MIRS newsletter has big news in Webinar! What is going on in the Michigan Republican Party?
Here’s what a MIRS poll found when respondents were asked which GOP gubernatorial candidate they would vote for on Aug. 2nd!
The Answer: Undecided is the winner, with 37%; James Craig is first with 32% among 13 Candidates; Christian conservative Garrett Soldano is Runner-up with 10% in New Poll
The Michigan Information & News Service (MIRS) survey, revealed in a webinar last week, shows that a 37% plurality of 539 likely Republican voters are undecided on the GOP gubernatorial primary race, but of those who do have a preference, former Detroit Police Chief James CRAIG is still the most popular choice despite running a lackluster campaign so far.
The poll had a margin of error of +/- 4.22%. Of those polled, 209 were conducted over cell phones and 325 were completed using IVR polling. Among those asked 54% were those 65 and older, 31% were between 45 and 64, 10% were between 30-44. The final 5% were those 18 to 29.
Craig received 32% in the Feb. 17-19 Mitchell Research and Communications poll commissioned by MIRS. Kalamazoo-area chiropractor Garrett SOLDANO is next with 10%. Former auto dealer Kevin RINKE is at 5%. Conservative commentator Tudor DIXON and Allendale real estate agent Ryan KELLY are both at 4%. Self-described “quality guru” Perry JOHNSON, state police Capt. Mike BROWN, and “someone else” are at 3%. Remember, this poll was taken more than a week ago, but it’s the most recent one we have.
MIRS reports that, after a brief bio is read for the five perceived “most likely” successful candidates –- based on their ability to raise at least $500,000 so far — Craig is at 34%, Undecided 30%, Soldano 12%, Dixon 11%, Rinke 7%, Johnson 4% and someone (anyone!) else at 3%.
MIRS reported Craig reacted to the survey this way: “This poll demonstrates that our message of providing strong leadership is working,” Craig said. “Republican voters want someone that they can trust as a candidate that will defeat Gretchen WHITMER in November.”
Dixon, the only plausible female in the race, jumped from 4% on the “cold ask” question to 11% on the “informed” question, which may be due to the bio that was used. It included the line, “(Donald) Trump called her ‘very special’,” when he met with her in Florida.
Craig is strongest in Metro Detroit, where he gained name ID as Detroit Police Chief, Mitchell said. Predictably, he is getting the most support in Oakland (59%), Wayne (46%) and Macomb Counties (39%). Dixon is strongest with 30-44 years olds (18%) and Soldano is strongest with 45-64 year olds (18%) in the Genesee/Saginaw/Bay/Thumb area and in West Michigan (18%).
The poll was conducted four days into multi-millionaire Johnson’s month-long $1.5 million media buy that kicked off on Super Bowl Sunday and will run into mid-March. Johnson campaign consultant John YOB dismissed the poll results, saying that if the survey was done four weeks from now it would show something different. Based on polling Yob has done, he opines that Republican voters are still not dialed into the race, Craig’s numbers are soft, and his guy (Perry Johnson) is “surging” in his tracking numbers.
Whether the poll will connect with voters is another matter. Veteran political consultant and media consultant Bob KOLT told The Ballenger Report last week that he would give Johnson’s ad a “two out of 10.”
“People are not going to like him . . . nothing in his ad connects with most people in Michigan,” Kolt concluded after seeing the commercial twice and promising himself not to watch it again.
The poll also found 83% of likely Republican voters are undecided on the three Attorney General candidates. Tom LEONARD is at 9%, Matt DePERNO (endorsed by Trump) at 5%, and Rep. Ryan BERMAN (R-Commerce Twp.) at 3%. Remember, this nomination race will NOT be decided in a primary of statewide Republican voters but in a state GOP convention this spring with a small number of activist delegates participating. THEY will certainly know who is running, and that is all that’s important. Whoever gets the nomination, he or she could be Howdy Doody running against incumbent Democrat Dana Nessel and s/he will win if voters decide they want to sweep all Democratic incumbents out. If voters are OK with Nessel, it won’t happen.
For Secretary of State, 85% are undecided. Kristina KARAMO (endorsed by Trump) is at 6%, Macomb Co. township clerk Cindy BERRY is at 5%, and state Rep. Beau LAFAVE (R-Iron Mountain) is at 4%. Again, this race will be decided at the same GOP state convention mentioned above. Whoever wins the nomination, repeat everything you just read in the last paragraph except that the ousted officeholder will be incumbent Democrat Jocelyn Benson, or not.
The survey also asked likely GOP primary voters whether they’d be more or less likely to support a GOP gubernatorial candidate that former President Donald TRUMP supported.
A total of 58% of those polled said they were “much more likely,” and another 22% said they were a “little more likely” to vote for a candidate that backs Trump. Of those asked, 23% said they believe President Joe BIDEN legally won Michigan. Another 64% disagreed and 13% said they weren’t sure (again, these are REPUBLICAN voters — the general electorate, which is much larger and includes Democrats and Independent/ticket splitters — believes exactly the opposite).
“With 80% ‘more likely’ it demonstrates the incredible hold that Trump continues to have on the Republican Party,” said Steve MITCHELL of Mitchell Research and Communications.