A new poll of Michigan shows Gov. Rick Snyder (R) in a statistical tie with Mark Schauer 44.6%-44.3%. This poll along with a new poll of Wisconsin reveal that Democrats have a golden opportunity to beat Snyder and Walker in the same year.
In Michigan, the race for governor has tightened up significantly since the spring. In March, Schauer trailed Snyder by eight points (47%-39%), but Snyder’s lead has evaporated as the Democratic challenger becomes more well known. What is most troubling for Snyder is that Schauer is picking up support in the polls from Democrats who are getting to know him. The Michigan race isn’t a situation where the Republican incumbent has less support within his own party. There isn’t an upside of Republicans waiting to come home to Snyder. The upside in this race is with Schauer. As more Democrats get to know their candidate, his support is growing.
Not only has the latest polling revealed that the race for governor in Wisconsin is a dead heat, but the experts are starting to notice that Scott Walker might lose. The Rothenberg Political Report has changed their rating on the Wisconsin governor election to toss-up, “For the last year and half, we viewed Wisconsin as a polarized place but had difficulty seeing how Burke could get over the top. Now, even though midterm turnout should benefit Walker, the potentially potent attack on his jobs record is enough to erase Walker’s advantage in the race at this point. We’re changing The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating of the race from Leans Republican to Pure Tossup.”
Expectations are so low for Scott Walker that his own campaign is hoping to squeak out a close win against Democrat Mary Burke. When Scott Walker was trying to destroy public sector unions in Wisconsin, while Rick Snyder was sneaking through right to work legislation in Michigan it would have been difficult to believe that both of these Koch fueled governors would be fighting for their careers just a few years later.
It is a tribute to Democrats, liberals, and progressives in both states that these two governors are on the ropes. The people who have fought Snyder and Walker have done so tirelessly, and their hard work has gotten Democrats in a position to knock off each state’s governor.
There is still much work to be done. Walker and Snyder will fill the airwaves with negative ads all through the fall. They are going to try to suppress the vote. They will do anything to hang on to power. The good news is that if Democrats in each state can increase their turnout by 5%-10% over 2010 levels, they will win.
Voters haven’t forgotten, and it looks like payback might be coming for Rick Snyder and Scott Walker this November.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association