Poll: Democrat Gretchen Whitmer Crushing Remaining GOP Gubernatorial Candidates

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers her State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
AP Photo/Al Goldis

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is more than 30 points ahead of her closest Republican challengers following the shake-up of the GOP candidate field, according to a new poll.

The poll, conducted by Target Insyght and published by Deadline Detroit, showed Whitmer with a 34-point lead over businessman Kevin Rinke and real estate broker Ryan Kelley, a 36-point lead over chiropractor Garrett Soldano, a 37-point lead over conservative media personality Tudor Dixon, and a 39-point lead over pastor Ralph Rebandt.

The poll was taken from May 26 to May 27, just as the State Board of Canvassers voted the morning of May 26 to disqualify half of the Republican gubernatorial candidates, including frontrunner former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, for submitting invalid nominating petitions.

The board estimated that candidates’ petition circulators had submitted “at least 68,000 invalid signatures” on the petitions and provided examples of forgeries it had identified. The report stated:

In total, the Bureau estimates that these circulators submitted at least 68,000 invalid signatures submitted across 10 sets of nominating petitions. In several instances, the number of invalid signatures submitted by these circulators was the reason a candidate had an insufficient number of valid signatures. In other instances, while invalid signatures were identified in the candidate’s filing, the number was insufficient to move the number of signatures below the threshold for ballot qualification.

The board noted it did not have “reason to believe that any specific candidates or campaigns were aware of the activities of fraudulent-petition circulators.”

The move to wipe out 50 percent of the Republican gubernatorial candidates rocked the primary field, and the remaining candidates are now in a battle to separate themselves within a relatively unknown pool of candidates ahead of the August 2 primary.

The poll found that despite the current candidates polling well below Whitmer, the Michigan Democrat had a low approval rating among Republicans, which suggests Michigan Republicans still have the ability to overcome the polling deficit.

While Whitmer had an “excellent or good job rating” among 80 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independent respondents, only 24 percent of Republicans said the same.

Target Insyght surveyed 600 voters for the poll. Forty-three percent of respondents were Democrat, 39 percent were Republican, and 18 percent were independent. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Write to Ashley Oliver at aoliver@breitbart.com. Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.


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