5 things to know about the election in Michigan

Associated Press Modified: November 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm •  Published: November 7, 2012

DETROIT (AP) — Here are five things to know about Election Day in Michigan:

1.OBAMA TAKES ROMNEY IN FORMER BACKYARD

Barack Obama wooed Michigan voters four years ago on his way to the White House for a first term. The love affair continued in Tuesday's general election as Obama easily carried the same state where Republican Mitt Romney grew up and where his father, George Romney, served as governor.

Romney opposed, then later said he supported, a federal government rescue of General Motors and Chrysler, but Michigan voters apparently remembered Obama was in the driver's seat when Detroit's auto industry was pulled from its own exhaust fumes back to profitability.

Romney's loss also extends the GOP's futility in getting a presidential nominee to win Michigan. The last to do so was George H.W. Bush in 1988.

2. STABENOW CRUISES

Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow overwhelmingly defeated Republican challenger Pete Hoekstra to easily win her third term. With 90 percent of ballots accounted for, Stabenow's 780,000-vote lead over the former nine-term member of the U.S. House was greater than Detroit's entire population.

Pre-election polls that showed Stabenow with double-digit leads were accurate. It also didn't hurt that she ran television ads portraying herself as a bipartisan champion of Michigan industries, particularly manufacturing and agriculture. She is chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and was endorsed by the Michigan Farm Bureau. Along with Obama's win over Romney, the Senate race result was one of the first to become evident Tuesday night.

3.BENISHEK HANGS ON IN 1ST U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT; BENTIVOLIO ACHIEVES RESPECT IN 11th

By Wednesday afternoon, it was finally known who will represent northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula in Congress. Freshman Rep. Dan Benishek barely edged former Democratic state legislator Gary McDowell as late vote counts came in.

Benishek, a surgeon from Crystal Falls, defeated McDowell easily in 2010 with support from tea party groups.

Meanwhile war veteran, teacher and part-time reindeer rancher Kerry Bentivolio beat two Democrats in separate elections to fill the unexpired term of Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter and for Bentivolio's own two-year term in the 11th District U.S. House seat. McCotter, a five-term Republican, resigned after failing to produce enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

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