In an effort to press Presidential hopefuls to recognize Michigan’s relevance and address voter’s concerns, the state is debating moving the republican and democratic primaries from February to January. By moving the date up a few weeks, the state would pitch itself into the lead and raise issues such as the environment – and likely the Great Lakes – to the forefront.
“We’re very anxious that candidates come to Michigan and tell us their positions on these issues,”Liz Boyd, a spokeswoman for Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm (D) told the Washington Post.
Michigan threatens to pry influence away from Iowa and New Hampshire in a contest that is creating the earliest primary season in U.S. history. Since 2004, Minnesota and Illinois also moved up their primaries from March to February. Wisconsin and New York also hold primaries in February, while Ohio’s remains in March and Pennsylvania’s in April.
The Great Lakes states have become major battle grounds during past presidential campaigns. Michigan’s move will surely have a significant impact on the issues to which the candidates respond. We expect Michigan to make the Great Lakes one of the major environmental concerns that candidates will be forced to take a stand on.