Gretchen Whitmer, the leading Democrat candidate for Governor in Michigan, has opened up a lead on Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette.
Whitmer, the former Senate Minority Leader, leads Schuette 40% to 33% in the latest Glengariff Group poll, 25% of voters were undecided.
The numbers reflect a big change in the race: previous polls had shown Schuette up by 3%, a 10% swing against Schuette. 600 likely voters were polled in the survey.
Another bad sign for Schuette? Independent voters favor Whitmer, who leads among Independents 32% to 21%, a 12% margin.
With men, Whitmer and Schuette are statistically tied at 38%. However, Schuette does extremely poorly with women.
Whitmer leads Schuette 42% to 28%, a 14 point margin.
The news comes as Schuette is under fire for refusing to participate in town hall debates with Michigan Republican grassroots activists.
Schuette is avoiding the events while his opponents, Lt. Governor Brian Calley and State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, have committed to attending.
Conservative grassroots activists view the events as important because it gives them a chance to interact with the candidates, ask questions, and see how they respond.
Many are wondering, if Schuette can’t handle the people who are supposed to be his base, how will he handle the Democrats in November?
The first town hall is scheduled for Monday, January 29th in Grand Rapids, and the second will be held in Jackson in early February.
With the negative polling developments, as well as all of the voters upset with his refusal to answer questions, Schuette needs some good news-quickly.