The governor's race will tighten as election day nears, predicted Adrian Hemond, Grassroots Midwest, who spoke at Capitol Issues Forum Oct.24.
"I think we're all going to wake up to a lot of surprises on Nov. 7," said Hemond who expects Gretchen Whitmer to win the governor's race.
Brian Began, Grassroots Midwest, who joined Hemond on the panel, pointed out that during big midterm elections more campaigning and funding goes into big ticket issues such as the governor's race or secretary of state.
"Voters are generally knowledgeable about issues at the top of the ticket," said Began. "But are less informed about issues further down, like ballot proposals."
Both Hemond and Began foresee all three ballot proposals passing but don't count on either the House or the Senate shifting from Republican to Democrat control.
"The partisan makeup of Michigan's electorate is changing," Hemond said. "Immigrants coming in, predominantly to areas in Southeast Michigan, are finding that their views do not align with the Republican's brand and stance on social issues."
In contrast, regions that used to be considered swing areas, such as northern Michigan and the UP, are now Republican, said Began.
"No area has shifted farther to the right than the UP," said Began. "These are rural areas with gun popularity where the economy is thriving under the Trump administration." The level of college education also correlates with political affiliation, said Hemond.
"In places like Macomb, Monroe and northern Michigan, Trump's approval ratings remain high," Hemond said.