Latest polls and projections show a Gov. Whitmer loss more likely

The newest polling on the Michigan governor’s race shows incumbent Democrat Gretchen Whitmer virtually tied with her Republican opponent Tudor Dixon, but the internals of the poll project a likely loss for Whitmer because it oversampled Democrats by more than 15 points.

The Trafalgar Group poll showed Whitmer with 48.4% support, and Dixon with 47.9%. The half percentage point difference is well within the margin of error of the poll, and any error is likely to be in Dixon’s favor because of the Democrat oversampling.

The poll recognized that Democrats have a significant registration advantage in Michigan, with Pew Research saying that 47% of Michigan voters identify as Democrat and only 34% identify as Republican.

In the poll, however, 55% of respondents were Democrat, while 37% were Republican. Assuming that Republicans will not be voting for Whitmer, this poll actually shows that Whitmer may be behind Dixon and could lose the race.

Details murky

Some polls do compensate for oversampling in their numbers, and it is not clear whether this poll did so.

In addition, the poll did not break down the way independent voters, which make up 19% of the state’s voters, are breaking in this race. In the poll, only 8.4% did not identify with one of the two major political parties.

While Trafalgar Group is a conservative polling outfit that typically shows Republicans doing better than in other polls, it has been one of the most accurate polls in recent elections.

When more liberal polling outfits had Joe Biden 10 points ahead of Donald Trump before election day in 2020, Trafalgar predicted a much closer race. In fact, Biden only beat Trump by a razor-thin margin in several swing states to become president, despite a much larger popular vote margin in deep blue areas.

Lead narrowed

Until recent weeks, Whitmer had a healthy lead over Dixon. An October debate in which Dixon acquitted herself well and was able to criticize Whitmer’s use of executive orders during the pandemic and lack of effectiveness in combatting crime narrowed the gap between the two, and Dixon was able to gain some momentum.

The pendulum seems to be swinging toward Republicans in the last weeks before the midterms, with many close races tightening to within the margin of error even in more mainstream polls.

Some of these polls seem to monkey with the numbers when the race is further out from Election Day in order to bolster Democrat candidates, but get more honest as Election Day nears. After all, they really can’t afford to be way off if they want to maintain any credibility.

The New York Times recently wrote that the feared “Red October” is coming, which means lots of Republicans in power come 2023 if they are correct. However, some are now suggesting that Democrats will move to collapse the economy if Republicans take power, hoping they will be blamed. It could very well work–just remember how some blamed Trump for COVID in 2020 even though it was the farthest thing from the truth.