Strong feelings about President Donald Trump, a competitive governor's race and congressional retirements fueled what probably was record turnout for a MI primary, with more than half-million more people voting than in 2010 - the last time the governorship was open.
More than 2 million votes were cast around MI yesterday. Just over 28 percent of the voting-age population cast ballots, an increase from the previous high of 24 percent from 1982.
Schuette, Michigan's current Attorney General, defeated Lt. Governor Brian Calley, State Senator Patrick Colbeck and Dr. Jim Hines to win the Republican race.
Schuette and Whitmer - both veteran officeholders - easily bested their opponents in Tuesday's primary to set up their head-to-head race to succeed Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who reached his term limit.
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"As your governor, I'll enforce our immigration laws and I'll ban sanctuary cities in Michigan", Schuette said in a recent advertisement that also featured Trump. "It's not very often that we overperform them in primary turnout, especially when you have equally competitive primaries on both sides".
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In the 8th District stretching from the northern Detroit suburbs to Lansing, former USA national security official Elissa Slotkin, a Detroit, moved on to face Republican Rep. Mike Bishop in what is expected to be a competitive general election. Democrats have hammered the administration across the state recently for Trump's protectionist steel tariffs, which they say are raising prices on everyday goods and hurting MI workers. Calley, who was supported by Snyder but withdrew his support for Trump in 2016, touted economic gains under their watch and accused Schuette of illegally misusing his office to advance his political career and wrongly prosecuting top state officials for Flint's water crisis.
Republican candidates have stopped short of criticizing Trump regarding the tariffs, and have instead focused their campaign on the social and cultural issues that unite modern Republicans - such as anti-immigration policies or defunding Planned Parenthood.
Call it Michigan's pink and blue wave.
Fred Woodhams, a spokesman for the MI secretary of state's office, said Tuesday's turnout was "drastically higher" than in past primaries, approaching 2.2 million voters.
"Our voters will come home".
Schuette was the only candidate to get President Donald Trump's endorsement.