(LANSING STATE JOURNAL) - Expectations are high among Michigan's political insiders that Republican Gov. Rick Snyder will seek re-election in 2014, and a significant number encourage Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer to run as his opponent, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
Among 130 insiders, lobbyists and communications professionals polled Dec. 10-12, 82 percent said they believed Snyder will seek a second term.
"Michigan governors rarely step down voluntarily after only one term, and few Capitol insiders expect Governor Snyder to break that tradition," said Jeff Lambert, president and managing partner of Lambert, Edwards & Associates, a Michigan public relations firm that commissioned the survey.
Forty-two percent of those surveyed said Whitmer, D-East Lansing, should take on Snyder and seek the state's executive office. Whitmer cannot seek re-election in the Legislature in 2014 because of term limits.
Meanwhile, 22 percent of those polled said Whitmer could also have good odds at running for attorney general, which would likely pit her against incumbent Republican Bill Schuette. Schuette won his first term in 2010 and is up for re-election in 2014.
"Senator Whitmer has carried the torch for Democratic causes in recent years, and it's clear she'll have a major role in the 2014 elections if she wants one," pollster Dennis Denno said.
Denno Research's unscientific poll included participation from 41 Democrats, 39 Republicans and 50 independents.
The firm's poll coincided with the climax of the right-to-work debate in Lansing, when both Snyder and Whitmer frequented headlines and national prime-time TV broadcasts.
On Dec. 11, the Republican-led legislature passed and Snyder signed into law two bills that prohibit public and private employers from requiring union dues or membership as a condition of employment. About 12,500 protesters descended upon the Capitol grounds that day.
Lansing State Journal