Michigan Gubernatorial election, 2014

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Michigan Gubernatorial Election

Primary Date
August 5, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

Incumbent prior to election:
Rick Snyder Republican Party
Rick Snyder.jpg

Michigan State Executive Elections
Top Ballot
Governor Lieutenant Governor
Secretary of StateAttorney General

Battleground Races
Michigan House of Representatives

Current trifecta for Republicans
WhoRunsTheStates Badge.jpg
State executive offices in Michigan
Flag of Michigan.png
The Michigan gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Rick Snyder (R) is running for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.

Michigan is one of 14 states that uses an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[1][2][3] The attorney general and secretary of state did not appear on the primary ballot, and the gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial positions did not have contested primaries in 2014.[4]

The gubernatorial race is not the only race on the November ballot that could shift the balance of power in Michigan. The Michigan House of Representatives has been identified by Ballotpedia as one of the top 20 legislative chambers to watch in 2014. Both legislative chambers and the governor's office are currently held by a single party, making Michigan a state government trifecta. Learn more about the chamber's most competitive races on the battleground chambers page.


General election

Republican Party Rick Snyder - Incumbent
Democratic Party Mark Schauer[5][6]
Libertarian Party Mary Buzuma
Independent U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate Mark McFarlin
Green Party Paul Homeniuk
Independent Robin Sanders[7]

Declined potentials

Democratic Party Virg Bernero - 2010 Democratic nominee for Governor of Michigan[6][8]
Democratic Party Gary Peters - U.S. Representative, Michigan, District 14[6]

Race background

First-term Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is running for re-election in 2014.[9]

In December 2012, in the wake of his passage of a "right-to-work" law that provoked protests, particularly from unions, a Public Policy Poll showed the governor's chances of winning another term having severely diminished compared to a similar poll released the previous month. His net approval tumbled a net -28 points, with respondents preferring each of the poll's four hypothetical Democratic challengers over Snyder for 2014.[10][11]

At a Republican leadership conference back in September 2011, Snyder told an interviewer that if he felt satisfied with the legacy he established during his first term, he would be inclined to pass the torch to "better, smarter people," indicating that a 2014 re-election bid was not guaranteed to happen. He went on to say that, should he decline to run for a second term, he would be "happy to go fishing, go teach or do something else," rather than seek a new political office.[12]

In late September 2013, Snyder began airing commercials talking about his successes in office. While the governor suggested they were not campaign commercials, they were widely seen as a way to boost up Snyder before the 2014 campaign got underway.[13][14] Around that time, Snyder was publicly targeted for defeat in 2014 by the AFL-CIO.

The general election race took shape following August nominating conventions that saw Snyder and Democratic candidate Mark Schauer win their respective party nominations. Early polling for the general election revealed a close race, with a Mitchell Research survey showing a five-point lead for Snyder when all candidates were available to respondents. Head-to-head polling has been closer since August 2014, with Schauer and Snyder narrowly winning polls from EPIC-MRA and Detroit News-WDIV, respectively.[15]


Governor of Michigan - All candidates
Poll Rick Snyder* (R) Mark Schauer (D)Mary Buzuma (L)Mark McFarlin (UST)Paul Homeniuk (G)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Mitchell Research
(September 14, 2014)
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.
Governor of Michigan - Major party candidates
Poll Rick Snyder* (R) Mark Schauer (D)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
(May 2013)
(September 2013)
Public Policy Poll
(December 5-8, 2013)
Conservative Intel Poll
(January 7-8, 2014)
(February 5-11, 2014)
Lambert, Edwards & Associates
(March 14, 2014)
Mitchell Research & Communications
(April 9, 2014)
Mitchell Research and Communications
(June 6, 2014)
(August 22-25, 2014)
Detroit News-WDIV
(September 3-5, 2014)
AVERAGES 44.36% 39.28% 16.45% +/-3.66 805.9
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Campaign media

Mark Schauer

Mark Schauer ad

Rick Snyder

Rick Snyder ad: Numbers

Rick Snyder ad: Generations

Outside groups

Democratic Governors Association

DGA ad: Teacher

Key deadlines

Deadline Event
April 22, 2014 Filing deadline for political party candidates
July 7, 2014 Filing deadline for minor party candidates
August 5, 2014 Primary election
November 4, 2014 General election

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Michigan + governor + election"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Michigan Gubernatorial Election News Feed

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See also

External links

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  1. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  2. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  3. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013 through January 3, 2014 researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  4. Michigan Secretary of State, "Filing Requirements for Secretary of State and Attorney General: 2014 Election Cycle," accessed August 5, 2014
  5. Mark Schaur for Governor Campaign Website, "Home," accessed May 29, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Public Policy Polling, "Snyder's popularity plummets," December 18, 2012
  7. Ann Arbor, "Ann Arbor man looks to wage Independent campaign for governor of Michigan," May 30, 2013
  8. MLive.com, "Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero won't run for governor, Senate or Congress in 2014," March 20, 2013
  9. Governing, Michigan Governor Announces Re-election Bid, Despite Controversies, February 4, 2014
  10. Public Policy Polling, "Snyder's popularity plummets," December 18, 2012
  11. Public Policy Polling, "An early look at the 2014 governor landscape," November 12, 2012
  12. Michigan Live, "Gov. Rick Snyder says he might not run for re-election in 2014 -- could Brian Calley or Bill Schuette succeed him?," September 25, 2011
  13. MLive, "Tim Skubick: Gov. Snyder's ads cleverly make a pre-emptive strike," September 29, 2013
  14. Huffington Post, "Rick Snyder Hopes To Be 'Reasonable Model' For GOP," September 22, 2013
  15. MLive, "AFL-CIO to target Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, other Republican governors in 2014 election cycle," August 13, 2013