LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer's decisive victory was powered not just by places Democrats typically carry in a successful statewide campaign, strongholds like Detroit and suburban bellwethers such as Oakland and Macomb counties.
She also won or made gains in Republicans' own backyard, buoying Democrats over the implications for 2020 and beyond.
Her 9-percentage point triumph was the largest for a non-incumbent Democratic gubernatorial nominee in 86 years. She is the first Democratic gubernatorial nominee to take GOP-friendly Kent County since James Blanchard in 1986, and he was an incumbent.
State Rep. Laura Cox, who is running to chair the state Republican Party, says there is "a lot of room for improvement." She says 50,000 Macomb County residents who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 did not vote in the midterm.