Miller for Governor; Whitmer, Kildee Tied

The insiders pick next candidates for Governor

LANSING, MI – April 19, 2016 – With the clown car known as the United States presidential campaign still six months from its merciful conclusion, The Pundit Poll thought, “Let’s throw another election cycle into the conversation.”

In an emailed survey from April 14-15, 100 of Michigan’s political insiders and pundits were asked to look ahead to the 2018 race for Governor in Michigan and the results were surprising.

On the GOP side, participants were asked: Looking ahead to the 2018 Michigan Gubernatorial election, which Republican candidate – Congresswoman Candice Miller, Attorney General Bill Schuette, or Lt. Governor Brian Calley – will have the best chance of beating the Democratic candidate? 

Miller was the overwhelming choice.

Sixty percent of the pundits picked the retiring Congresswoman, despite her current campaign for Macomb County Public Works Commissioner.  26 percent of those polled were on duty with proven campaigner Bill Schuette.  Lt. Governor Brian Calley tallied 8 percent

The same question was posed regarding the Democrats with former State Senator Gretchen Whitmer, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, Univ. of Michigan Regent Mark Bernstein and Congressman Dan Kildee listed as possible contenders.

And, we have a tie.

Exactly 43 percent of respondents picked either Whitmer or Kildee.  A somewhat surprising dead heat considering Kildee’s increased media exposure due to the Flint water crisis and Whitmer’s term-limited legislative career ending nearly 18 months ago.

Bernstein earned 5 percent of the pundits’ votes; McQuade took 2 percent

“2018 is a long way away, but a contest of heavyweights like Miller, Schuette and Calley would be fascinating.”  Matt Resch, President of Resch Strategies and co-founder of The Pundit Poll said.  “Candice Miller has the early edge, likely because she is viewed as the candidate farthest removed from Lansing.” 

On the Democrats, Dennis Denno, President of Denno Research and co-founder of The Pundit Poll added:  "Insiders believe Democrats have two viable candidates in Whitmer and Kildee, and if both run it could be a real battle for the Democratic nomination."

The Pundit Poll is a new 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 at: 

This was a Resch Strategies/Denno Research survey of Michigan political experts, pundits, and members of the media. 100 respondents were invited and 82 responded. The survey was emailed Thursday, April 14 and the survey was closed Friday, April 15, 2016.