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Updated Feb. 18, 2010
McCotter, the current chairmen of the House Republican Policy Committee, was not a top-tier target of Democratic strategists in the 2006 and 2008 elections. But McCotter's victory margins over vastly underfunded opponents in those contests were underwhelming.
Those outcomes have prompted Democrats to portray the four-term incumbent as vulnerable to a legitimate 2010 challenge in his suburban Detroit district, where the 2008 presidential vote went to Democrat Barack Obama over Republican John McCain by 54 percent to 45 percent.
The party, however, is still working on recruiting a top-flight challenger, as state House Speaker Andy Dillon and state Sen. Glenn Anderson have ruled out runs. The only declared Democratic candidate is Natalie Mosher, a former art teacher and civic leader who lives in exurban Canton, but party officials say they are in talks with other prospective candidates.
District Profile from Politics in America
Carved from traditionally GOP-friendly suburbs north and west of Detroit, the 11th District has stood out in a region known for its support of pro-labor Democrats. But political and demographic shifts under way in the district led voters to support Democrat Barack Obama with 54 percent of the district's presidential vote -- 2 percentage points higher than Republican George W. Bush won here in 2004.
As in other Michigan districts that surround the Motor City, auto and auto parts manufacturing -- and the economic troubles plaguing those sectors -- play a dominant role in the district despite efforts to diversify the area's economy. While many areas were once almost entirely filled with auto workers, these communities have been affected by layoffs or factory closures. A refurbished Ford plant in Wixom, however, is projected to provide thousands of jobs as a solar energy equipment manufacturer.
The district's population center is in northwestern Wayne County, where nearly 70 percent of the 11th's residents live. This area is largely a collection of upper-middle-class communities such as Livonia and Redford Township, as well as Plymouth and growing Canton, which have seen success with downtown redevelopment efforts. Nearer to Detroit are Westland, Wayne and Garden City -- Democratic strongholds that have held fast to their blue-collar union roots.
The 11th also covers the GOP-leaning southwestern portion of Oakland County. Revitalization efforts in the district's smaller communities in Oakland are attracting younger residents, and several townships have been growing quickly despite overall population loss throughout the state. Novi has seen steady population growth, including larger numbers of minority residents, for two decades. The city also boasts a convention center that draws more than a million visitors each year.
Auto manufacturing, engineering, health care
Livonia, 96,942; Canton, 90,173; Westland, 84,094; Novi, 55,224; Redford, 48,362; Garden City, 27,692
The Plymouth Ice Festival is North America's largest ice-carving festival.
|2010||general||Thaddeus McCotter (R)||141,224||59.3%|
|Natalie Mosher (D)||91,710||38.5%|
|John Tatar (LIBERT)||5,353||2.2%|
|2008||general||Thaddeus McCotter (R)||177,461||51.4%|
|Joseph Larkin (D)||156,625||45.4%|
|John Tatar (LIBERT)||6,001||1.7%|
|Erik Shelley (GREEN)||5,072||1.5%|
|2006||general||Thaddeus McCotter (R)||143,658||54%|
|Tony Trupiano (D)||114,248||43%|
|John Tatar (LIBERT)||4,340||1.6%|
|Charles Tackett (USTAX)||3,538||1.3%|
|2004||general||Thaddeus McCotter (R)||186,431||57%|
|Phillip Truran (D)||134,301||41%|
|Charles Basso (LIBERT)||6,484||2%|
|2002||general||Thaddeus McCotter (R)||126,050||57.2%|
|Kevin Kelley (D)||87,402||39.7%|
|William Boyd (GREEN)||4,243||1.9%|
|Daniel Malone (USTAX)||2,710||1.2%|
|2008||Barack Obama: 54%||John McCain: 45%|
|2004||John Kerry: 47%||George W. Bush: 52%|
|2000||Al Gore: 48%||George W. Bush: 52%|