LANSING — Michigan Republicans will retain majorities in the Michigan House and Senate despite losing seats to Democrats in Tuesday’s election, stopping a blue wave that swept the state’s highest offices and setting the stage for a divided government that will be led by Democratic Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer.
The Republicans maintained a 22-16 edge in the State Senate and a 58-52 majority in the State House, according to final but unofficial results. Democrats gained five seats in the Senate — their biggest pickup since 1974 — and added five seats in the House.
Democrats fell short of the nine seats needed to flip the State House. Republicans lost six of their own seats, but unexpectedly flipped a Democratic seat in the Upper Peninsula.
Democrats also came up short of the nine seats needed to overcome the current GOP Senate majority.
Currently the 110-member House consists of 63 Republicans and 47 Democrats. The current Senate consists of 38 members with 27 Republicans and 11 Democrats.
Republicans have controlled the Senate since 1984 and the House since 2010.
Senate pickups included the Seventh District, where Democrat Dayna Polehanki of Livonia defeated Republican state Rep. Laura Cox (R-Livonia), and the 20th Senate District, where former Rep. Sean McCann of Kalamazoo unseated incumbent Sen. Margaret O’Brien (R-Portage).
Democrats also gained Senate seats in Oakland County’s 13th District, where challenger Mallory McMorrow of Royal Oak defeated incumbent Sen. Marty Knollenberg of Troy; the 12th District where Rosemary Bayer of Beverly Hills beat GOP Rep. Mike McCready of Bloomfield Township and the 29th District, where Rep. Winnie Brinks of Grand Rapids thwarted Rep. Chris Afendoulis of Grand Rapids Township.
In the House, the Democrats picked up several seats in Metro Detroit.
In Wayne County, Democratic challenger Matt Koleszar of Plymouth Township unseated Rep. Jeff Noble (R-Northville) in the 20th District, while Democrat Laurie Pohustky of Livonia won in the 19th District.
In Oakland County, Democrats who won seats held by term-limited Republicans included Mari Manoogian of Birmingham in the 40th District and Padma Kuppa of Troy in the 41st District.
Republicans flipped an open seat in the 110th District, where Gregory Markkanen of Hancock upset Democrat Ken Summers of Baraga.
Republicans have had full control of state government in both legislative Houses and the offices of governor, secretary of state and attorney general since the 2010 midterms, when Rick Snyder won the governor’s race by more than 18 percentage points and helped his fellow Republicans pick up 21 seats to flip the House. The majority controlled the redistricting process in 2011 and drew the current political boundaries.
Democrats last flipped the Michigan House in 2006, picking up eight seats when Democratic then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm won re-election over GOP businessman Dick DeVos by 14 points. Democrats won another nine seats in the 2008, when President Obama won the state by 16 points before his party suffered big losses in the 2010 midterms.