Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) Joe Biden
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

With 97% of precincts reporting, Reuters has called Michigan for Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden.

LANSING, Mich.—At 4:36 p.m., Reuters called the state of Michigan for Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden.

Trump’s victory in Michigan in 2016 came down to a hair’s breadth of only 10,000 votes, less than a third of a single percent of Michigan’s voter turnout. But with the exploding turnout in 2020 Biden’s margin of victory was four times larger with a victory of more than 46,000 voters. That margin is still narrow, at just under 1%.

Trump attempted to prevent Biden from taking Michigan on election night by prematurely declaring himself the victor and calling on the Supreme Court to halt the counting of valid ballots while Trump was still ahead. When he fell behind Wednesday, Trump’s campaign announced a lawsuit to try and prevent further counts of Michigan ballots.

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In the waning days of the campaign, both Trump and Biden campaigned heavily in Michigan, knowing the state would be instrumental in the electoral college result. While Biden largely adhered to best practices to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, Trump’s rallies were characterized as superspreader events that helped contribute to Michigan’s sharp rise in coronavirus cases. 

In an effort to mobilize voters, historic vice-presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) spent a few hours on Election Day in Detroit, speaking with sheet metal workers and Detroiters of faith. 

“The path to the White House and the path to determining who will be the next president of the United States, without question, runs through Michigan,” Harris told reporters upon arrival. “So I’m just here to remind people in Detroit that they are seen and heard by Joe and me, and also that they may actually decide the outcome of this race.”

Port Huron-area activist Bridget Huff is happy with Biden’s victory, but knows that should he be in the White House on Jan. 20th, there’s plenty of work for her to do.

“[I’ll] start planning the next protest, initiative, issue-based organizing to push a Biden presidency toward progressive values,” she told The ‘Gander. “There is no time off when lives are on the line.”

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To this point, Huff has the support of progressive women Detroit has sent to Congress like Debbie Dingell, Brenda Lawrence and Rashida Tlaib. Tlaib, in particular, is a member of “The Squad,” a group of young, progressive women of color who were elected in 2018 and have gone on to be some of Trump’s harshest critics. And she isn’t the only woman from Michigan who will continue holding Trump to account. 

Biden had strong support in Michigan from his ties to the auto industry recovery following the recession of 2008 and a strong connection to unions overall. Biden also has a positive relationship with Michigan’s Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who was shortlisted to be his running mate in light of the faith he had in her abilities to handle the coronavirus pandemic. 

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A working relationship between Gov. Whitmer and a potential President Biden would help the nation follow Michigan’s example from early in the pandemic of how to mitigate the coronavirus, providing the national plan for addressing the pandemic that many Biden supporters have told The ‘Gander is desperately needed. 

“We need the science to progress from case reports, to case series, to retro- and prospective studies, to more controlled and representative studies, and eventually to meta-level analyses,” said public health expert Dr. Matt Longjohn of Kalamazoo. “Our local warning system is now flashing orange, and one of the most difficult moments in the pandemic is upon us.”

For more information on how this shapes the overall picture of the 2020 election, keep up with our results coverage.