 points
  42. NC 13 State Senaor Wiley Nickel (Political Note #474) projected to lose by 3.6 points
  43. CO 08 State Rep Yadira Caraveo (Political Note #461) projected to lose by 3.7 points
  44. OR 05 Service Board Member Jamie McLeod-Skinner (Political Note #487) projected to lose by 4.2 points
  45. MI 10 County Judge Carl Marlinga projected to lose by 4.2 points
  46. IA 03 Inc Cindy Axne (Political Note #428) projected to lose by 4.3 points
  47. CA 45 Reserve Lt Commander Jay Chen (Political Note #405) projected to lose by 5.2 points
  48. NY 19 Attorney Josh Riley (Political Note #473) projected to lose by 5.2 points
  49. WI 03 State Senator Brad Pfaff (Political Note #418) projected to lose by 6.0 points
  50. NY 01 Ex Town Councilor Bridget Fleming projected to lose by 6.8 points

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