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Michigan - 4th District

Incumbent -- Dave Camp (R) ; Running for re-election

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.


District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

Stretching from just west of Saginaw northwest to Leelanau Peninsula's lakeshore at the mouth of Grand Traverse Bay, bountiful forests, farms, vineyards and inland lakes cover much of the 14 central Michigan counties in the 4th, the state's second-largest district in land area. The sparsely populated white pine forests northwest of Midland were once logging lands but now host summer cottages for vacationers and homes for retirees.

On the district's eastern border, Midland, the 4th's largest city, is home to Dow Chemical and Dow Corning, makers of chemicals, plastics and silicone products. The city benefits from the company's philanthropy, with churches, schools, libraries and a local minor league baseball stadium built by its fortune. But like other major employers in the state, Dow has cut jobs. A bright spot for the region is an expansion of Hemlock Semiconductor, a Dow subsidiary, which makes components for solar panels and computer chips at its plant in Hemlock.

Thirty miles west of Midland, Mount Pleasant hosts Central Michigan University's nearly 30,000 students. The area's education sector growth -- which includes a new medical school expected to open in 2012 -- has helped insulate it from economic downturns. Another key employer in Mount Pleasant is the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, although rising energy costs are keeping some potential visitors off the road.

West and south of Midland and Mount Pleasant, the district turns agricultural. Farmers -- who till fields of sugar beets, dry beans, corn, wheat and oats -- worry about free trade, price supports and crop insurance. The number of farms and small towns throughout the 4th traditionally gives an edge to local and statewide Republican candidates, but a slim 2-percentage-point majority of voters in the district supported Democrat Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.

Major Industry

Agriculture, chemical and plastics manufacturing, tourism

Cities

Midland (pt.), 41,706; Mount Pleasant, 26,016

Notable

Chesaning's Showboat Music Festival, which began during the Depression with hopes of aiding an ailing economy, has pumped millions of dollars into the community.

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