Tudor Dixon on the Rise in GOP Gubernatorial Race
Chiropractor Garrett Soldano comes in fourth in the close race at 8% with the Rev. Ralph Rebandt coming fifth with 3% in the poll of 588 likely Republican voters conducted Tuesday and Wednesday.
The survey comes a week after EPIC-MRA released June 10-13 polling that showed Kelley at 17%, Soldano at 13%, Rinke at 12% and Dixon at 5%.
The race recently shifted with Dixon obtaining the endorsement of the powerful DeVos political family, Right to Life of Michigan and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. That, combined with a roughly $225,000 network ad buy in the Detroit media market for the last week, have caused her numbers to rise, according to Steve Mitchell of Mitchell Research & Communications.
The ad, paid for Michigan Families United, says Dixon is a “Michigan mom on a mission” who “will stand up to wok indoctrination of our kids." It also has her pictured with President Donald Trump. The Rinke campaign’s ad on the zombie voting for Democrats is also running across Michigan.
“Dixon has 28% of the vote in the Detroit market (called a DMA) but is in single digits in the other four major markets — Grand Rapid/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek (5%), Flint/Saginaw/Bay City (8%), Traverse City/Cadillac (7%) and Lansing (8%). If her campaign had been advertising statewide and not just in Detroit, she would have a sizable lead now,” said Mitchell.
Rinke gets between 11%-24% in the other top four media markets while Kelley gets about 15% across all of them. Rinke’s ads are why he is in second place in the Detroit market with 18%, while Kelley has only half that percentage (9%) in Detroit.
“Dixon’s campaign has gained real momentum with the endorsements of the DeVos family from Grand Rapids as well as endorsements by Right-to-Life PAC of Michigan and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. If she is able to generate enough money, she should win the primary and take on a very tough opponent in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer,” Mitchell concluded.
Meanwhile, the network ad spend for Whitmer in the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing media markets between her campaign and two independent committees between now and the end of the general election campaign season is up to $20 million, according to information provided to MIRS.
Pro-Abortion Groups in Michigan Turn to Ballot Initiatives
Michigan Voices Co-Director Sommer Foster said 30,000 volunteers have signed up to knock on doors and attend community events as they attempt to collect 425,059 signatures before July 11 in order for the question to appear on the November 2022 ballot.
“I’ve had my phone ringing off the hook this morning and my staff has been handing out petitions all day long to people who have not yet been involved in collecting signatures,” Foster said. “I expect over the next couple days that’ll go up.”
The Reproductive Freedom for All ballot initiative, backed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, ACLU of Michigan and Michigan Voices, if passed, would add a section to the Michigan Constitution detailing a "fundamental right to reproductive freedom.”
“Including by not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care,” the ballot language states.
The ballot proposal states the state could regulate the abortion care after a fetus is proven viable, meaning the state could still ban abortion after a certain period, unless there is an issue to protect the health of the “pregnant individual.”
The proposed amendment defines “fetal viability” as “the point in pregnancy when, in the professional judgement of an attending health care professional and based on the particular facts of the case, there is a significant likelihood of the fetus’s sustained survival outside the uterus without the application of extraordinary medical measures.”
The ballot initiative also protects abortion providers and doctors who treat people that have had miscarriages, a stillbirth or abortion, as long as consent for the treatment is given.
“What the constitutional amendment would do is preserve the standard that we have been familiar with in this country for the last 50 years,” said ACLU of Michigan Executive Director Loren Khogali.
A coalition of 17 pro-life organizations and the Catholic Conference have launched efforts to stop the ballot initiative.
Citizens to Support MI Women and Children coalition spokesperson Christen Pollo said the pro-life organizations have been waiting 50 years for Roe to be overturned and “have been preparing to protect Michigan’s 1931 abortion law for this very moment.”
“The anything-goes RFFA abortion amendment is working to add a right to abortion in our state constitution that would allow abortion for anyone, anytime, anywhere, and any way,” Pollo said. "The overturning of Roe v. Wade fuels our fire to keep pushing back against the anything-goes abortion amendment. The RFFA amendment would change every law regarding pregnancy in Michigan including the definition of fetal viability, parental consent laws, partial-birth abortion bans, tax-funded abortion bans, and abortion clinic regulation laws.
"We believe it’s important that every voter know the consequences of this amendment if passed and why they shouldn’t sign the petition or vote for it if it’s on the November ballot. We will continue to educate until every corner of Michigan knows the dangers of the anything-goes abortion amendment."
A May poll from Pew Research Center shows 61% of Americans think abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances. Of that, 19% say it should be legal in all cases, with no exceptions.
The language for the proposal was approved March 23 by the Board of State Canvassers, after a prior challenge to the union logo affixed to the petition was overruled by the Michigan Supreme Court.
Khogali said they were taking steps to not get caught up in the fraudulent signature scandal by not connecting with any of the organizations implicated in the scam.
“We are anticipating a lot of scrutiny and are confident in the process that we have in place to deal with that,” she said.
Budget Done This Week? It’s ‘"Going to be Tight"
Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Jim Stamas (R-Midland) said money will be set aside for some type of tax cut/rebate/holiday "but I don’t know that we’ll see that as part of the overall budget right now."
Negotiators are striking agreements on individual segments of the budget, using the House and Senate-passed budgets as guides to a final deal.
The hardest part about the negotiations at this point? Remembering what has been agreed to, Stamas said.
"You have 17 budgets along with literally hundreds of line items, so just trying to remember from one department to the other department you need to stop from one place and go to another to keep the momentum going," he said. "Things are going well."
Stamas declined to put a percentage on the chances the budget will be done by June 30, the deadline to get a budget for the upcoming fiscal year per state law, but he said, "I feel good that we’re on track for that."
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