Despite a recent surge from Kevin Rinke and Democrats spending $1.6 million to attack her, Tudor Dixon continues to lead the Michigan GOP gubernatorial primary race in the latest MIRS poll released Wednesday.
Rinke cut Dixon's lead by 2 points in the past week to 6 points (28%-22%), but the daughter of a steel industry magnate with ties to former President Donald Trump maintains a lead outside the margin of error in the final week before the Aug. 2 polls close.
Trump has made no official endorsement in the key battleground state, but he has heaped praise on Dixon in past speeches and Save America rallies. Also, in a signal of whom Democrats do not want to face in the November general election, the Democratic Governors Association has spent $1.6 million on attack ads against Dixon.
"Although Tudor Dixon's lead has slipped from 8% to 6%, she seems to have stopped
the surging momentum of the Rinke campaign," Mitchell Research President Steve Mitchell wrote in his analysis of his polling.
"Dixon continues to lead with all demographics and in all areas, with the exception of absentee voters who have not yet voted where she is tied at 26% with Rinke, in Traverse City/Cadillac where she trails Rinke (26%-30%), and in the Detroit Media Market where she trails by 2% (26%-28%).
"The Detroit turnaround is significant because she held a 16-point lead in the Detroit Media Market just a week ago. Dixon has lost ground with those who have already voted absentee (-7%), men (-11%), in the Lansing DMA (-11%) and among 45–64-year-olds (-7%). With the Democratic Governors Association buying $1.6 million in negative advertising against Dixon, Dixon will not only have to fend off Rinke and her other opponents but the Democrats as well."
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, figures to be a key target of Trump's ire these midterms.
"The huge ad buy between now and the election by the Democratic Governors Association is designed to take down Tudor Dixon who they believe will be the most difficult opponent for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer," Mitchell added. "They have successfully elected weaker candidates in other states such as Maryland. By expending the money now, they will save millions if they get a candidate they believe is weaker than Dixon.
"It's obvious by this buy that the Democrats fear that Dixon is the strongest candidate to take on Gov. Whitmer. The question is, will Republicans allow the Democratic Governors Association to determine who the GOP candidate for governor will be?"
The full GOP gubernatorial primary polling results:
- Dixon: 28%.
- Rinke: 22%.
- Ryan Kelley: 14%.
- Garrett Soldano: 11%.
- Ralph Rebandt: 1%.
- Not sure: 25%.
The polling by Mitchell Research and Communications of Lansing, Michigan, was commissioned by MIRS and conducted among 436 likely GOP primary voters July 24-25. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.
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