Two months from Election Day and a new major poll shows a widening gap in the race for the governor’s office.
The Detroit News and WDIV released a poll showing a 13 percentage point lead for Governor Gretchen Whitmer over Republican challenger Tudor Dixon.
Dixon had closed the gap coming out of the primary, but now the trend seems to be reversing.
“The election’s on November 8 but voting starts in about two weeks,” said Adrian Hemond of Grassroots Midwest. Dixon sits at 35%. The lead has widened for the governor.
“Tudor Dixon’s poll numbers look a lot like Bill Schuette’s poll numbers about this time four years ago,” said Hemond.
Whitmer won that race by eight percent.
Time is not the only issue but funding. The most recent campaign disclosures show Whitmer with $14 million on hand. Dixon has just over half a million dollars.
“She doesn’t have any money to communicate her message to voters or to define herself,” said Hemond, “It’s shocking.”
The new poll shows Whitmer has a 27% lead with female voters. Dixon leads with men by a point.
A major reason being the two women’s stances on abortion, the defining issue this summer.
“They’re in the position that they’re in right now where they are trying to defend an extraordinarily unpopular non-mainstream position,” said Hemond, “Which is an abortion ban with no exceptions.”
Monday, at the Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk, Dixon said, despite her strong beliefs, she supports the results of the abortion ballot proposal.
“I’ve always said that if this passes, that I will support the law,” said Dixon, “That will be the law of the land.”
A message that isn’t widely known because Dixon’s campaign has not done many Michigan media appearances since the primary.
“She’s a major party nominee. She could have free media every day of the week if she wanted to,” said Hemond, “You just have to show up.”
These would be chances for free exposure to help soften the gap in funding.
“She doesn’t have any money so she can stick out all the moderate positions that she likes. She doesn’t have the money to advertise them and she’s not talking to the media so who knows about any of that?” said Hemond, “The only thing that they know about is what the governor and allies of the Democrats have been saying.”
Another help is the amount of undecided voters. Those voters tend to vote for their party and may help narrow the lead.
“They’ll tighten a little bit,” said Hemond, “As partisans come home.”