Michigan is getting ready to vote on a new Governor this November, as incumbent Governor Jennifer Gramholm steps down from office after serving two terms. While most Governor races around the country have had millions upon millions raised for their campaigns, like in California $120 million so far; Michigan’s top two candidates barely raised much over $7 million together, and $6 million came from Republican candidate Snyder himself.
The Democratic candidate for Governor Virg Bernero raised only $1 million for his nomination campaign and even had to accept public money each candidate can claim from the state, and with such little money he was still able to come from behind and beat his opponent for the Democratic nomination Andy Dillon.
Obviously the Snyder campaign is going to have the upper hand with commercials spreading his message and name recognition in order to maintain his slight lead, and this will help his cause around the state.
The Bernero campaign will have to rely on hitting the streets and really mingling with the people they are there to serve, this is not only vastly cheaper than running commercials constantly, it actually helps the candidate hear what their constituents are going through and hopefully they will listen and be ready to get to work when they take office.
Either way it is refreshing too know that the state of Michigan was able to fend off special interest money, or maybe this all happened by plan, due to the Republican party’s misguided notion that Michigan is a completely Democratic state.
Just like Jennifer Granholm did before him, Virg Bernero let his opponent spend massive amounts of personal money, while claiming the state given aid of $1.5 million dollars that would have capped the spending on the Bernero campaign at $2 million due to the Michigan Campaign Finance Act. But since Bernero already knew Snyder was self-funding his campaign and was spending vast amounts of money, thus allowing Bernero to spend over his cap, he reduced the money edge the Snyder campaign had over him while still maintaining a populous candidate image, a la President Obama and Governor Granholm.
It will be interesting to see how much money actually gets spent by the time the elections in November are over with, and it will also be interesting to see if another wealthy self-financed Republican has fallen into the same spending trap again like Dick DeVos fell into back in 2006 against Jennifer Granholm.
If you want to stay on top of the elections and see for yourself which candidates are spending the most money on their Michigan campaigns visit the Secretary of State website and click the Elections in Michigan tab or click here.
I’ll be keeping an eye out to see if Rick Snyder’s decisive financial edge can push his message into predominantly Democratic cities like Detroit and I will also be watching to see if Virg Bernero can penetrate strong Oakland County conservative strongholds. To get a better glimpse into how Michigan is currently polling to vote click here and scroll down to the bottom General Election Polling section.
I was a bit fearful when the Supreme Court ruled earlier this year to allow unlimited campaign contributions by anonymous corporations and how that would affect our Michigan Governor’s race. Michigan is too down and out to have special interest compromise our candidate’s platform, thankfully Rick Snyder is spending mostly his own money, and Virg Bernero seems to be concentrating on a grass roots effort instead of accepting millions in corporate handouts.
Source: Department of State / Gubernatorial Committee Search /http://miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/gub_search.cgi