Michigan gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2014

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Michigan Gubernatorial Election

Primary Date:
August 5, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

November 4 Election Winners:
Rick Snyder Republican Party
Brian Calley Republican Party
Incumbents prior to election:
Rick Snyder Republican Party
Brian Calley Republican Party
Rick Snyder
Brian Calley
Michigan State Executive Elections
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Governor Lieutenant Governor
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Battleground Races
Michigan House of Representatives

Current trifecta for Republicans
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State executive offices in Michigan
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The Michigan gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election took place on November 4, 2014. Incumbents Rick Snyder (R) and Brian Calley (R) ran for re-election. Snyder and Calley won concurrent four-year terms 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]

Snyder and his Democratic opponent, Mark Schauer, were engaged in a close race to the governor's mansion. Learn more about polling trends by checking out the polls section. Gubernatorial races in Michigan had experienced growing margins of victory since 2002, as shown by the margin of victory analysis chart linked here. You can also learn more about the campaign's television ads by checking out the campaign media section.

The gubernatorial race was not the only race on the November ballot that had the potential to shift the balance of power in Michigan. The Michigan House of Representatives was identified by Ballotpedia as one of the top 20 legislative chambers to watch in 2014. Heading into the election, both legislative chambers and the governor's office were 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.

Candidates

General election

Republican Party Rick Snyder/Brian Calley - IncumbentsGreen check mark transparent.png
Democratic Party Mark Schauer/Lisa Brown[5][6]
Libertarian Party Mary Buzuma/Scott Boman
Independent U.S. Taxpayers Party candidates Mark McFarlin/Richard Mendoza
Green Party Paul Homeniuk/Candace R. Caveny

Did not qualify

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]

Results

General election

Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Michigan, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRick Snyder/Brian Calley Incumbent 50.9% 1,607,399
     Democratic Mark Schauer/Lisa Brown 46.9% 1,479,057
     Libertarian Mary Buzuma/Scott Boman 1.1% 35,723
     U.S. Taxpayers Mark McFarlin/Richard Mendoza 0.6% 19,368
     Green Paul Homeniuk/Candace R. Caveny 0.5% 14,934
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0% 50
Total Votes 3,156,531
Election Results via Michigan Department of State.

Race background

First-term Republican Gov. Rick Snyder won re-election in 2014.[9] In December 2012, in the wake of the passage of a "right-to-work" law that provoked protests, particularly from unions, a Public Policy Poll showed dwindling chances for the governor to win another term compared to a similar poll released the previous month. His 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 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 party conventions that saw Snyder and Democratic candidate Mark Schauer win their 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 grew closer after August 2014, with Schauer and Snyder narrowly winning polls from EPIC-MRA and Detroit News-WDIV, respectively. A We Ask America poll in late September showed a tie race between Schauer and Snyder, with 10 percent of voters undecided.[15]

Endorsements

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed Rick Snyder ahead of the general election. Bloomberg coupled the endorsement with $2.3 million in TV ad purchases on behalf of Snyder, citing the governor's independent-mindedness as a reason for the support. The former mayor also endorsed Democratic candidate Gary Peters in the U.S. Senate race.[16]

Convention challenge for Calley

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley faced a challenge from Wes Nakagiri in the August 23 state Republican convention, and received enough precinct delegates to hold off the challenge. Gov. Rick Snyder announced his desire to see Calley join him on the ticket, but party rules dictated that the convention's delegates select nominees rather than the general public. Eleven employees from the governor's and lieutenant governor's offices sought delegate seats in the primary. There was also an influx of money from the Michigan Advocacy Trust, which distributed mailers supporting pro-Calley candidates in Clinton County[17] Calley defeated Nakagiri during the convention, with reports noting that the lieutenant governor received at least 60 percent of delegate votes.[18]

Debates

October 13 debate

Rick Snyder (R) and Mark Schauer (D) clashed over Detroit's bankruptcy proceedings, education spending and same-sex marriage during a debate at Wayne State University. Snyder argued on behalf of the state emergency manager's decision to take Detroit into bankruptcy, noting that the city was only months away from shedding $9 billion in debts. Schauer countered that pensioners in the city should not have been asked to cut their plans, citing legal and constitutional protections for public pension plans.[19]

Schauer criticized the governor's tax reform plan implemented in 2011, which he claimed cut $1 billion in education funds, raised taxes on the middle class by $1.4 billion and cut taxes for high-income earners by $1.8 billion. Snyder defended his tax plans by noting that education spending was up $1 billion during his term in office and tax reform brought fairer rates to small business owners.[19]

Snyder, who opposed same-sex marriage during his 2010 campaign, stated that he would abide by a federal appeals court ruling regarding Michigan's ban on the practice. Schauer criticized Snyder for evading a question about his stance on same-sex marriage and supporting a law that banned benefits for the partners of state employees.[19]

