Politcal Strategist Shares What to Expect From Governor Whitmer, Tudor Dixon Debates

Election day is four weeks from Tuesday, and later this week we’ll have the first debate between Governor Gretchen Whitmer and challenger Tudor Dixon.

There are two debates scheduled between the two women vying for the governor’s seat. They’re taking place Thursday and Tuesday, Oct. 25. The nominees will share a stage and have the opportunity to try to sway undecided voters.

The pair have been doing a lot of attacking each other in their own events, or on the airwaves, but Thursday they will face off for the first time and have to answer for each other’s claims and attacks.

“You’re not only going to be face to face with your opponent, but you’re going to be out there on the circus stage with everybody watching you from a 360 vantage and one misstep and you fall off the rope and hit the net,” John Sellek from Harbor Strategic said.

Sellek is a republican strategist and found of Harbor Strategic. He also knows that it takes to prepare for a debate against Governor Whitmer since he was on Bill Schuette’s team in 2018.

Governor Whitmer is the experienced lifelong politician, Dixon is the novice, the weight is on her to expose the governor’s weakness.

“The Dixon campaign has to come out of each of these debates drawing some blood,” Sellek says. “They have to be on the offense, and they are going to have to pick an issue or two to get the governor to stumble.”

Governor Whitmer will probably focus on reproductive rights, an issue she is on the most popular side of, and Sellek says Dixon will avoid that to attack Governor Whitmer’s record.

“There’s a lot about education and learning and loss and what’s being taught in school and parental rights and all that good stuff. And what we continue to see in the polls that’s most damaging to democrats is the economy,” Sellek said.

There will be value for Dixon to just be there. With limited resources, she is not on television as much as Governor Whitmer is, and thus there is less recognition.

“It may more so be a victory for Dixon just in the sense that people got to see her in what is probably one of her stronger suits, which is being on television and directly communicating to an audience,” Sellek said.

That’s because by all measures, Governor Whitmer is leading. Every poll released says so.

“Make no mistake, these polls matter that information gets into people’s minds and it’s jsut human nature to kind of want to be on the side potentially of the winner,” Sellek said.

But the amount of the lead is unclear. Many polls say Governor Whitmer has a major lead with high amounts of undecided voters, but a recent CBS poll from over the weekend shows just a six point lead thanks to removing the undecided voter.

“Basically, what they did is they asked a lot of questions of people who said they were undecided and were able to deem in their opinion which way they were leaning,” Sellek said.