How Will the Flint Water Crisis and Efforts to Enact a Part-Time Legislature Impact the Governor's Race? The Pundits Weigh in

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 – Lansing, MI – While the Republican field for the 2018 Governor’s race has not formalized, the issues shaping that race are in full view. Michigan’s top political insiders were asked to weigh in on how the Flint water crisis and the push for a part-time legislature will impact the respective potential candidacy of both Attorney General Bill Schuette and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley.  

Over 100 political insiders who make up the Pundit Poll roster were asked:

1.    Attorney General Bill Schuette has been conducting a criminal probe of the Flint water crisis. How will this probe assist him in his potential bid for governor?

2.    Lt. Governor Brian Calley is supporting a constitutional amendment to make Michigan’s legislature part-time. How will this effort assist him in his potential bid for governor?

3.    Some influential advocacy groups are looking at changing Michigan’s term limit law. Members of the House and Senate could spend 12 years in either body instead of six years in the House and eight in the Senate. How successful do you think that effort will be?

Based on the response of the pundits, it’s an open question as to what kind of effect Schuette’s probe into the Flint water crisis will have on his potential bid for governor, with 51 percent of pundits thinking the probe into the Flint water crisis will help his efforts and 41 percent thinking it will hurt his chances.   Interestingly, Democrats thought the issue would be more helpful to Schuette than his fellow Republicans.   70 percent of Democrats thought his work would aid his run; 50 percent of Republicans agreed.

“It’s tough to make predictions in regards to the Flint water crisis,” said Matt Resch, President of Resch Strategies. “It’s unquestionably a dynamic, volatile situation, and that is reflected in the response of those gauging its political impact.”

On the other side of the potential Republican Primary showdown, the pundits are much more aligned in thought regarding Brian Calley’s push for a part-time legislature and the impact it will have on his bid for governor. Only 34 percent of pundits believe Calley’s support for a part-time legislature will help in his potential campaign efforts, while 65 percent of the pundits believe Calley’s decision to back the amendment will hurt his chances should he decide to run.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat here, it’s clear insiders on both sides of the aisle think Brian Calley isn’t doing himself any favors by tying himself to this push for a part-time legislature,” said Dennis Denno, President of Denno Research.

77 percent of Democrats thought the part-time legislature gambit would not help the Lt. Governor; 60 percent of Republicans agreed.

Of those responding to the poll, 43 percent identified as Republicans, 42 percent as Democrats, and 15 percent as independent.

Lastly, the prospect of a shakeup in Michigan’s term limit law is not likely to get off the ground, according to most of the state’s political insiders. According to those asked, efforts to change Michigan’s term limit laws to allow individuals to spend up to twelve years in either the House or the Senate have little chance of being enacted with only 15 percent thinking the effort will be a success and 73 percent believing the attempt at reform will fail.

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 over 100 pundits in the poll can be found at:




This was a Resch Strategies/Denno Research survey of 74 Michigan political experts, pundits, and members of the media.