Polls

All candidates

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
Public Policy Polling
(September 4-7, 2014)
43%42%3%2%1%9%+/-3.7687
Mitchell Research
(September 14, 2014)
46%41%4%2%1%6%+/-3.4829
We Ask America
(September 18-19, 2014)
43%43%2%1%1%10%+/-31,182
Mitchell Research
(September 29, 2014)
46%42%2%1%1%8%+/-2.861,178
The Detroit News/WDIV
(October 2-4, 2014)
44.9%37.1%1.7%0.5%1.2%14.7%+/-4600
Fox 2 Detroit/Mitchell Research
(October 9, 2014)
47%46%1%1%2%3%+/-2.711,306
Mitchell Research
(October 19, 2014)
48%45.7%1%1.4%1%2.9%+/-3.23919
Mitchell Research
(October 27, 2014)
48%43%2%1%0.4%5%+/-2.881,159
Public Policy Polling
(November 1-2, 2014)
46%45%3%0%1%5%+/--914
AVERAGES 45.77% 42.76% 2.19% 1.1% 1.07% 7.07% +/-2.86 974.89
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.

Major party candidates

Governor of Michigan - Major party candidates- October 2014
Poll Rick Snyder* (R) Mark Schauer (D)Third Party/UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
MRG Poll
(September 30-October 1, 2014)
45.7%40.5%13.9%+/-4600
Public Policy Polling
(October 2-3, 2014)
47%46%7%+/-3654
EPIC-MRA
(October 17-19, 2014)
47%39%14%+/-4600
Public Policy Polling
(October 20-21, 2014)
48%48%4%+/-3.6723
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
(October 16-23, 2014)
44%45%12%+/-32,394
EPIC-MRA
(October 26-28, 2014)
45%43%12%+/-4600
AVERAGES 46.12% 43.58% 10.48% +/-3.6 928.5
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 through September 2014
Poll Rick Snyder* (R) Mark Schauer (D)Third Party/UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
EPIC-MRA
(May 2013)
38%39%23%+/-4600
EPIC-MRA
(September 2013)
44%36%20%+/-4600
Public Policy Poll
(December 5-8, 2013)
44%40%16%+/-3.01,034
Conservative Intel Poll
(January 7-8, 2014)
47%35%18%+/-3.831,004
EPIC-MRA
(February 5-11, 2014)
47%39%14%+/-4.0600
Lambert, Edwards & Associates (dead link)
(March 14, 2014)
42%39%19%+/-4.0600
Mitchell Research & Communications
(April 9, 2014)
49%37%15%+/-2.561,460
Mitchell Research and Communications
(June 6, 2014)
46%41%13%+/-3.16961
EPIC-MRA
(August 22-25, 2014)
43%45%12%+/-4600
Detroit News-WDIV
(September 3-5, 2014)
43.6%41.8%14.5%+/-4600
Rasmussen Reports
(September 17-18, 2014)
47%41%12%+/-4750
Target Insyght
(September 22-24, 2014)
41%40%19%+/-4600
EPIC-MRA
(September 25-29, 2014)
45%39%16%+/-4600
Lake Research Partners
(September 26-30, 2014)
44%43%12%+/-4600
AVERAGES 44.33% 39.7% 15.96% +/-3.75 757.79
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.
  • An asterisk denotes incumbent status.

Campaign media

Mark Schauer


Mark Schauer ad

Mark Schauer ad: "Every Penny"

Mark Schauer ad: "Potential"

Rick Snyder


Rick Snyder ad: Numbers

Rick Snyder ad: Generations

Rick Snyder ad: Linda

Rick Snyder ad: Pam

Rick Snyder ad: Everyone

Rick Snyder ad: Forward

Rick Snyder ad: Recovery

Outside groups

Democratic Governors Association


DGA ad: The Difference

DGA ad: Brainpower

DGA ad: No Way

DGA ad: Online

DGA ad: Tough Choices

DGA ad: Seniors

DGA ad: Teacher

DGA ad: Jeannette

DGA ad: Jobs Here

DGA ad: My Classroom

DGA ad: Faces

DGA ad: I Would Say

Republican Governors Association


RGA ad: The Schauer is Over

RGA ad: Foreign

RGA ad: Agua

RGA ad: Higher Taxes

RGA ad: Fantasy

RGA ad: Troubles

RGA ad: Past

RGA ad: Rock Star

RGA ad: Who Stands to Lose?

RGA ad: Chilling

RGA ad: Knees

Michigan Nurses Association


Michigan Nurses' Association ad

Ad spending

The Wesleyan Media Project published a report on September 30, 2014, highlighting spending on gubernatorial races from September 12-25. This report found that Democratic and Republican groups spent a total of $46.84 million on TV ads in 15 states with gubernatorial elections. The following chart details the group's findings including spending amounts and number of ads:[20]

Note: A bolded number indicates the highest total for this category. A number in italics is the lowest total for this category.

