Majority of voters favor gasoline-car phaseout. But all-electric goal faces tough opposition
When Michigan voters cast ballots in November, they overwhelmingly chose to keep the state’s two remaining hydrocarbon-burning vehicles in their ownership.
By a slim margin, 55.3% to 44.7% (66,828 in the November 2016 ballot compared to 68,067 statewide), voters opted to maintain and expand the sale of the state’s two top-selling vehicles: the gas-guzzling 2015-model Ford F-150, which accounts for more than 40% of annual state gas tax collections and more than 75,000 Michigan-based jobs, and the four-cylinder 2016 Chevrolet Sonic, which is the state’s No. 1 automotive brand.
But there’s a second big question voters must answer: If they approve the sale of the F-150, which is more fuel-efficient than the gas-sipping Nissan Leaf, will they approve the sale of the more fuel-efficient 2016 Chevrolet Bolt?
There’s little doubt that the state’s voters made their decision about the gas-guzzler and its future automotive counterparts in much the same way they made decisions about the Republican Party in November 2016. Michigan’s voters are reliably Republican, and the Ford F-150 and Chevy Bolt are reliably Republican cars.
But Michigan’s voters are not consistently or reliably Republican. After decades of Democrats dominating the state’s electoral arena, Republicans gained control of the governor’s mansion and both chambers of the state Legislature in 2014 after winning nearly 64% of the vote, the biggest electoral victory by any Republican since 1928.
The 2014 election brought on a new breed of Michigan politician. Michigan Republicans won the governor’s mansion and both chambers of the state Legislature after turning away from their traditional party affiliation, and then they proceeded to make an unlikely and unprecedented electoral debut in 2016 that brought them back the governor’s mansion and both chambers