What You Should Know: Election Day edition

It’s the first Tuesday of November, and that means it’s Pint Night Election Day.

Check out what’s on the ballot and a quick look at what you need to know below the jump.

Click here to find out where your polling location is.

It’s incredibly important for you to vote (and you can find out why below), but it’s always a good idea to know where you’re headed first. Click the link above to find out where your location is and what issues are on your ballot.

The governor’s race is too close to call.

Gov. Rick Snyder has a small edge over Democratic nominee Mark Schauer in most polls. The RealClearPolitics average of the five most recent polls of the governor’s race sees Snyder with an average lead of about 1.7 percent.

FiveThirtyEight, which accurately forecasted the 2012 presidential election, gives Snyder a 75-percent chance to win:

Snyder was elected four years ago as one tough nerd, someone who would provide an economic stimulus to a state that badly needed it. But voters aren’t convinced the economy has improved. According to Gallup, Michigan residents are far less likely to have confidence in their state’s economy than the average voter nationwide.

Democratic challenger Mark Schauer has tried to leverage that angst to his advantage. He has pointed out that the governor’s policies have not resulted in rising job growth. Snyder contends that the Michigan has grown jobs, if slowly, under his administration and that lowering taxes helped to keep the economy afloat in a state that was hard hit by the 2008 recession.

Voters seem more likely than not to give Snyder a second term. According to EPIC-MRA, most voters think the state is headed in the right direction and have a more favorable view of Snyder than Schauer. The race should be close; FiveThirtyEight projects Snyder to win by less than 2 percentage points. That is good enough to be a 75 percent favorite.

Read more about 2014’s close governor’s races here.

Republicans are heavy favorites to take over the Senate, but a Democrat will likely win in Michigan.

The Republican Party looks like it is set to take over the U.S. Senate for the first time since 2006. FiveThirtyEight gives Republicans a 75 percent chance to win, in line with most other major political forecasters, as well.

Republicans are benefiting from President Barack Obama’s low approval ratings and, most importantly, it challenging Democrats for seats that traditionally vote Republican. As the Washington Post explains:

In all, there are 13 states where Senate seats might change from one party to the other. Republicans need to win nine of them to attain a 51-seat majority in the Senate for the first time since 2007. On Monday, Republicans seem to be leading, by a lot or by a little, in eight of those races.

If the GOP wins all those eight, they will need just one more win — one of the toss-up races in Alaska and Kansas, or perhaps the runoff race that’s expected in Louisiana.

CMU Insider detailed yesterday why a change in Senate leadership would likely mean little-to-nothing in the way of passing legislation. It will, however, likely give President Barack Obama fits in trying to fill vacant administration and judicial positions.

The good news for Michigan Democrats, though, is that U.S. Rep. Gary Peters is a heavy favorite to win a Senate seat tonight. FiveThirtyEight gives Peters more than a 99 percent chance to win.

Read more at The Washington Post.

Mount Pleasant voters will decide on decriminalizing pot.

Voters in Saginaw, East Lansing, Port Huron, Oak Park, Hazel Park, Lapeer, Utica, Clare, Harrison, Benzie County, Frankfort and Onaway will also decide whether to decriminalize marijuana on their ballots.

Read our story about the people behind Mount Pleasant’s pot proposal here.

State legislatures are more important than Congress.

Let Last Week Tonight host John Oliver explain why:

So, be sure to check up on our Where They Stand series by Insider‘s Arielle Hines to see where State Rep. Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant, and his Democratic challenger, Brian Mielke, stand on issues including higher education funding, health care, student loans and more.

Voting is incredibly important.

It’s your one chance to have a direct impact on what those in power do over the next two, four and six years. You can do your part to make the sort of government you’d like to see a reality. It’s your chance to make real change.

So, do your duty and vote. You don’t want Diddy showing up to your house, anyway.


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