Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) holds a slim five-point lead over Republican Tudor Dixon in a tightening Michigan governor’s race, according to a new poll.
The poll, commissioned by the AARP and taken among 1,365 likely voters, found Whitmer at 51 percent and Dixon at 46 percent.
The poll was taken August 8 through 14, meaning it was taken almost entirely after the FBI raided former President Donald Trump’s residence in Mar-a-Lago on August 8, a move that drew enormous criticism from Republicans concerned that the raid could have possibly been politically driven.
The poll is also the first test of the gubernatorial race in its general election phase as it was taken about a week after Dixon, initially an underdog, blew away the other GOP candidates in the primary race on August 2.
Dixon, who was endorsed by Trump shortly before her primary victory, has reason to be optimistic about the poll as it is the first to show the conservative media personality within close striking distance of Whitmer. A poll taken at the end of May had found Whitmer more than 30 points ahead of Dixon, while a poll in July had shown Whitmer up 11 points over her.
Broken down by voter demographic, the race between Dixon and Whitmer is closest among voters aged 50 to 64. Whitmer has just a one-point edge among those voters.
Whitmer, who is fervently pro-abortion and repeatedly warns against electing Dixon because of her pro-life views, performs 17 points better than Dixon among women. Dixon, on the other hand, performs seven points better than Whitmer among men.
Whitmer also performs better among college-educated voters, while Dixon performs better among non-college-educated voters.
Whitmer, like other vulnerable Democrats up for reelection across the country, must overcome national disapproval plaguing Democrats in Washington. While Whitmer’s favorability is a net positive four points, President Joe Biden is a net negative 16 points, which could ultimately drag Whitmer down should Biden continue to remain unpopular.
Republicans nationally have also been bolstered by forty-year-high inflation as polls overwhelmingly show voters are concerned with gas and grocery prices, which have spiked dramatically under the Biden administration.
The AARP poll found a majority of respondents, 57 percent, believe the U.S. economy is not working for them, while 41 percent say it is working well for them. Sixty-one percent of respondents say they are “somewhat” or “very” worried about their personal financial situation.
In general, 71 percent of respondents believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. While respondents view the state’s direction more positively, still a majority, or 55 percent, say the state is headed in the wrong direction.
The poll’s margins of error, depending on the sample of voters, were anywhere between 3.4 percent and 4.9 percent. The poll was conducted via landline, cell phone, and text.