Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

November 10, 2013

George Weeks: Looking at Snyder, Benishek and Senate Races

With the 2014 election just less than a year away, there were interesting developments last week in Michigan’s gubernatorial, U.S. Senate and the northernmost Congressional race.

n The Inside Michigan Politics newsletter said that Gov. Rick Snyder and Democratic challenger Mark Schauer, a former one-term congressman from Battle Creek, are “locked in a dead heat…but 30 percent are undecided” in a bipartisan survey IMP commissioned.

Snyder, elected in 2010 with an 18-point edge, had 36.4 percent in the poll while Schauer, a former Democratic leader in the state Senate, had 33.6 percent.

While I am skeptical of early polls, and especially their small slices of the electorate, I note that IMP’s poll gives Schauer a substantial lead 43.9 percent to 32.1 percent edge over Snyder in northern Michigan. IMP said Snyder had a “whopping” 29-point lead in West Michigan.

The poll was a joint effort of Revsix, a Republican data firm in Pontiac, and Michigan Blueprint Strategies, a Democratic polling company in Lansing.

After release of the IMP-commissioned poll, Lansing-based Marketing Resource Group said Snyder “is in as good or a better position than” ex-Govs. Jennifer Granholm and John Engler “at a similar point ahead of their first re-election campaign, “ according to historical analysis of past polling conducted by MRG.

n In the IMP poll, three-term U.S. Rep. Gary Peters of Oakland County has a slight 4.8-point lead over former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, now Republican National Committeewoman.

Reflecting on the polling, Revsix pollster Dennis Darnoi said “Historically, Michigan voters have selected a Democrat to serve in the U.S. Senate. These results confirm that the seat leans in favor of Gary Peters, and that in order to be successful, Terri Lynn Land is going to have to make a compelling case to self-described independent voters and conservative Democrats.”

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