The 5 Most Stunning Things That Happened When Michigan Voted

Bernie Sanders speaking in Michigan. His surprise upset there was the story of the night. (Todd L Church Photography/Flickr)

OK, well, not just Michigan. Yesterday Democrats and Republicans in Mississippi and Michigan, and Republicans in Hawaii and Idaho, cast their votes for their presidential nominees. While a lot went just as polls and pundits predicted, there were some moments that came out of left field to shock everyone.

March 8th was a crazy ride. Let's take a look at some of the most shocking and surprising things from the latest election results.

1. Bernie Sanders pulled off an upset in Michigan

Not one poll predicted that Sanders would win Michigan. Clinton was always in the lead, with some polls showing her 20 points ahead. Experts said she had a 99% chance of winning.

But she didn't. She lost. Sanders narrowly edged her out, 50% to 48%.

Polls are never 100% accurate, but they're usually not this wrong. Sanders' win is one of the biggest upsets in political history. (Fun fact: The last time the polls were this far off was in 1984, when the candidate ahead by 17 points, Walter Mondale, actually ended up losing by 9 points.)

Media outlets also labeled it "shocking" that Sanders won a large percentage of the Arab vote, because apparently all Arabs are Muslims and all Muslims are anti-Semitic. Or something.

Sanders is also holding onto younger voters and gaining ground with black voters. Clinton has still won most of the black vote so far, but if Sanders can keep increasing his support from black voters in the northern states--and keep doing well in states with smaller black populations--he'll stay competitive.

And given that Sanders beat her by less than 20k votes ...

... part of what may have hurt Hillary was her supporters believing she had it locked up so well, they voted for someone else as a protest vote.

(Michigan has an open primary, meaning you can vote for any candidate in either party, not just a candidate in your own party.)

2. #MississippiBerning created controversy

It doesn't take much to cause Twitter drama, but this was more than enough. The hashtag was apparently started by someone who was just trying to be funny...

...but #MississippiBerning of course is a play on Mississippi Burning, a movie that portrayed an investigation into the murders of three civil rights workers by members of the KKK in 1964. Yeah.

It wasn't exactly the smartest choice for a hashtag and sparked criticism of Sanders supporters.

3. Marco Rubio won zip. Nada. Nothing.

Rubio finished dead last in Michigan and Mississippi (without even breaking out of single digits--ouch) and third in Idaho and Hawaii. He ended the night with exactly zero delegates.

Part of the problem is that he doesn't have a clear space. Kasich is leading with more moderate Republicans, Cruz snatches up the super-conservative evangelicals, Trump is the clear favorite of people who want a political outsider--but Rubio lacks a core voter group, and it's hurting him badly.

Rubio has only won one state so far: Minnesota. (Plus Puerto Rico.) If he doesn't win (or come a very close second?) in Florida, his home state, he might be forced to give up his campaign.

Is he even polling well in Florida, where he is one of the state's two US senators? Trump is beating him with over twice the amount of support. Yikes.

4. Voter turnout in Michigan broke records--and some polling stations ran out of ballots

About 2.4 million people cast their votes in Michigan yesterday, which crushed the previous record of 1.9 million from 1972.

So many people wanted to vote, in fact, that several places actually ran out of ballots, and in the Democratic race, people were forced to wait in line past the voting deadline, or go home and return later, as volunteers rushed to get more.

5. Donald Trump uses his victory speech as a commercial for the Trump brand

Trump, defying some expectations, had a big night. Ted Cruz beat him in Idaho, but he won the other 3 states handily. So it's no surprise that Trump gave a rousing victory speech.

OK, he did mention in his speech that he wanted to work for GOP party unity. But Trump spent most of the time getting back at people like Mitt Romney who had critiqued his failed ventures, like Trump University.


The press was so spellbound by the ridiculousness of his talk that Clinton's speech was almost completely ignored.

Trump held his press conference at Trump National Golf Club, where he discussed Trump steaks, Trump magazine, Trump wine ... you get the picture. (Trump University is now defunct, by the way, and those products he was pushing during his speech were either faked or generic.)

So, what's next?

If you're not sick of debates yet, the next, and one of the last, Democratic debate is tonight in Miami. 9 pm ET. Their last one was tense, and given Sanders' upset in Michigan, tonight should be a realllly interesting debate to watch.

Republicans will also debate in Miami on Thursday night, competing for more media attention and coverage before next Tuesday--when five more states vote: Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio, all with a lot of delegates at stake.

Super Tuesday part two, here we come.

This article was written by Lauren Wethers and originally appeared on Kicker. Kicker explains the most important, compelling things going on in the world and empowers you to get in the know, make up your own mind, and take action. For more, check out the Kicker site, like their Facebook page, or subscribe to their email newsletter.