Critical Counties — Macomb, Michigan: A must-win outside Detroit
Critical Counties — Macomb, Michigan: A must-win outside Detroit


    Critical Counties — Macomb, Michigan: A must-win outside Detroit


Critical Counties — Macomb, Michigan: A must-win outside Detroit 01:04

Macomb County is Trump's Michigan moonshot

Updated 9:32 AM ET, Fri November 4, 2016

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Critical Counties is a CNN series exploring 11 counties around the country that chief national correspondent John King has identified as key in the 2016 election. These counties could play an outsize role in the election and offer an instructive example of what the political parties have accomplished. Macomb County is the 10th county in the series, which runs through Election Day. Explore the other critical counties.

Donald Trump has a big task. Not only does he need to dominate the swing states, but he needs to edge into blue territory.
By many indications, Trump's campaign is looking for a Republican victory in Michigan. And the people of Macomb County, Michigan, could make or break that dream.
This largely white county outside of Detroit has been pretty evenly divided in previous elections, although it swung for Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and backed Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
Now Trump's goal is to nip that more recent Democratic trend in the bud. He needs to turn out the Republican voters from suburbs like Macomb County and hope Democratic strongholds like Detroit stay at home.
Early on, Trump signaled he would make a real play for the Rust Belt, working to appeal to the white working-class people the post-industrial economy has devastated. But to look at the polls in Michigan, that's been a tough sell.
Members of Trump's campaign have pointed to Bernie Sanders' stunning victory in this state over Hillary Clinton as an indication the GOP can pull out an upset despite polling pointing otherwise.
Another thing to keep in mind: There is no early voting without an excuse here, so Trump and Clinton have until Election Day to make their pitches to voters.
    It remains an open question whether the FBI's last-minute bombshell turned off Clinton voters, but if data from Google Trends are any indication, it's not the most pressing question voters have.



    The pendulum swings

    As mentioned above, Macomb is a swing county, and it has swung far in its history. Faced with Republican 1964 nominee Barry Goldwater, the people here largely voted Democrat. Years later, the people of Macomb turned around and voted for Ronald Reagan's transformative Republican candidacy. And most recently, they split about evenly, but ultimately in favor of Obama.




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