In the race for governor, Democratic incumbent Gretchen Whitmer appears to be well ahead of her Republican opponent — by double digits in fact.
Results from a statewide August poll conducted by EPIC-MRA shows that Whitmer has an 11-point lead over Dixon, a comfortable lead in what’s sure to be a contentious race in November. But the poll also shows favorability for other Democratic incumbents in top positions in the state.
Attorney General Dana Nessel had a 4-point lead over Matt DePerno and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson had a 6-point lead over challenger Kristina Karamo.
Whitmer had a net-positive favorability rating, with 48 percent saying they had a favorable view of the governor, and 43 percent saying they had an unfavorable view.
Nearly a quarter of voters did not recognize Dixon’s name, while 22 percent viewed her favorably and 35 percent viewed her unfavorably.
Whitmer got 94 percent of Democratic voters, 50 percent to 22 percent of Independent voters, including 62 percent of Independent women, while Dixon got 83 percent of GOP voters.
With both parties now capitalizing on some very divisive and important issues like abortion and voting rights, it is no wonder that voters are able to strongly articulate their voting choices.
The three women definitely hold executive power in determining where the state is headed when it comes to those issues, and the polling reflects how important voters hold those issues.
The state’s abortion ballot proposal is leading with a 67 percent yes vote. Also, abortion is the top issue of concern in the poll at 19 percent, which shows the impact of that issue.
The abortion issue is so critical that it led all other issues in the state among those polled: 19 percent said addressing abortion laws in Michigan after the overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision is the top issue; compared to 15 percent who said improving the quality of education; 14 percent who said upgrading infrastructure, roads, bridges, dams, drinking water and wastewater treatment systems; 12 percent who said reducing state and local government spending and 11 percent who said addressing gun violence in communities and schools.
This week, the state’s Board of State Canvassers — a board that normally conducts administrative and clerical work, but has become a hotbed of partisan politics since former President Trump falsely accused several states of outright voter fraud — was deadlocked on the abortion rights initiative.
Dixon, for her part, is staunchly pro-life and opposes abortions even in cases of rape, incest or in medical situations where a woman’s life is in danger.
Republicans said they couldn’t ignore “egregious” errors in the measure’s language, even though the Bureau of Elections verified last Thursday that the petition contained more than enough valid signatures for the amendment to qualify for the November ballot and recommended that the state Board of Canvassers approve the measure.
On the abortion ballot proposal, 92 percent of Democratic voters said they will vote yes, as did 70 percent of independent voters, with Republican voters only voting “no” on the proposal by a 46 percent to 40 percent plurality.
Also, voters say they are pro-choice by 58 percent to 33 percent, with 95 percent of pro-choice voters voting “yes” on the abortion ballot proposal and pro-life voters only voting “no” by a 63 percent to 24 percent majority.
EPIC-MRA notes that it is significant that 1 in 4 pro-life voters are supporting the abortion ballot proposal. The abortion issue is so critical that it led all other issues in the state among those polled: 19 percent said addressing abortion laws in Michigan after the overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision is the top issue; compared to 15 percent who said improving the quality of education; 14 percent who said upgrading infrastructure, roads, bridges, dams, drinking water and wastewater treatment systems; 12 percent who said reducing state and local government spending and 11 percent who said addressing gun violence in communities and schools.
But not everything was rosy for Whitmer. She did have a net-negative job approval rating according to the EPIC-MRA poll, with 51 percent rating her negatively and 47 percent giving her a positive rating. Forty-five percent of voters surveyed said the state is heading in the wrong direction.
Whitmer’s lead in the survey came despite President Biden’s negative approval rating, just 30 percent gave him a positive job rating, while 69 percent rated him negatively.
According to NBC, an AARP poll found a tighter race between Whitmer and Dixon. In that poll, Whitmer merely had a 5-point lead among likely voters, with 51 percent backing Whitmer and 46 percent backing Dixon.