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GOP Momentum In Michigan?

Welcome To Michigan

A new Public Policy Polling poll seems to show Republicans in both of the statewide elections set for next year gaining substantially on their Democratic opponents:

PPP’s first Michigan poll in six months finds that the GOP has made gains of 7-8 points in the races for Governor and Senate. Rick Snyder, who trailed Mark Schauer 42/38 for reelection as Governor in June, now holds a 44/40 advantage. And Terri Lynn Land, who had lagged Gary Peters 41/36 in the race to replace Carl Levin, now holds a 42/40 advantage.

Snyder won by an overwhelming margin in 2010 because he dominated with independents and had an unusual amount of crossover support from Democrats. He’s still nowhere near where he was with those groups 3 years ago, but he’s making progress. In June he trailed Schauer 39/37 with independents but now he’s back out to a 10 point lead with them at 44/34. And while he was winning just 10% of the Democratic vote in the spring, now he’s back up to 15%.

There are still some caveats for Snyder, though, who remains one of the most vulnerable Governors up for re-election in 2014:

The news isn’t all great for Snyder though. Although his approval rating is up from its 40/52 standing on our last poll, it’s still under water at 42/49. A big part of the reason for Snyder’s lead continues to be Schauer’s continuing low name recognition- only 36% of voters have an opinion about him. The silver lining for Schauer about that fact is the undecideds for Governor are strongly Democratic leaning- they voted for Obama 54/33 last year- so he may gain ground as he comes better known.

Things look better, though, for Terri Lynn Land, the probable Republican nominee to fill the Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Carl Levin:

Terri Lynn Land may not have been the GOP’s first choice of a Senate candidate, but she starts out the race with pretty good favorability numbers for this political climate. 34% of voters in the state see her positively to 23% with a negative opinion. Peters remains mostly unknown, with 57% saying they don’t have an opinion about him one way or the other. The big shift in this race over the last six months has come with independents. They were basically tied in June, but Land has now opened up a 17 point lead with them at 47/30.

The usual caveats associated with early polling apply, of course, and I still would not included Michigan among those states where the GOP has a shot of flipping a seat. Indeed, the last Republican Senator from Michigan was Spencer Abraham, who was elected in the wave election of 1994, only to be defeated by Debbie Stabenow when he ran for re-election in 2000. Before him, the GOP had not put up a Senator from that state since Robert Griffin, who served from 1966 to 1979. Nonetheless, the movement in the polls here is worth keeping an eye on.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. beth says:

    Didn’t they just pass a bill today requiring women to buy abortion insurance and making it illegal for insurance companies to pay for abortions – even in cases of rape and incest? I don’t know how they square telling an insurance company what they can and cannot cover with their free market principles and objections to Obamacare. Anyway, never underestimate the ability of the right wing crazies to piss off sane, especially sane female, voters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  2. Christopher M says:

    There might have been some momentum — but then this happened:

    http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/12/michigan_legislature_approves_1.html#incart_river

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. stonetools says:

    It’s a constant source of amazement that ANYONE falls for the Tea Party bait and switch any longer. They run for election promising low taxes and leaner government and deliver anti-women rights legislation, anti union rights legislation and anti civil rights leguislation. How stupid do you have to be to buy the same billl of goods over and over?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  4. al-Ameda says:

    There is a strong white male Ted Nugent type of voter in Michigan, so I can definitely see that Michigan might be ripe for crazification.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. Franklin says:

    I live in Michigan and I’ve never heard of Schauer or Peters until this post. Early polling is early.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. rodney dill says:

    @beth:

    Didn’t they just pass a bill today requiring women to buy abortion insurance and making it illegal for insurance companies to pay for abortions

    I don’t believe that is correct. I don’t believe it requires women to buy abortion insurance, and Its not illegal, they just need to purchase abortion insurance in a separate rider if they want it. I don’t agree with the bill either, but if you’re going to argue against it you should at least state correctly what you’re arguing against.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. rodney dill says:

    @Franklin: In the Detroit area?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. bill says:

    @al-Ameda: well someone has to work and pay taxes, everyone can’t be on the dole….well in britain maybe-but we aren’t that bad yet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  9. Stan says:

    @bill: If you really want to see a lot of people living on the dole, go to the crystal meth belt in northern Michigan. You’ll find a lot of Ted Nugent admirers, long on swagger, short on cash, and missing lots of teeth. But they do have their guns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  10. al-Ameda says:

    @bill:

    well someone has to work and pay taxes, everyone can’t be on the dole….well in britain maybe-but we aren’t that bad yet.

    Oh, well that explains why Blue States have been subsidizing Red States for years. States like CA get back 80% of every tax dollar they send to DC,, while in states like Mississippi and other Red States, they get back over 125% of ever tax dollar they send to Washington.

    It seems that the liberal leaning Blue States carry the freight.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  11. Franklin says:

    @rodney dill: Ann Arbor. Is it almost time for a Michigan OTB party?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @rodney dill:

    I don’t believe that is correct. I don’t believe it requires women to buy abortion insurance… they just need to purchase abortion insurance in a separate rider if they want it.”

    facepalmslap … sigh.

    OK… the logic here is that ANY women, no matter the age or economy, would have to, at the time of purchasing any health insurance policy, would specifically need to choose an abortion coverage rider… or not.

    Do we have diabetes riders?

    How about colon cancer or testicular cancer riders?

    What other heath care situation exists where you must SPECIFICALLY choose to opt in for a specific procedure, even if you are in no need of it at all, now.

    Maybe Michigan has chosen to express that being a woman is a pre-existing condition that the ACA does not cover.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. rodney dill says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: You miss my point entirely. I addressed nothing about the potential flaws or merits of the law. There are any number of reasons to think this is not a good law. Beth apparently chose to make non-existent reasons up out of thin air. She could’ve of chosen, as you did, to elaborate on real problems people will have with the law. I guess its just easier to make shit up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. beth says:

    @rodney dill: Actually it is illegal under the law passed for the insurance companies to pay for an abortion under existing insurance policies – you have to buy a separate rider for it. I don’t believe I was “making shit up”. I never said women were forced to buy the insurance. If I said Michigan passed a law requiring auto insurance, would you assume they meant everyone whether they drive or not has to buy it? A little common sense goes a long way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. rodney dill says:

    @beth: you said,

    Didn’t they just pass a bill today requiring women to buy abortion insurance and making it illegal for insurance companies to pay for abortions

    1. women are not required to buy abortion insurance. They can purchase a rider if they choose, they are not required.
    2. It’s not illegal to pay for abortions. If a woman has a rider that covers abortion it’s perfectly legal for insurance companies to pay for an abortion. It may be illegal for insurance companies to offer abortion insurance as part of a base package, but that is different from making paying for an abortion illegal.

    You did change what you said in this response, but that is not what you originally said, and subsequently not what I responded. to

    I don’t believe I was “making shit up”.

    If it looks like dog shit, and smells like dog shit, its probably dog shit.

    If I said Michigan passed a law requiring auto insurance, would you assume they meant everyone whether they drive or not has to buy it? A little common sense goes a long way.

    Not a valid example, as in your first comment you specified ‘women’ were required. Here you only specify it’s required, but not for whom. In this case I wouldn’t make an assumption. In your first comment I didn’t have to make an assumption as you explicitly specified who was required.

    Yes, a little common sense does go along way, you should try it some time.

    …and for what its worth, as I said in my first comment, I don’t agree with this law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. beth says:

    @rodney dill: Whatever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0