New Poll Shows Craig Edges Whitmer in Governors Race, but Strong Support in Detroit Keeps Whitmer Within Striking Distance


A new poll conducted by the Trafalgar Group shows Republican James Craig leading Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer in a potential general election contest.

The survey, released on Tuesday, demonstrated the former Detroit police chief leading Whitmer 50 percent to 44 percent, a six point advantage.

The Trafalgar Group has, historically, been one of the most accurate polling organizations in the entire country. In 2016, the group was named the best polling firm of that year’s presidential race.

However, an additional poll claims that Whitmer’s support in Detroit is keeping the Democrat close to Craig.

The Democratic polling firm Target Insyght survey found Craig is earning the support of 8 percent of Detroit voters, while incumbent Gov. Whitmer currently has 87 percent of the vote.

But, Whitmer’s support remains lower than the totals that she posted in her first gubernatorial election. Whitmer won 94 percent of Detroit’s Wayne County when she was elected in 2018.

Craig’s numbers are similar to those of former President Donald Trump, who captured just 5 percent of the vote in Detroit in 2020, according to certified numbers.

The new Trafalgar poll is similar to the results of other surveys that show support for Whitmer dramatically declining. Both Whitmer and President Joe Biden’s approval numbers have fallen. Specifically, the governor’s performance with “independent” voters has heavily dropped.

With the majority of independents disapproving of Whitmer, her odds at an additional term could face an uphill battle.

Because of frontrunner status in the crowded Republican nomination contest, Craig’s campaign has been met with resistance by left-wing activists.

Last week, at his event officially announcing his candidacy, Craig was met with organized hecklers who arrived at the former chief’s press conference before he did.

During the event, Craig walked into a group of dozens of agitators from “Detroit Will Breathe,” a group that is critical of his time as the city’s chief of police and prevented Craig from speaking.

Video showed Craig, wearing dark sunglasses and flanked by several security guards, approach a podium on Belle Isle near Detroit, and quickly become engulfed by the protesters.

“I’ve got one thing to say: I’m running for governor!” the Detroit Free Press reported Craig as shouting his plan to unseat Democrat incumbent Gretchen Whitmer.

After delivering his message that was only picked up by television microphones, Craig departed the scene.

Another angle of the candidate shows him walking into the chaos, shielded by Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski, chairman of the Oakland County Republican Party.

Protesters blasted air horns and chanted over Craig’s shouted announcement.

Craig went on to blame the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), a state agency in charge of the park, for not securing the area. He alleged that the lack of action by the agency led by a Gretchen Whitmer appointee, was “by design,” according to the Detroit News. A text exchange later emerged showing that the Republican’s campaign acknowledged the DNR was not responsible for curbing the rowdy protesters.

Nonetheless, Craig appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News and said the DNR’s and Michigan State Police handling of the protest was “not accidental.”

A spokesperson for Whitmer dismissed the claim by Craig, calling it a “baseless attack.”

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Michigan Star and The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]



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