LANSING, Mich (WZZM) - A new poll put out by MIRS News - Michigan Information & Research Service shows the two favorites in the race to be Michigan's next governor are beginning to pull away from the competition.
On the Democratic side, former lawmaker Gretchen Whitmer holds a 21-point lead over challenge Shri Thanedar. Whitmer is at 40 percent in the MIRS poll while Thanedar has 19 percent. Last winter, Thanedar had the lead over Whitmer in several polls while he introduced himself to candidates through several rounds of advertisements. The third candidate in the field Abdul El-Sayed has 17 percent support.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is leading on the Republican side by a significant margin. The poll found 45 percent support Schuette to 16 percent who would vote for Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley. Schuette has had a double digit lead in the race for the last year. Sen. Patrick Colbeck is in third with 8 percent of support.
Looking ahead to the General Election, MIRS took a look at hypothetical races between Thanedar and Schuette and Whitmer and Schuette. Schuette had 37 percent support in both surveys while Thanedar was at 40 percent and Whitmer was at 42 percent. Both the match-ups were either within or close to the margin of error.
While Thanedar was on the air in earnest with commercials earlier in 2018, Whitmer waited to spend her money until the final weeks of the campaign and it appears to be paying off.
Whitmer told us recently in an interview she thought the timing and work done on her campaign has been "perfect" and she waited to do advertisements in order to ensure her campaign didn't "swing until the ball gets over the plate".
On the poll, leaders in her campaign say the strategy is working.
"It's clear Gretchen Whitmer has all the momentum in this race because she's focused on getting things done that will actually make a difference in people's lives right now, like fixing the roads, expanding access to health care, improving skills training, cleaning up our drinking water and getting rid of the Snyder Retirement Tax," Whitmer campaign spokesman Zack Pohl wrote in a statement.