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Govs Get It Done: Whitmer Proves Winning Formula for Dems

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Wall Street Journal: Ahead of Critical Michigan Primary, Democrats Look to Governor for Winning Formula

National Democrats are looking to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s winning formula to take back the White House in 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Whitmer won Michigan by ten points in 2018, just two years after President Trump narrowly carried the state in 2016, by focusing on key kitchen table issues like infrastructure. The state, which holds its presidential primary today, is seen as a must-win for national Democrats who are looking to Gov. Whitmer’s playbook to show them the way.
Read more about why Gov. Whitmer’s successful formula is guiding national Democrats here.
Wall Street Journal: Ahead of Critical Michigan Primary, Democrats Look to Governor for Winning Formula
Party hopes Gretchen Whitmer’s approach could help it win back the state in 2020
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s pragmatic, can-do appeal to a diverse electorate helped propel her to the governor’s mansion. Some Democrats including Joe Biden, whom Ms. Whitmer recently endorsed, hope the same formula can help them win back the state in the presidential election.
Ms. Whitmer and a host of freshman Democratic U.S. House members from across the state won over moderates in areas around Detroit in 2018 that had been Republican strongholds. At the same time, Ms. Whitmer benefited from increased turnout in Wayne County, home to Detroit, a predominantly black city that is also the state’s largest.
That is a reversal from 2016, when President Trump won the state on strong support in white rural areas while Hillary Clinton couldn’t match Barack Obama’s turnout in majority-black areas. 
Jessica Taylor, who analyzes governor races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said swing-state Democrats should replicate Ms. Whitmer’s appeal to broad kitchen-table issues such as infrastructure.
“She ran with ‘fix the damn roads,’” Ms. Taylor said.
Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a freshman lawmaker who ousted a Republican incumbent in a district that includes a swath of Detroit suburbia, said that Ms. Whitmer’s election displayed a formula for victory in Michigan: Unite swing voters with a party’s core base of support.
“That’s how Barack Obama won here, that’s how Bill Clinton won here, I think that’s how Gov. Whitmer won,” Ms. Slotkin said. “It’s not one or the other, and I think there’s a false between saying you can only focus on base Democratic voters or swing voters. The job is to approach both.”
Indeed, national Democrats have taken note of how Ms. Whitmer and Mr. Gilchrist ran in 2018.
“Michigan is a critical battleground and we are following the roadmap that successful Democrats made in 2018, like Gov. Whitmer, to compete everywhere, invest early and talk about issues that are essential to voters’ lives” like the cost of prescription drugs, said DNC spokesman David Bergstein.
Ms. Slotkin, the congresswoman, said that national Democrats should embrace Midwestern politicians like Ms. Whitmer, if not least for the sake of broadening the party’s appeal beyond urban enclaves—especially on the coasts.