After the 2016 election, Macomb was singled out as one of a handful of counties that lifted Donald Trump to victory in their states, and to the Oval Office. Four years later, Macomb apparently won’t play such a pivotal role.

Political observers in this bellwether county are divided in their projections, but even those who believe Trump will score another win here Tuesday are skeptical that the president will come close to matching his 54-42 percent triumph in Macomb over Hillary Clinton.

“This is not 2016. What Trump is all about is not unknown to anyone anymore,” said a veteran Republican official in the suburban county. The president’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and his nonstop inflammatory rhetoric have tarnished his image with some traditional Republicans, this official told Deadline Detroit. “So, what they got is not necessarily what they had hoped for.”

The most recent polls, reflecting results from mid- to late October, show former vice president Joe Biden running strong in Macomb County and across Michigan.

The latest statewide poll from Lansing-based EPIC-MRA found Biden with a 51-35 percent lead over Trump in Macomb, a similar margin through the Metro Detroit suburbs, and the Democratic nominee leading statewide by 48-39 percent.

A New York Times poll in Michigan that was released Wednesday offered similar results, with Biden up by 53-35 percent in the Detroit suburbs (the newspaper did not offer a separate Macomb number) and by 49-41 percent statewide. A Detroit News poll has also reported a dramatic advantage for Biden among suburban voters.

“It’s possible” that Trump can eke out another 11th-hour win in Macomb and statewide, said Bernie Porn, EPIC-MRA president, “But I don’t think I would place a bet on it.”

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This is an excerpt of a column I wrote for Deadline Detroit. 


 Trump Mask Photo: Joe Lapointe