USA TODAY takes a close look Wayne County, Michigan, home to Detrout and a majority African-American county.
Democratic votes by African Americans are a key reason why Michigan has been painted blue in every presidential election cycle since 1992. In presidential election years, turnout in Michigan, which has a population of 9.9 million, increases by nearly 2 million votes. In a county like Wayne, the state’s largest with seven cities that are majority minority and an overall population that is 50% white, 39% black and 6% Latino, that means nearly 300,000 more voters are casting ballots, predominantly for Democrats.
In 2012, Obama won in Wayne County with 73% of the vote over Republican Mitt Romney, son of popular former Michigan governor George Romney. In 2008, Obama won 74% of the vote over Sen. John McCain. The margins were even more stark in Detroit, where Obama won 98% of the vote over Romney and 97% of the vote over McCain. In 44 Michigan voting precincts, most in Detroit, not a single vote was cast for Romney in 2012.
The USA TODAY Network is spending time in eight counties in eight states, exploring the key electoral themes that could decide this fall’s election. Each week from now until the election, we will feature a different one.