Michigan Republicans meeting on Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island, Grand Hotel
The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. (file)


MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan Republicans have gathered on Mackinac Island for their policy conference held every two years.

The focus of conversations will be next year’s big election cycle.

Mid-term elections can be tough for the party in power in Washington, D.C. The control of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate changed considerably in past elections, which can also impact down ballot races.

With Republicans in control of both chambers in Washington and Lansing, and with virtually everything in the state up for grabs next year, Republicans who will or might be on the ballot next November must decide how to approach Decision 2018.

President Donald Trump won’t be on the ballot, but he will have an impact on the race.

Political Reporter Rick Albin asked some GOP officeholders and some who hope to be, how they think Trump could impact the next cycle. Specifically if Trump supporter turnout next year will be in sufficient numbers to help Republicans in Michigan.

“He speaks their language he shows a strength and love for America,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton. “He’s not a politician and that’s why they supported him. Has he changed? I think most people would say no. He has spoken clearly. He’s achieving things.”

That optimistic assessment, Walberg says, is based a number of things like getting movement on big promises made during the election such as repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, an issue that seems less certain as Republican Senators indicate a lack of support.

That lack of action is a motivating factor for Republican candidate for Senator, Bob Young, Jr.

“Part of the reason I’m sitting here is for seven years we had Republicans swear to us that, ‘give us the House, give us the Senate, give us the presidency and we’ll take care of it’ and I’m so angry that they obviously can’t do it,” the former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice said.

Like many in the Republican base and Trump supporters, which are not necessarily the same thing, action on the part of Majority Republicans may have a real impact on next year’s election. If that action doesn’t happen, Walberg said while the holdup is in the Senate, saying the House of Representatives did what they said will not get them off the hook.

“If we end up not getting it done, it’s hard to even make that explanation really work for me. I think at that point they’re going to be really discouraged,” he said.

24 Hour News 8’s coverage from the Republican Leadership Conference on Mackinac Island will continue throughout the weekend.