Michigan Democrat Whitmer Trails Republican on Generic Ballot
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Two of Michigan’s top Democrats are neck-and-neck with Republican opponents in their races for reelection this year, according to a new GOP internal polling memo.

The poll was conducted by ARW Strategies from April 18 to 20, and the results were released Thursday by Republican Matthew DePerno, who is hoping to unseat Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) in November.

The poll found Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) one point behind a generic Republican candidate, receiving 45 percent to the GOP candidate’s 46 percent. Eight percent of respondents said they were undecided.

Whitmer is expected to face a tough reelection race this year in the Michigan battleground. Cook Political Report shifted the race from “lean D” to “toss up” in December, and one recent general election poll found the governor just one point ahead of her closest opponent, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Craig is the current frontrunner in the Republican primary, but the primary field is packed with other candidates, including chiropractor Garrett Soldano, businessman Perry Johnson, real estate broker and activist Ryan Kelley, conservative commentator Tudor Dixon, and former car dealership owner Kevin Rinke.

The ARW poll also tested a matchup between DePerno and Nessel in the race for attorney general and found Nessel ahead of DePerno by one point, 42 percent to 41 percent. Another 17 percent of respondents said they were undecided on the race.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus four percent, meaning both Whitmer and Nessel are in statistical ties in their races.

DePerno, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and unofficially nominated by the Michigan Republican Party, noted in a statement about the poll:

It’s clear Michiganders are tired of Dana Nessel’s drunk on power spree over the last four years. … We’re going to clean up the corruption, stop the political persecution and bring dignity back to the office of Attorney General.

The poll also found President Joe Biden, Whitmer, and Nessel had sagging approval ratings in Michigan. While President Joe Biden’s approval rating has been at rock bottom for months nationwide, the memo noted the president’s unpopularity “may further drag down” the Democrat ticket in the Great Lakes State.

FILE - In this March 5, 2020, file photo, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel addresses the media during a news conference in Lansing, Mich. A federal judge in California has blocked a rule that Michigan, seven other states and four big-city school districts said would unlawfully allow too much pandemic relief aid to be diverted from K-12 public schools to private ones. (AP Photo/David Eggert, File)

In this March 5, 2020, file photo, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel addresses the media during a news conference in Lansing. (AP Photo/David Eggert)

Whitmer was viewed unfavorably by a majority of respondents, 50.4 percent, with 40 percent having a “very unfavorable” view of the governor and ten percent having a “somewhat unfavorable” view of her.

Nessel was viewed unfavorably by 39 percent of respondents, with 31 percent having a “very unfavorable” view of Nessel and eight percent having a “somewhat unfavorable” view of her.

The poll was conducted among 600 likely general election voters.

Write to Ashley Oliver at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.

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