Recent polls are showing Bill Schuette trailing Gretchen Whitmer in the race for the Governor’s office and that is forcing a shift in strategy. Reports from the Detroit Free Press and Michigan Information and Research Services said the Republican Governor’s Association is shifting where they are spending ad money for Schuette.
“They’re struggling so they are prioritizing their dollars,” says Ed Sarpolus, Founder of Target-Insyght.
Several polls this week show a near double digit lead for Whitmer over Schuette. In an effort to turn things around, the RGA is moving some money around.
“It doesn’t mean Schuette won’t have money but it sends a signal that they have to prioritize,” says Sarpolus.
More than five million dollars was pledged to the race from the start.
“They’ve already spent almost $1 million from the RGA,” says Dave Dotyle, Executive Vice President of Marketing Research Group, “They’ve outspent the Democratic Governor’s Association.”
The first reports said the money was moved from Michigan altogether but the RGA responded on Twitter saying the reports were false, the money is staying in state. They’re just moving it around to different markets.
“Definitely Republicans want Schuette to win but they are prioritizing their dollars and the fact that they are moving out of Southeast Michigan that tells me t they don’t think that’s where their money needs to be and that Schuette is hurting outstate,” says Sarpolus.
Of course, the other side of the ballot has taken this as a chance to strike and point out the cracks on the GOP side.
“We think that it just shows that they are very concerned about Schuette and they have every single reason to be concerned about Bill Schuette‘s campaign for governor,” says Democratic spokesperson Sam Newton.
The RGA claims to stand strong with Schuette, even if they don’t win, a strong finish will help voter turnout which will help the party as a whole.
“So they find themselves in a little bit of an obstacle because of the polls,” says Sarpolus, “If these numbers don’t change that’s going to hurt the bottom of the ticket.”
Wherever and however the money is spent, the Republicans have two months to find the winning strategy and make up the ground.
“It’s within striking distance but that’s a lot to overcome,” says Doyle