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Detroit chamber sets stage for gubernatorial debate at Mackinac Policy Conference

Crain’s Detroit Business

April 26, 2018

By: Chad Livengood 

Ann Arbor businessman Shri Thanedar narrowly led former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer in the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination for Michigan governor in a new poll the Detroit Regional Chamber commissioned ahead of next month’s Mackinac Policy Conference.

In the Republican field, Attorney General Bill Schuette had a 13-point lead over Lt. Gov. Brian Calley — 36 percent to 23 percent — in a poll conducted April 19-21 by Lansing-based Glengariff Group Inc.

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s political action committee commissioned the poll the determine the top three candidates in the Democratic and Republican fields and set the lineup for a bipartisan debate May 31 at the chamber’s annual conference at the Grand Hotel.

Thanedar, who has blanketed the airwaves in recent months with a multimillion dollar TV advertising campaign using his own money, garnered 29.6 percent support among the 400 likely Democratic voters polled for the survey.

Whitmer, the long-presumed front-runner and favorite of the Democratic Party establishment, got support from 26.3 percent of voters surveyed, followed by 6.5 percent for Abdul El-Sayed, M.D., the former Detroit health department director.

Thanedar’s lead in the poll conducted more than three months before the Aug. 7 primary falls within the poll’s 4.9 percent margin of error. Nearly 35 percent of likely Democratic voters said they were undecided.

About 34 percent percent of likely Republican voters said they, too, were undecided on who should succeed two-term Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who can’t run for re-election because of constitutional term limits. Snyder has endorsed Calley.

State Sen. Patrick Colbeck of Canton Township trailed far behind Calley with 4.3 percent support, according to the poll results.

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s PAC is holding a debate on the last night of its annual Mackinac Island confab that will be limited to conference attendees who donate $200 or more to the chamber’s PAC.

The chamber used the poll to limit the number of candidates to three for each political party. Saginaw obstetrician Jim Hines, who will be on the ballot, finished fourth in the polling and won’t be on the debate stage in the Grand Hotel theater.

Detroit Public Television”MiWeek” co-hosts Christy McDonald, Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson will moderate the 90-minute debate.

Glengariff Group conducted separate 400-voter surveys for the Detroit Chamber. The Democratic voter poll was conducted April 20-22.

Schuette, Calley, Colbeck and Hines will face off in their first televised debate sponsored by the Michigan Republican Party on May 9 in Grand Rapids at WOOD-TV, which will broadcast the 7 p.m. debate.

A third debate is scheduled for June 28 at the downtown Detroit studios of WDIV (Channel 4).

 

View the original post from Crain’s Detroit Business here.