UPDATE: Congratulations to Mark Huizenga who was able to grow the 19-point GOP margin in 2018 to a 24 point margin of victory in 2021. This mirrored our findings of a 25 point margin of victory and sends another strong signal that the GOP is well positioned as they move forward to 2022.
With the nation focused on Virginia and New Jersey, we thought it would be good to remind folks that that there are special elections all around the country that will provide interesting tea leaves in the run up to 2022. One of those is in our backyard, in Kent County, Michigan, home of President Ford and one of Chuck Todd’s key counties of interest in 2020. While Republicans are expected to hold the seat (newly elected Kent County Treasurer Peter MacGregor secured a 19-point margin of victory in 2018), an over-performance here, especially after a bruising primary campaign, would send a good signal for Republican efforts across the state and country.
Below are our key findings, click here for toplines and crosstabs.
Republican Mark Huizenga Looks to Dominate the Race
Republican Mark Huizenga is well positioned to win this race with 52% of voters saying they will vote for him and 27% saying they will vote for Democrat Keith Courtade, 21% are unsure.
- 40% of voters are definitely voting for Huizenga while 21% are definitely voting for Courtade.
- When asked an unaided ballot question of simply “who will you vote for”, Huizenga’s lead looks even stronger with 30% of voters volunteering either Mark Huizenga or the Republican candidate while only 13% volunteered a vote for Courtade or the Democratic candidate.
Whitmer and Biden Are Viewed Dimly by District Voters
Governor Whitmer’s favorability in the district stands at only 40%, 10 points lower than former President Trump who has an overall favorability / unfavorability of 50 / 42. Meanwhile President Biden trails both with net favorability rating of -26 (35 / 61).
Support for Forensic Audit of 2020 Election Results is Polarizing with Independents Largely Tuned Out
Overall, 39% of voters in this conservative district would be more likely to support a candidate who supported a forensic audit while 25% would oppose a candidate, 36% say the issue simply isn’t important to them.
- Among Republicans, 63% are more likely to support a candidate who supported a forensic audit and 7% are less likely
- 10% of Democrats are more likely and 54% less likely.
- In a warning sign to Republicans however, when we focus on the small but vital independent voter group – only 7% report they would be more likely to support, with 23% less likely.