Spending on TV ads, September 12-25, 2014
State Total # of ads  % Democratic-leaning ads  % GOP-leaning ads Total spending-Democratic leaning (in millions of $) Total spending-GOP leaning (in millions of $)
Colorado 2,460 83.1 16.9 1.35 0.39
Connecticut 2,312 61.7 38.3 1.48 0.89
Florida 20,111 38.5 61.5 4.07 6.64
Georgia 4,625 51.1 48.9 1.43 0.99
Illinois 7,793 63.5 36.5 4.17 3.5
Iowa 2,134 47.5 52.5 0.25 0.38
Kansas 5,024 45.7 54.3 0.85 1.17
Maine 3,281 42.3 57.7 0.46 0.32
Michigan 6,767 33.9 66.1 1.14 2.3
Minnesota 1,974 83.9 16.1 0.65 0.29
New York 4,926 61 39 2.18 0.88
Pennsylvania 3,263 50.9 49.1 1.58 1.23
South Carolina 2,883 39.1 60.9 0.33 0.38
Texas 10,330 33.4 66.6 2.24 2.93
Wisconsin 7,374 63.3 36.7 1.36 1.01
TOTALS 85,257 48.2 51.8 23.54 23.3

Past elections

Margin of victory analysis

The average margin of victory in the past three races for governor was 12.1 percent. The smallest margin of victory was 4 percent in 2002, while the largest margin of victory was 18.2 percent in 2010. Percentages of votes for third-party candidates have increased from 1.2 percent in 2002 to 1.9 percent in 2010. The following chart compares the margin of victory for winners of gubernatorial races with the margin of victory for candidates who won the most votes for the top race on the ballot:[21]

Margin of victory analysis
Year Gov. candidate margin of victory (%) Party of winning candidate Top race on ballot Party of winning candidate Margin of victory (%)
2010 18.2 Republican Party - - -
2006 14.1 Democratic Party U.S. Senate Democratic Party 15.6
2002 4 Democratic Party U.S. Senate Democratic Party 22.7

Note: There was no statewide vote for federal office in 2010.

2010

See also: Michigan gubernatorial election, 2010
Governor of Michigan, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRick Snyder 58.1% 1,874,834
     Democratic Virg Bernero 39.9% 1,287,320
     Green Harley Mikkelson 0.6% 20,699
     U.S. Taxpayers Stacey Mathia 0.6% 20,818
     Libertarian Ken Proctor 0.7% 22,390
     Write-in Write-in candidates 0% 27
Total Votes 3,226,088

2006

Governor of Michigan, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJennifer Granholm Incumbent 56.4% 2,142,513
     Republican Dick DeVos 42.3% 1,608,086
     Libertarian Gregory Creswell 0.6% 23,524
     Green Douglas Campbell 0.5% 20,009
     U.S. Taxpayers Bhagwan Dashairya 0.2% 7,087
     Write-in Write-in candidates 0% 37
Total Votes 3,801,256

2002

Governor of Michigan, 2002
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJennifer Granholm 51.4% 1,633,796
     Republican Dick Posthumus 47.4% 1,506,104
     Green Douglas Campbell 0.8% 25,236
     U.S. Taxpayers Joseph Pilchak 0.4% 12,411
     Write-in Write-in candidates 0% 18
Total Votes 3,177,565

Voter turnout

Political scientist Michael McDonald's United States Elections Project studied voter turnout in the 2014 election by looking at the percentage of eligible voters who headed to the polls. McDonald used voting-eligible population (VEP), or the number of eligible voters independent of their current registration status, to calculate turnout rates in each state on November 4. He also incorporated ballots cast for the highest office in each state into his calculation. He estimated that 82,596,338 ballots were cast in the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, representing 36.4 percent of the VEP.[22] By comparison, 61.6 percent of VEP voted in the 2008 presidential election and 58.2 percent of VEP voted in the 2012 presidential election.[23]

