Some early observations…
The presumptive nominees for Governor of Michigan are Schuette (GOP) and Whitmer (Democrats). A quick exam of their web sites reveal what one might expect: noble concepts that hardly anyone would disagree with, without any of the details on any plan that will translate rhetoric to reality. Of course, even the best laid plans come to little when the Legislature is controlled by lobbyists. I have to give Ms. Whitmer credit for at least mentioning the problem of big money lobbyists and Gerrymandering, but the same critique on a lack of details on how she will accomplish the goals applies. The reality in Michigan reflects the broader reality in all American politics: once the beauty contest of elections end, big money controls the Legislative agenda no matter who is elected.
Schuette is endorsed by Trump which guarantees that he will reduce taxes for the rich, divide us by class/race politics, eliminate regulations protecting the environment and expand the role of government to intrude into our private lives. Where Ms. Whitmer might decorate the doors to the Capitol with a sign that reads “Lobbyists Must Use Back Door”, Schuette would put up a sign that reads “Everything For Sale”. It’s a cynical comment, I know, but I am waiting to at least hear a hint of something that would be different.
I don’t know either candidate personally. Ms. Whitmer seems like a decent person, Schuette is a known quantity just by virtue of the friends he keeps. There are two basic problems for both Parties with the upcoming election. The first is out-State voters. Trump signs littered Michigan’s rural landscape, where the majority of underemployed, welfare recipients live (most welfare recipients in Michigan are white and live in rural areas). GOP State Legislators recently made a play to harden the atrophied Trump base by promising to give them more welfare benefits and cut welfare to “those people” in Detroit. That could work because to many Michiganders “those people” and “the Democrats” are synonymous and class/race politics is red meat to them.
The second basic problem are Urban voters in Southeast Michigan. If you think the rural Trump voters are atrophied, then Southeast Michigan voters are nearly in contractures. Alienated from the abandonment by the last Democratic Governor and the condescending assumptions of the last Democratic nominee for President, these voters may not be in the mood to vote for another white woman Democrat. The Dems only hope may be the legalization of Marijuana, which is the only tangible benefit of voting for Dems (and many young Republicans).
What we really need is an Independent nominee unfettered by money and political Parties. I only know one person who fits that bill.