Michigan Dems looking ahead to 2018 election

Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Brandon Dillon
Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Brandon Dillon on "To The Point." (Feb. 14, 2017)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — On Nov. 9, 2016, many Democrats and Democratic supporters woke up to the reality of an election cycle that ended decidedly differently than they had hoped. More than three months later, Michigan Democrats are setting their sights on the 2018 election.

Grand Rapids’ Brandon Dillon left the state legislature to chair the Michigan Democratic Party. President Donald Trump’s election was a big defeat for the party and him — the state went red in the presidential election for the first time since 1988.

Over the weekend, Dillon was re-elected by his party. He said the activism that he has seen since the election — protests, more people showing up for town hall meetings, even one of the biggest turnouts for the MDP convention that anyone can remember — have him cautiously optimistic that Democrats can capitalize on what some have described as a “Tea Party”-type groundswell on the Democratic side.

“We’re seeing this all over in Michigan where we have people showing up at congressmen’s offices trying to ask about how they feel about these issues,” Dillon told 24 Hour News 8. “People, they want answers. I think they’re afraid. There are a lot of people who’ve benefited from the Affordable Care Act, but there are people who are afraid about Medicare, they’re afraid about Social Security, they’re afraid about a whole host of issues that seem to be up in the air right now. … In terms of ideology, these are polar opposites, but in terms of the energy and how people are choosing to take that frustration and channel it into action is very, very similar.”

Dillon will be one of the guests on “To The Point” this weekend, discussing the political landscape and how Democrats are approaching Trump’s presidency.

On the other side of the political spectrum, new Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel — a Michigan native and formerly the state party’s chair — will also join “To The Point.”

“To The Point” begins at 10 a.m. Sunday on WOOD TV8.