The first polling looking at Michigan’s general election after the August primaries doesn’t look good for Republican candidates and causes.
A survey of 600 likely Michigan voters conducted for The Detroit News and WDIV-TV shows Democratic nominee for governor Gretchen Whitmer with a nearly 14-percent lead over Republican Bill Schuette. It also shows heavy advantages for Democrats in a number of other races and questions posed to participants.
But is it wise to make any assumptions based on one poll? After what happened in 2016, should we trust these polls to accurately reflect the temperature of likely voters?
Should Republicans be worried?
“If you’re a Republican, you should be concerned,” says Matt Marsden, co-founder of RevSix Data, a data analysis firm based in Oakland County. Marsden is also former spokesperson for Republican state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, who is now running for reelection to his seat in Congress.
Marsden says Republicans may have hitched their political wagons too close to President Trump, which is hurting their chances with “middle-of-the-road” voters, who are disillusioned with the current administration. He says that effect is likely trickling down to state and local races.
“I absolutely think the possibility of (Republicans) losing control of the (Michigan) House is closer to a reality than it is anything else,” he says. “And I think that any Republican strategist that’s being honest with themselves will look at that as probably an inevitability.”
Marsden says the Senate “is a different beast.” That chamber now has a large Republican super-majority. Marsden says, at the very least, that majority will narrow after the November election.
He says his former boss, now-Congressman Mike Bishop (R-Rochester Hills) “has a real street fight on his hands” against Democratic candidate Elissa Slotkin.
Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.