Republican candidates for Michigan governor are in a tight primary race with many voters still undecided while awaiting a potential Trump endorsement, a new poll released Tuesday shows.
The new WDIV/The Detroit News poll shows Tudor Dixon, Kevin Rinke, Garrett Solando, and Ryan Kelley in a close GOP primary race that will decide who will advance to the November midterms to challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Dixon held a slight lead over her opponents among likely Republican voters, according to the poll. She received 19% support, with 15% saying they would vote for Rinke. Around 13% expressed support for Kelley and 12% said they’d be checking Soldano on their ballots. The poll found that with the primary election just two weeks away, 38% of voters still remain undecided.
Dixon has received endorsements from various organizations such as American Conservative Union (ACU), Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee (RLM-PAC), and Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM).
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The businesswoman also received endorsements from several politicians, including former Michigan Gov. John Engler. Dixon is a likely candidate to receive a possible Trump endorsement, after he called her “a fantastic, brilliant candidate” at a rally held in the state.
Rinke, who is prepared to spend $10 million on his gubernatorial campaign, polls at a close second to Dixon.
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Another leading contender, Ryan Kelley, was arrested by the FBI in June on misdemeanor charges for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol. Kelley pleaded not guilty to all four charges and is not due back in court until after the GOP primary concludes.
Former President Donald Trump has not yet handed out an endorsement for the race, a component that could potentially sway voters in a particular direction.
The Detroit poll showed that about 60% of voters feel that a Trump endorsement would be somewhat or very important in helping them decide which candidate to vote for. According to the research, 74% of likely Republican voters in Michigan view the former president favorably.
The poll also looked ahead to 2024, asking voters if they would rather have Trump or Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., represent Republicans in the next presidential election. About 45% said they would vote for Trump, with 42% of voters rooting for DeSantis.
Whitmer, who is running for the Democratic Party’s nomination unopposed in the Aug. 2 primary, will face on the winning GOP candidate in the Nov. 8 election.
The Glengariff Group, Inc. telephone survey was conducted on July 13-17, 2022, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.