Shipan explains Michigan GOP divide

July 19, 2021 Detroit Free Press

The Michigan Republican Party is struggling to define itself in the shadow of former President Donald Trump. Some members want to cling to Trump and his rhetoric, while others are trying to distance themselves. Charles Shipan, the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Professor of Social Sciences, explained how this divide could affect the GOP moving forward.

"It's a really tricky two-step they're trying to do —they want to move on and act as if, OK, we all know the election is settled and it's fine, but they want to do that without actually saying that," Shipan said. "We have some Republican leaders who want to move on, meaning, 'Let's focus on (Gov. Gretchen) Whitmer, let's take the approach that she's who we should be fighting against right now and to do that, we need to sort of put controversy over the 2020 election in the rearview mirror.' But when they try to do that, then they run into trouble with people in their own party who say, 'Well no, you should be fighting this.'"