Michigan governor’s race: Whitmer leads Dixon in poll, with inflation, abortion top issues


Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer leads Republican challenger Tudor Dixon in a new survey released just one week before voters head to the polls.

According to a new WDIV/Detroit News poll, inflation and abortion are the top issues for Michigan voters, who will decide on Tuesday whether to grant Whitmer a second four-year term. 

The governor holds an 8.6 percentage point lead over Dixon (51.7% to 43.1%), although the good news for Republicans is that Dixon has managed to cut nearly half of Whitmer’s lead since September, when the same poll found the incumbent was up by 17 points. 

Each candidate appears to have mostly consolidated support from those identifying as “strong” Republicans or Democrats, respectively. However, the poll found Whitmer is winning independent voters with 57.6% support, compared to Dixon’s 30.4% support from self-identified independents. 

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Notably, Whitmer also has 21% support from leaning Republican voters, while Dixon has only 2.4% of the vote from leaning Democratic voters. 

Incumbent Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, left, and Michigan GOP gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, right.
(Erin Kirkland/Bloomberg, Nic Antaya/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

On the issues, 40% of likely voters said inflation and the cost of living were their top concerns as they prepare to go to the ballot box. Another 31.4% of voters said abortion and women’s rights was their biggest motivating factor. Most women (45.9%) said abortion was the most important issue in this election, while a plurality of men (38.5%) said inflation was driving them to the polls. 

This statewide survey was conducted by the Glengariff Group, Inc., and polled 600 likely Michigan voters by live operator telephone between Oct. 26-28. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. 

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Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, left, and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon are seen during a Michigan Governor debate, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, left, and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon are seen during a Michigan Governor debate, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
(Bryan Esler/Nexstar Media Group/WOOD-TV via AP)

Abortion was a contentious issue for Whitmer and Dixon at the final gubernatorial debate last Tuesday, when each candidate attempted to portray their opponent as an extremist. 

“You can’t trust anything she says when it comes to reproductive rights,” Whitmer said of Dixon. 

The Republican nominee, a mother of four, countered by accusing the governor of being outside the political mainstream when it comes to abortion. 

“The governor has just been dishonest,” Dixon said. “In her past, she’s voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion.” 

Democrats nationwide have clung to the abortion issue, believing that the unpopularity of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision overturning Roe v. Wade in June will shield them from expected losses in a midterm election year with a Democrat president occupying the White House. 

In Michigan, a proposal was added to the ballot that would amend the state constitution to establish a new individual right to reproductive freedom, including abortion rights. Polls have shown that a majority of Michigan voters support the measure, called Proposal 3, which Democrats hope will increase turnout among Whitmer’s pro-choice supporters. 

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Former President Obama reacts to being interrupted by a man during a Saturday rally in Michigan.

Former President Obama reacts to being interrupted by a man during a Saturday rally in Michigan.
(Pool Video)

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Former President Obama campaigned for Whitmer in Detroit over the weekend as part of a national tour rallying Democrats in key battleground states. At a rally on Saturday, Obama said Republicans are “obsessed” with “owning the libs” instead of issues that matter to voters. 

“I can tell you what Gretchen Whitmer is obsessed with,” Obama said. “She’s focused on the fundamentals: Good jobs, lower costs, better schools and fixing the damn roads.”

Fox News’ Haris Alic contributed to this report. 



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