By Maggie McCoy
I had always thought it would be exciting to live in a swing state, to have the whole country look to your state on the night of the election. I thought it would thrilling to know that your vote, every vote, matters in this race. But what I learned in this election is that it isn’t fun to be from a swing state. It’s actually the most terrifying thing in the world.
I grew up in Michigan, a state that in my memory has always voted blue. I thought I knew my state. I thought that there was no way a Republican candidate could win our 16 electoral votes. I laughed at anyone who predicted that Michigan would be a state to watch on election night. But as I write this, President-elect Donald Trump has just been declared the winner of our state. A whole 20 days after election night, the votes have finally been counted.
I view my state differently now. I question who I know that might have voted for Donald Trump. I wonder what drew so many people, people who had similar experiences to me, to this candidate. My whole life, I’ve always seen Republican states as a faraway places; but now I am living in one. It’s a fact I couldn’t believe on election night. As the numbers came in, I kept telling myself, “They haven’t counted Wayne county, Washtenaw county is only 30% in, and Oakland county is always late.” Michigan wasn’t officially declared on November 8th, so I was able to convince myself that Trump didn’t win my home state. But he did. On November 28th, Donald Trump was declared the winner of Michigan with a 10,704 vote margin.
Now I know my wishes for being in a swing state were misguided. There is nothing exciting about living in uncertainty. There is no glamour in not knowing what your next-door neighbor is truly thinking. I would gladly give up any excitement of being in a swing state to get my boring true-blue state back.
To learn more about how Michigan voted Republican, read here: http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/11/how_did_donald_trump_win_michi.html