Make of this what you will. It's still early, and some of it is probably name recognition. At least this poll claims that Mike Bishop would be a stronger candidate.
Results of the survey show that Mike Bishop has a 10% lead over Gretchen Whitmer (36%-26%) while Bill Schuette is tied with Whitmer (32%-32%).
In the press release sent to the Detroit News that printed the results of the survey on the Friday of the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, I said the following: ―Bishop is doing so much better statewide against Whitmer because of his lead in the Metro Detroit Area. Bishop leads by a 2:1 margin (43%-21%) in the vote rich Oakland, Macomb, St. Clair and Wayne County outside of Detroit area, while Schuette only has a 1% lead (31%-30%) there. At this point, Bishop is clearly the stronger candidate for Attorney General.‖
In 2002, Mike Cox was elected by just 5,600 votes statewide. Republicans need to nominate the strongest possible candidate in 2010 if it wants to elect a GOP attorney general. Mike Bishop begins the race with a 10% lead over a woman Democrat, while Bill Schuette is only tied with her. In a close race, having the lead Bishop has right now could be the difference between winning and losing next year.
Bishop’s strong support in the Detroit Metro Area is important. He will not have to spend as much money in the very expensive Detroit media market to get his message out as Schuette will have to spend. Conversely, Sen. Whitmer will have to spend much more money to beat Mike Bishop than she will have to spend in her attempt to beat Bill Schuette. That difference in spending alone could make it far more difficult for Democrats to win in 2010.