Romney McDaniel, Kildee Michigan’s Political People of the Year

Pundit Poll predicts Most Influential Republican and Democrat for 2017

Thursday, December 29, 2016 – Lansing – After a seven-week hiatus of punditry introspection, reflection and self-flagellation following the November 8th presidential elections, the Pundit Poll returned today to name its Michigan Political People of the Year and look ahead to 2017 for who will be Michigan’s Most Influential Republican and Democrat.

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Michigan’s Republican of the Year, as voted on by nearly 70 of the state’s leading political professionals, is Republican Party Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel.  McDaniel narrowly edged Attorney General Bill Schuette with 14 votes to Schuette’s 13.  

Republican legislative leaders also received votes, with Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof receiving 8 votes, Incoming Speaker of the House Tom Leonard pulled in 6.

Interestingly, Governor Rick Snyder received 1 vote.

Looking to the other side of the aisle, Congressman Dan Kildee is Michigan’s Democrat of the Year.  The Congressman from the Flint area pulled in 13 votes for the honor, besting Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (10 votes), Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (10 votes), and incoming House Minority Leader Sam Singh (7 votes).

Others of note to receive votes include Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (4), former Senator Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (2) and U.S. Senator Gary Peters (1).

“After a complete shock on Election Night, Romney McDaniel’s pick as Republican of the Year is really no surprise at all,” Matt Resch, president of the Resch Strategies, said.  “McDaniel and her team at the state party HQs helped deliver a huge victory for Donald Trump, secured a large majority in the State House and propelled McDaniel to the top of the nation’s GOP ladder as Chair of the Republican National Committee.”

Dennis Denno, president of Denno Research, commented on Kildee’s selection: “Congressman Kildee has been at the center of responding to the crisis in Flint.  His profile had risen, and he’s made the most of the leadership opportunity that has resulted.”

Looking forward, the chastened Pundit Poll also predicted The Most Influential Republican and Most Influential Democrat of 2017.

For the Dems, the Poll predicts a triumvirate of influence with Duggan, Singh and Whitmer all receiving 16 votes.  Kildee follows up his Person of the Year nod in 2016 with 9 votes for 2017.

For the GOP, Schuette is the pick.  The presumptive gubernatorial candidate, Schuette received 18 votes, followed by Leonard (14), Snyder (10), Meekhof (8) and McDaniel (6).

The Pundit Poll is a survey on the latest political news and issues in Michigan. The survey uses emails to collect the compiled and confidential responses from political strategists, consultants, and insiders across Michigan, with the goal of offering an insider’s look at the political issues facing the state. A full list of the nearly 100 pundits in the poll can be found here.

Methodology:  This was a Resch Strategies/Denno Research survey of Michigan political experts, pundits, and members of the media. 100 respondents were invited and 67 responded. The survey was emailed Thursday Dec. 23 and was closed Wednesday, Dec. 28.