The Iowa Caucuses are now less than one week away. This week, NPR’s Mara Liasson is gauging the nation’s mood. How are voters feeling about the upcoming presidential election? How are real incomes, economic mobility and government policy impacting West Michigan families? WGVU talks with area voters, the moms and dads experiencing the middle-class squeeze.

Seated on his lap, Ryan Vandermeer is teaching his 4-year old son how to read at Grand Rapids downtown library.


As the nation looks forward to the start of the primary season and the Iowa Caucuses one week from today we’ve heard from NPR’s Mara Liasson this morning taking the pulse of the American electorate. What is the voter mood here in West Michigan?

WGVU caught up with some Republicans and Democrats at a Grand Rapids coffee shop to find out.

The Bitter End is a popular Westside Grand Rapids coffee house.

It’s eclectic, rich dark wood walls with an array of framed paintings and photos, a burgundy tin ceiling, brass coat hangers at every table.

Michigan's annual average unemployment rate falls in 2015

Jan 21, 2016

The state says Michigan's annual average unemployment rate fell in 2015, marking the sixth straight yearly decline.

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget said Wednesday that the preliminary annual average unemployment rate was 5.4 percent last year, down from the 2014 annual rate of 7.3 percent.

The 2015 measure was slightly above the 5.3 percent national annual rate.

The agency says Michigan's annual unemployment rate has fallen each year since hitting a recent annual high of 13.7 percent in 2009.

Gov. Snyder: Clinton politicizing Flint's water crisis

Jan 18, 2016

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is making Flint's water crisis a political issue.

Clinton said during Sunday's Democratic debate that Snyder has "acted as though he didn't really care" about the crisis.

But Snyder told The Detroit News on Monday after speaking at a Martin Luther King Day event in Flint that "politicizing the issue doesn't help matters."

The Republican also reiterated he's focusing "on the solution and how to deal with the damage that was done."


Tuesday night in the House Chambers, President Barack Obama will give his final State of the Union Address. Coverage begins on WGVU at 9:00. City of Wyoming’s Department of Public Safety, James Carmody will be in the balcony as a guest of Zeeland Congressman, Bill Huizenga.

WGVU spoke with Chief Carmody this afternoon.

Governor Rick Snyder has signed a controversial elections bill, but has called for a fix to clear up some confusion in the new law.

The new law puts limits on local officials’ ability to campaign for millages and other local ballot questions in the two months before an election. Local officials say it’s basically an effort to silence them.

Rebecca Bahar Cook is an Ingham County Commissioner.

Governor Rick Snyder has signed a law that eliminates the option of voting a straight-party ballot on Election Day.

Michigan was one of 10 states that allows straight-ticket voting with one mark on the ballot. Democrats opposed the bill. They say getting rid of the straight-ticket option will discourage some people from voting, and will lead to longer lines on Election Day.

Governor Snyder also called for making it easier to vote absentee.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Local government leaders are continuing to press Gov. Rick Snyder to veto legislation that would block school districts and municipalities from informing the public about ballot measures within two months of an election.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a law eliminating the straight-party voting option from ballots.


Donald Trump’s campaign rally at Walker’s DeltaPlex drew a sellout crowd. The GOP Presidential candidate spoke for more than an hour. What did he talk about without the use of a teleprompter and how did it resonate with Republicans in attendance?

“The next President of the United State Mr. Donald J. Trump!”

“Wow! Wow!

GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump played to a sellout crowd.

“We love Michigan! We love Michigan!”

More than 7,000 people packed Walker’s DeltaPlex.