Quick facts

  • According to PBS Newshour, voter turnout in the 2014 midterms was the lowest since the 1942 midterms, which took place during the nation's involvement in World War II.[24]
  • Forty-three states and the District of Columbia failed to surpass 50 percent turnout in McDonald's analysis.
  • The three states with the lowest turnout according to McDonald's analysis were Indiana (28 percent), Texas (28.5 percent) and Utah (28.8 percent).
  • Maine (59.3 percent), Wisconsin (56.9 percent) and Alaska (55.3 percent) were the three states with the highest turnout.
  • There were only 12 states that increased voter turnout in 2014 compared to the 2010 midterm elections.[25]
Voter turnout rates, 2014
State Total votes for top office  % voter eligible population Top statewide office up for election Size of lead (Raw votes) Size of lead (%)
Alabama 1,200,000 33.5 Governor 320,319 27.2
Alaska 290,000 55.3 Governor 4,004 1.6
Arizona 1,550,000 34.4 Governor 143,951 12.5
Arkansas 875,000 41.2 Governor 118,664 14
California 7,750,000 31.8 Governor 1,065,748 17.8
Colorado 2,025,000 53.0 Governor 50,395 2.4
Connecticut 1,089,880 42.3 Governor 26,603 2.5
Delaware 234,038 34.4 Attorney general 31,155 13.6
District of Columbia 150,000 30.3 Mayor 27,934 19
Florida 5,951,561 42.7 Governor 66,127 1.1
Georgia 2,575,000 38.2 Governor 202,685 8
Hawaii 366,125 36.2 Governor 45,323 12.4
Idaho 440,000 39.1 Governor 65,852 14.9
Illinois 3,550,000 39.5 Governor 171,900 4.9
Indiana 1,350,000 28.0 Secretary of state 234,978 17.8
Iowa 1,150,000 50.6 Governor 245,548 21.8
Kansas 875,000 42.8 Governor 33,052 3.9
Kentucky 1,440,000 44.2 U.S. Senate 222,096 15.5
Louisiana 1,472,039 43.8 U.S. Senate 16,401 1.1
Maine 625,000 59.3 Governor 29,820 4.9
Maryland 1,750,000 41.9 Governor 88,648 6.1
Massachusetts 2,150,000 43.9 Governor 40,361 1.9
Michigan 3,151,835 42.7 Governor 129,547 4.3
Minnesota 2,025,000 51.3 Governor 109,776 5.6
Mississippi 650,000 29.7 U.S. Senate 141,234 33
Missouri 1,450,000 32.3 Auditor 684,074 53.6
Montana 365,000 46.1 U.S. Senate 65,262 17.9
Nebraska 550,000 41.3 Governor 97,678 18.7
Nevada 600,000 31.8 Governor 255,793 46.7
New Hampshire 500,000 48.8 Governor 24,924 5.2
New Jersey 1,825,000 30.4 N/A N/A N/A
New Mexico 550,000 38.3 Governor 73,868 14.6
New York 3,900,000 28.8 Governor 476,252 13.4
North Carolina 2,900,000 40.7 U.S. Senate 48,511 1.7
North Dakota 248,670 43.8 U.S. House At-large seat 42,214 17.1
Ohio 3,150,000 36.2 Governor 933,235 30.9
Oklahoma 825,000 29.8 Governor 122,060 14.7
Oregon 1,500,000 52 Governor 59,029 4.5
Pennsylvania 3,500,000 36.1 Governor 339,261 9.8
Rhode Island 325,000 41.7 Governor 14,346 4.5
South Carolina 1,246,301 34.8 Governor 179,089 14.6
South Dakota 279,412 44.5 Governor 124,865 45.1
Tennessee 1,400,000 29.1 Governor 642,214 47.5
Texas 4,750,000 28.5 Governor 957,973 20.4
Utah 550,000 28.8 Attorney general 173,819 35.2
Vermont 193,087 38.8 Governor 2,095 1.1
Virginia 2,200,000 36.7 U.S. Senate 16,727 0.8
Washington 2,050,000 41.6 N/A N/A N/A
West Virginia 460,000 31.8 U.S. Senate 124,667 27.6
Wisconsin 2,425,000 56.9 Governor 137,607 5.7
Wyoming 168,390 38.7 Governor 52,703 33.6
United States 82,596,338 36.4

Note: Information from the United States Elections Project was last updated on November 19, 2014. The results in this table draw from unofficial results as of November 12, 2014.

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
January 1, 2015 Inauguration day for state executive officials elected in November

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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Suggest a link

References

  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
  16. The Detroit News, "Bloomberg endorses Snyder, Peters," October 7, 2014
  17. MLive.com, "Michigan 2014 Primary: Snyder staffers run for precinct posts with Calley nomination on the line," August 4, 2014
  18. Detroit Free Press, "GOP chooses Calley over Nakagiri for lieutenant governor," August 23, 2014
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 The Monitor, "Michigan's only gubernatorial debate grows testy," October 13, 2014
  20. Wesleyan Media Project, "GOP Groups Keeping Senate Contests Close," September 30, 2014
  21. Michigan Secretary of State, "Previous Election Information," accessed September 19, 2014
  22. United States Elections Project, "2014 November General Election Turnout Rates," November 7, 2014
  23. TIME, "Voter Turnout in Midterm Elections Hits 72-Year Low," November 10, 2014
  24. PBS, "2014 midterm election turnout lowest in 70 years," November 10, 2014
  25. U.S. News & World Report, "Midterm Turnout Down in 2014," November 5, 2014