Michigan Democratic candidates urged Michigan voters to cast a blue ballot in a more than hour-long virtual rally that included prerecorded messages from more than a dozen state and federal candidates and elected officials.
The Vote Michigan Rally, organized by the Lansing-based political activist group Blue Brigade, included remarks from several Democratic state House candidates, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack and former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin.
The rally included a prerecorded message from former Vice President Joe Biden, who didn’t mention Michigan during his address but encouraged voters to cast absentee ballots or show up at the polls in November.
“Today, we’re dealing with multiple national crises all at once,” Biden said. “We need real leadership and we need it now.”
U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, the Bloomfield Township Democrat defending his seat against Republican businessman John James, urged voters to realize what’s at stake during the election.
“We have to remember to stay focused and never get complacent,” he said.
In response to the event, Trump’s campaign criticized Biden for “the disastrous votes that led to the (North American Free Trade Agreement)” and touted Trump’s work to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
“Michiganders deserve proven leadership that works for them and will once again vote for President Trump in November,” said Chris Gustafson, a spokesman for Trump Victory.
A Detroit News-WDIV poll conducted earlier this month showed the presidential and Senate races in Michigan tightening.
Peters’ lead was within the plus-minus 4 percentage point margin of error.
Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes in 2016, a less than 1% margin that several participants in Saturday’s rally emphasized to push voters to the polls.
“We are helping people cast their ballots while Republicans are just casting fear,” Stabenow said. “We’ve got to be reaching out, all of us in everything we can do, to help people understand they can feel confident to vote.”
The event also featured praise for Whitmer and her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past several months. Whitmer for her part urged volunteers to encourage neighbors and friends to vote in November.
“In 2018, we showed the blueprint to win Michigan,” Whitmer said. “You’ve got to show up. You’ve got to show people you understand what the kitchen table issues are.
“…You know who I just described? Joe Biden,” Whitmer said.