Update: The Associated Press called the race at 11:19 p.m. for Debbie Stabenow. Read more here.
The Michigan Senate race between incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow and Republican John James has been one watched nationwide.
In the early months of the race, polls indicated that Stabenow could have an easy route to re-election. But businessman James has surged in the final weeks leading up to November 6. A poll released the morning of the election indicated that the race had become a statistical tie (more on that below).
What time can you expect to see results in Michigan, including the results of the Stabenow vs. James race? Read on for details.
The polls close in Michigan at 8 p.m. local time. The majority of the state is in the eastern time zone. Four western counties — Dickinson, Gogebic, Iron and Menominee — are part of the central time zone. It’s important to stress that the polls close at 8 p.m. local time, no matter what time zone you are in. You can see a map courtesy of the Michigan Secretary of State’s office here.
It’s also important to note that polling places are legally required to remain open as long as people are waiting in line to cast ballots. If people waited until after work to vote and there are long lines, this could delay results.
After all of the polls close, results and projections will begin coming out. Political analysts and news networks will begin announcing projections as soon as they have enough information to see the direction of the race. However, this could take longer in Michigan because there is no early voting period in this state. People can mail in absentee ballots, but in-person early voting is not permitted. This means analysts will have less to go on as soon as the polls close.
The Michigan Secretary of State’s Office could take several hours to announce election results, or even several days if certain races are especially tight.
As referenced above, the nation will be watching to see who wins the Senate election: Stabenow or James. Democrat Debbie Stabenow has been serving in Congress since 1996 and was the first woman in Michigan’s history to be elected to the Senate. Republican John James is a war veteran and businessman who has promoted himself as a job creator. He has also been endorsed by President Trump.
Stabenow had a strong lead in the polls for months; at times, polls had her ahead by as many as 20 percentage points. RealClearPolitics ranks Michigan as “Leans Dem.”
But James has closed the gap in recent weeks in a big way. A final poll conducted November 5 and released November 6, by Mitchell Research & Communications, indicated the race had moved into toss-up territory. 49 percent of those surveyed planned to vote for Stabenow, and 46 percent supported James. That difference is within the poll’s margin of error.