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Detroit Regional Chamber Announces Gubernatorial Primary Poll Findings, To Host First Bipartisan Debate

DETROIT (April 26, 2018) – The Detroit Regional Chamber Political Action Committee (PAC) will host the first debate featuring both the top Democratic and Republican candidates for Michigan governor at the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island. The debate will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 31 in Grand Hotel’s Theatre.

The top three candidates for each party’s nomination were identified by a poll commissioned by the Detroit Regional Chamber PAC and conducted by Glengariff Group Inc. in April. The poll was a research survey of public opinion from 800 Michigan primary election voters, 400 from each party. The results do not necessarily reflect the views of the Chamber or its PAC.

Republican candidates who will participate in the debate and the percentage of voters who say they are supporting each candidate in the primary are:

  • Brian Calley, Lieutenant Governor, State of Michigan (23 percent)
  • Patrick Colbeck, Senator, State of Michigan (4.3 percent)
  • Bill Schuette, Attorney General, State of Michigan (36.3 percent)

(34 percent of Republican primary voters surveyed indicated that they are undecided.)

Democratic candidates who will participate in the debate are:

  • Abdul El-Sayed, Former Executive Director, Health Department, City of Detroit (6.5 percent)
  • Shri Thanedar, Author and Entrepreneur (29.6 percent)
  • Gretchen Whitmer, Former Senator, State of Michigan (26.3 percent)

(34.8 percent of Democratic primary voters surveyed indicated that they are undecided.)

“We appreciate the fact that candidates in both parties are participating in multiple debates to help voters decide. But, with this event, we are trying to do more than just narrow down a field. We want to help Michigan choose its next governor,” said Brad Williams, vice president of Government Relations for the Chamber. “The Mackinac Policy Conference has long influenced major statewide races and we expect that this debate will have a similar impact on the 2018 election.”

The candidates will be moderated by the Detroit Public Television (DPTV) “MiWeek” co-hosts Nolan Finley, Stephen Henderson and Christy McDonald. The debate audience will be comprised exclusively of Conference attendees. A separate ticket is required to attend the debate and the proceeds benefit the Chamber’s PAC. DPTV will livestream the debate at mpc.detroitchamber.com.

COMPLETE GUBERNATORIAL RACE POLL FINDINGS AVAILABLE ONLINE

The in-depth results of the poll’s findings on the governor’s race, commissioned by the Detroit Regional Chamber PAC, can be found at detroitchamber.com/poll-findings. The initial analysis conducted by Glengariff Group Inc. in April includes:

“The Democratic race is a toss up at this point with Thanedar’s television advertising paying dividends in Wayne County where Gretchen Whitmer is simply unknown yet.  We’re in the early stages of this race.  But Thanedar’s early television buy has made him a strong competitor early in the race,” said Richard Czuba, founder of Glengariff Group Inc.

“The Republican primary is very much a two-person race at this point with the difference being viewers of Fox News, who are going disproportionately for Bill Schuette, while Republicans who get their news from sources other than Fox are breaking relatively even between Schuette and Calley,” added Czuba.

For more information on the Mackinac Policy Conference, visit mpc.detroitchamber.com.