It's really not the difficult to understand why this race is competitive:Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Democratic challenger Mark Schauer are locked in a statistical "toss up" three months out from the general election, according to new poll results released Wednesday.
Snyder garnered 44.6 percent support to Schauer's 44.3 percent in a statewide poll of 600 likely voters conducted July 26-30 by the Marketing Resource Group of Lansing. Another 11 percent were undecided.
A plurality of respondents backed Democratic U.S. Rep. Gary Peters in his run for the U.S. Senate. He led former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, a Republican, 46.7 percent to 40 percent, with 13.3 percent undecided.
The live operator poll, which featured a cell phone sample of 20 percent, had a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points. MRG typically does work for Republican clients, but the questions were not commissioned.
The firm had Snyder up by about eight points in late March. MRG President Tom Shields said the incumbent continues to track well with "ticket-splitter" independents, but attributed Schauer's rising numbers to increased recognition within his own party.
"It's definitely a dead heat," Shields said. "Both candidates have solidified their bases. Schauer has finally gotten to the point where he's well known to Democrats, and they've come home. Given the fact that this is still a Democratic-leaning state, that tightens it right up." - MLive, 8/6/14
And Democrats are getting ready to win in November:Despite all the handicaps, Schauer is running even — or almost even — in the polls. A recent Public Policy Polling surveyed showed both with 40 percent, and the rest undecided.
Other surveys show Snyder ahead – but seldom by more than the statistical margin of error. What's really ominous for Republicans is this: Not a single poll shows Snyder with even 50 percent. That's a bad sign for an incumbent with a little-known opponent. Most voters who are undecided close to election day tend to move to the challenger.
Last week, the fact that Michigan voters aren't so wild about Ricky aggravated Nolan Finley, editor of the slavishly pro-Snyder Detroit News editorial page. "Nothing explains the polls, except for a Michigan culture that still resists and resents change, even when it works," he huffed.
Well, gee. I wonder if Finley might have forgotten a few things. Like the fact that this governor taxed pensions and cut aid to education to give businesses a huge tax break that has, as of yet, failed to create jobs.
Did he overlook that this governor participated in the ramming through of right-to-work legislation in less than a day, after saying that was "not on my agenda?"
Did he forget that Snyder signed a law allowing motorcyclists to ride without helmets, something that has already meant more deaths and brain-injured people?
Or that he attempted to get legislation that would have helped insurance company profits by severely limiting benefits for terribly injured car accident victims? (His fellow Republican, Oakland County's L. Brooks Patterson, himself a car wreck survivor, helped kill that idea ... at least for now.)
Yes, some people may have a reason or two not to want another four years of the one tough nerd's "relentless positive action." But how would Schauer be different?
"Well, for one thing, I would be a candidate for the middle class," he said. "I'm one of them."
Indeed, Schauer is not rich. He grew up in Howell, where his mother was a nurse and his dad a high school teacher. Schauer, now 52, went to Albion College, then got a job as an urban planner in Battle Creek.
That's where he stayed, eventually spending a dozen years in both houses of the legislature, then two more in Congress before losing his seat in the GOP landslide of 2010.
Schauer's biggest focus is education. "We must recognize that teaching is the most important profession in our society, and education is the single most important investment we can make in the Michigan economy," he said.
Though his program is a bit short on specifics, he also promises to make higher education more affordable, something that both fairness and the economy require. Unless we can find a way of giving our young people the schooling they need, we can kiss any chance at prosperity and decent jobs goodbye.
Schauer is also big on renewable energy, and vowed to require utilities to triple the amount they use to create electricity. Where he is weakest, oddly, is one issue where the governor has shown intelligent leadership: the roads.
For three years, Rick Snyder has attempted to get the legislature to come up with at least $1.2 billion a year in new money that he and highway experts say is the minimum necessary to prevent our roads from crumbling further.
Snyder has suggested getting the money from a combination of higher car and truck registration fees and boosting the price of gas at the pump.
This actually makes some sense, since those who use the roads most would pay more. To be sure, Snyder's plan did not raise fees nearly enough on the heavy tractor-trailers most responsible for pounding the roads to rubble.
But it was a plan — even though the governor hasn't yet been able to get his spineless legislative colleagues to go along. - Metro Times, 8/6/14
Lets get our base out and ready to vote in November. Click here to donate and get involved with both Schauer's gubernatorial campaign and Rep. Gary Peters' (D. MI) U.S. Senate campaign:Top Michigan Democrats on Wednesday sought to show they are unified for the fall general election against their Republican adversaries after some bruising and hard-fought Democratic primaries in Metro Detroit.
Gubernatorial hopeful Mark Schauer and U.S. Senate candidate Gary Peters were joined by the rest of the statewide ticket and winners in Tuesday’s primary at a Michigan Democratic Party unity breakfast at Wayne State University.
Party leaders say electing Schauer over incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and helping Peters prevail over former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land depends heavily on turning out voters who stayed home in the 2010 gubernatorial election.
Democrats are targeting about 995,000 registered voters who have a history of voting for Democratic candidates in the 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2012 elections, but did not show up to the polls in 2010 when Snyder sailed to victory over Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.
“It’s simple arithmetic: There are way more of us than there are of them,” said U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, who cruised to victory Tuesday night over the Rev. Horace Sheffield of Detroit.
Schauer, a former one-term congressman from Battle Creek, had a more terse strategy for denying Snyder a second term by focusing on the incumbent’s actions in office, from imposing income taxes on most pensions to signing a right-to-work law.
“There are more of us than them, and we’re pissed and we’re going to vote,” Schauer told Democratic activists and leaders gathered at Wayne State University. - The Detroit News, 8/6/14