Poll: Whitmer, Dixon race for governor statistically even

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) and GOP challenger Tudor Dixon
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) and GOP challenger Tudor Dixon(Bridge MI)
Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 4:28 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - With less than three weeks before the November election, Republican candidate Tudor Dixon has pulled within two percent of Democratic incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan’s gubernatorial election, according to the most recent Mitchell-MIRS Poll of likely general election voters conducted by Mitchell Research & Communications, Inc.

Whitmer leads 49% to 47% - which is a statistical tie given the poll’s 4.21% margin of error. The poll shows 3% of voters are undecided.

Democrat incumbent Attorney General Dana Nessel is also in a very tight race with GOP candidate Mathew DePerno.  Nessel leads 46% to 43%. Incumbent Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has a much stronger lead over Republican challenger Kristina Karamo, 49% to 40%.  Support for Proposal 3 - which would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution - has slipped to 50% with 47% opposed.

The poll was conducted using automated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) methodology calling landlines and by text messaging voters cell phones and sending them to a SurveyMonkey poll. Data was weighted by age, gender, and race to reflect the likely voter turnout on November 8.  The survey of N=541 Likely Voters was conducted October 19, 2022, and has a margin of error of + or – 4.21% at the 95% level of confidence.

“After a strong debate performance and after a statewide TV buy that has given Tudor Dixon much-needed advertising, she has closed the race to a two percent margin, 49% to 47%. Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who also had a strong debate against the challenger, has out-raised and out-spent Dixon exponentially, but the Governor is faced with a very bad economic environment that includes the highest inflation in more than forty years.  Both candidates are exceptionally strong campaigners, but Whitmer is also running with an unpopular Democratic president in the White House.  This may be a real ‘barnburner” going all the way down to the wire,” Steve Mitchell, president of Mitchell Research, said in a press release.

Gov. Whitmer leads by fourteen percent (54% to 41%) with women while Dixon leads with men by eleven percent (54% to 43%).  The governor leads with early voters while Dixon has a strong lead with those who plan to vote on Election Day.

The governor has consolidated the Democratic vote where she leads 92% to 6%, but Dixon is finally getting her base vote behind her where she now leads 89% to 6%.  Whitmer has a four percent lead with independents (49% to 45%).

When asked “which of two issues is most important to them in determining their vote for governor and the legislature,” fifty-one percent say “inflation/the economy” while 41% say “abortion.”  Democrats (68%) are much more likely to say “abortion” while Republicans (82%) are more likely to cite the economic issues.  The crucial independents say economy (56%) rather than abortion (39%).

“Mid-term elections are bad for the party in the White House, in three weeks we will see how difficult it was for Democrats, this year,” Mitchell concluded.