“The good news is the 2016 election is over,” said Tony Stamas, vice president of government relations for the Small Business Association of Michigan, who spoke alongside Dennis Denno, founder of Denno Research, at Capitol Issues Forum Nov. 10. “The bad news is the 2018 elections are now upon us.”
Stamas said mass voter turnout of people who traditionally do not vote influenced results of the presidential election and that pollsters did not accurately measure enthusiasm among Trump supporters. In hindsight, Trump signs throughout rural areas, especially makeshift signs from those who couldn’t find traditional ones, were evidence of Trump support.
The industrial Midwest primarily voted for Trump because they trusted him to bring change, which may not be easy to accomplish.
"If Trump wants to get things done, he has to work with Paul Ryan and the House," said Stamas.
Denno said although voters turned out across the country, Michigan only saw 54,000 more people vote in 2016 than in 2012, a number he noted was not that large compared to the overall number of voters. He said it will be interesting to see how the Republican-controlled Congress reacts to the potential spending Trump’s policies require.
At the state level, Stamas said people are starting to process how the presidential election will influence legislative decisions and how new rules could affect small businesses.
“It’s going to be fast and furious for the first six months or so,” said Stamas.
With the election of a new governor on the horizon in 2018, Denno and Stamas said to keep an eye on how the effects of Trump’s presidency influence Michigan voters over the course of the next two years.