Democratic candidate for governor, Gretchen Whitmer, says she's optimistic that she will win her party's primary. Whitmer also says a recent poll done by EPIC-MRA of Lansing shows her campaign has momentum in the early stages of the race.

"I think what Michigan needs right now is a leader," Whitmer said. "We don't need people who are out there looking for fights; we need people who will solve problems and that's what I offer."

Whitmer, a 1989 Forest Hills Central graduate, was compared to Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette because both are current leaders in each of their parties.

Schuette has been leading the Republican gubernatorial primary by a double digit figure for the past several months.

The Detroit Free Press reported of the 600 active and likely voters polled by EPIC-MRA of Lansing, 38% said they would support Schuette in a head-to-head matchup, while 35% said they would vote for Whitmer.

The Free Press reported of those polled, 12% had a favorable view of Whitmer while 6% had an unfavorable view, and 64% did not recognize her name.

Whitmer's name recognition is worse now than it was in August, when 57% said they did not recognize her name.

Whitmer brushed off concerns that people don't know her indicating it's early in the race. Whitmer says, in reality, the numbers show her campaign is building momentum considering it is almost a full year out from the election.

"It's been a long time since Michiganders have had someone in their corner and I am ready to work with everyone who wants to solve a problem but I will take on anybody who stands in our way," Whitmer said.

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