OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is trailing former Detroit Police Chief James Craig by 6 points in a new poll released this week.
According to a survey from the Trafalgar Group, Craig — a Republican — is leading Whitmer 50.4 percent to 44.4 percent.
The poll found that 5.2 percent of respondents said they were “undecided.”
Craig, who retired as Detroit police chief in June after nearly eight years on the job, announced his campaign as a direct challenge to Whitmer’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in Michigan.
#MIGovernor race – Possible ‘22 matchup has Craig leading Whitmer – according to @trafalgar_group #poll of likely ‘22 MI statewide general election voters (conducted 9/13-15).@ChiefJECraigDPD 50.4%,@GovWhitmer 44.4%,
— The Trafalgar Group (@trafalgar_group) September 21, 2021
— The Hill (@thehill) September 22, 2021
Back in July, the Michigan legislature ended a law that gave Whitmer unprecedented power during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision came after the Michigan Supreme Court decided that the powers granted to the governor were unconstitutional.
“Hundreds of thousands of our families, friends, and neighbors changed Michigan forever when they decided they had enough and stood up to make a difference,” Republican Speaker Jason Wentworth said.
“They deserve a state government that is willing to do the same. They’ve earned that much. That’s why we had their back today and put this petition into law,” he said.
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in June that the Board of State Canvassers has to certify an initiative to repeal the Emergency Powers of Governor Act.
The Free Press report added:
That means that once the board acts on the court’s order, the Republican-controlled Legislature can repeal the law with majority votes in each chamber, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will be unable to veto the measure.
The order gave no breakdown on what position each justice took on the question, but there was no dissent accompanying the order, suggesting the decision was unanimous…
Whitmer used the 1945 law extensively to issue emergency orders related to the coronavirus pandemic until Oct. 2, when the Michigan Supreme Court struck down the law as an unconstitutional ceding of legislative power to the executive branch of government.
Although the law is no longer in effect, Democrats want to keep it on the books, apparently in the hope that the Michigan Supreme Court might reverse the October decision. The makeup of the court has shifted since then, from a 4-3 majority for Republican nominees to a 4-3 majority for Democratic nominees.
“The court has it exactly right — the Board of State Canvassers had a clear legal duty to certify what was obvious, that we had collected far more signatures than required,” Unlock Michigan spokesman Fred Wszolek said. Unlock Michigan was the group the sponsored the petition drive.
“We urge the Michigan House and Senate to act promptly to finally strike this awful law from the books forever,” he said.
The Emergency Powers of Governor Act gave Whitmer near dictator-like powers and used them in that way. But predictably, Democrats are furious about the decision of the court.
“The Michigan Supreme Court has opened the floodgates for illegal conduct including forgeries, leaving petitions unattended, circulators lying about their activities, and more if this decision stands,” Keep Michigan Safe attorney Mark Brewer said.
“Rather than allowing the board to investigate and holding petition gathering efforts accountable, this decision will unleash rampant illegalities and criminal misconduct in future ballot initiatives and embolden even more brazen illegal actions in the years ahead,” he said.