With Cherry Out, Holding Michigan a Challenge for Democrats

January 23, 2010 at 6:46 pm Leave a comment

Imagine your best candidate still losing to the opposition party by at least 5%, then dropping out and leaving the race to a host of mid-level and unknown politicians. That’s exactly the situation for the Michigan Democratic Party, which faces the difficult prospect of holding the Governorship after eight years of the unpopular Jennifer Granholm, scandals which have plagued local Democratic families such as the Kilpatricks and Conyers, and an unimpressive year for Democratic President Barack Obama. Lt. Governor John Cherry had been expected to win the Democratic nomination, and was likely the strongest candidate available to Michigan Democrats. Cherry however, dropped out of the race earlier this month after polls continued to show him with at least a five point deficit against a Republican opponent, more often and not, the deficit was greater than 10%.

That move leaves the Michigan Democratic party without a leader in 2010, with only a handful of potential candidates showing even minimal interest in running. State Speaker Andy Dillon is now the frontrunner, yet he will need considerable resources to overcome a recognition gap against better-known Republican Candidates like Rep. Peter Hoekstra and Attorney General Mike Cox – resources Dillon may have a difficult time finding, as even the more popular Cherry cited a lack of money as a driving factor behind his decision to drop out.

Democrats were already facing a tough race, with much of the same anger with national politicians being directed at leaders in Lansing; Michigan has faced high unemployment and budget deficits for years – so bad is the crisis that the state was forced to break its “promise” to high school graduates to provide up to $4,000 in college assistance based on tests already taken. With the onset of the 2007 financial crisis and recession, Michigan took another bad hit and voters, fairly or not, appear to be blaming the incumbent Democrats for the mess.

Of course the nine months between now and election day are a lifetime in politics, yet with recent developments in New Jersey, Virginia, and even Massachusetts, its becoming very clear that it will take incredible good fortune for the Democrats to hold the Governorship this November.


Entry filed under: Michigan, Politics. Tags: , , , , .

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