Are Michigan Republicans in Trouble in November Election?

Jake Neher/WDET

Matt Marsden (right) with Stephen Henderson (left) during an appearance on Detroit Today in October 2017.

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.

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

This post is a part of 2018 Elections in Michigan.

On November 6, Michigan voters will decide who will be the state's new governor, attorney general and secretary of state. Some state House and Senate seats are up for grabs, and numerous initiatives are expected on ballots.

WDET is committed to providing honest, fair, inclusive coverage of Michigan's 2018 elections. Join us now and all the way to the voting booth to be an informed voter.


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