Michigan Governor Race 2022 Polls: Whitmer starts off as the favorite

Michigan Governor Race 2022 Polls: Whitmer remains popular, holds a lead in the polls

The 2022 Governor Election in Michigan is set to take place on November 8th, 2022. The seat is held by a Democrat, Gretchen Whitmer. She is running for re-election after winning the race in 2018 by 9.5 points, the best state-wide performance of any Democrat that year and significantly outrunning Clinton, who lost the state 2 years prior. She represented both the Statehouse and Senate, as minority leader before becoming governor. Her opponent will be selected in a primary on May 3, 2022.

Democrats will be hoping to retain this office as well as flip both the state House and Senate, the latter being Republican-held for over 30 years. Republicans hold a small majority of 58-52 in the House of Representatives.

The race is expected to be amongst the most competitive in the country –prognosticators like RCP, Cook Political Report rate the race as a “toss-up” while Sabato’s Crystal Ball rates it “Lean Democrat”, indicating that Whitmer is slightly favored, but the race remains close.

Michigan Governor Race 2022 Polls: Candidates in the primaries

Gretchen Whitmer has all but secured the Democratic primary but the GOP field remains crowded and uncertain. Here are the candidates running in the primary

Republican Primary

  • Mike Brown, a captain in the Michigan State Police
  • Austin Chenge, businessman and U.S. Army veteran
  • James Craig, former Chief of the Detroit Police Department (2013–2021)
  • Tudor Dixon, conservative media personality
  • Ryan D. Kelley, Allendale Township Planning commissioner
  • Bob Scott, Vice President of the Evangelical Alliance Ministerial Association
  • Garrett Soldano, Chiropractor, businessman, and former co-chairman of Unlock Michigan
  • Evan Space, Michigan Army National Guard veteran and candidate for governor in 2018

As an incumbent, Whitmer is secure in her primary and is not facing any viable or notable opposition.

Michigan Governor Race 2022 Polls: Latest Polls

Michigan has seen a dearth of primary polling. Zero non-partisan polls have been conducted. The only poll conducted was an internal poll by Strategic National on behalf of James Craig’s campaign from September 18-19, 2021. It had a sample size of 400 Likely Voters and showed James Craig securing the vote of 76% of decided voters, although only half of the voters were decided. Here is what it showed:
Austin Chenge: 2%
James Craig: 38%
Tudor Dixon: 1%
Ryan Kelley: 1%
Garrett Soldano: 8%
Undecided: 50%

At this moment, James Craig is the clear favorite, although the only poll conducted is by his own campaign. More non-partisan polls could help in ascertaining the reality of the primary. Meanwhile, Trump has not endorsed anyone. His endorsement would turn the dynamic of this primary on its head if he did not end up endorsing Craig.

Michigan Governor Race 2022 Polls: Google Search Update

Republican primary

Google trends from the last 7 days show a small lead for James Craig in the GOP Primary although he is dwarfed by the incumbent governor in the general election.
Austin Chenge: 0%
James Craig: 45%
Ryan Kelley: 19%
Garrett Soldano: 35%

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Michigan Governor Race 2022 Polls: General Election Polls
The general election has seen a fair few polls with 4 polls conducted since September, however 3 of those are Republican-aligned polls. The only independent poll shows Whitmer with a large lead.

Polling Company


Gretchen Whitmer

James Craig

Glengariff Group Inc.

Jan 3-7, 2022



ARW Strategies/ Craig Internal

Jan 4-6, 2022



Strategic National/ Craig Internal

Sept 18-19, 2021



Trafalgar Group (R)

Sept 13-17




Sept 13-Jan 7



Let’s dive deeper into the Glengariff poll. It shows Whitmer’s approval surging from their last poll which was conducted in Sept 2021. 56.2% of people surveyed approved of her performance compared to 38.7% who disapprove. The last poll had her approval at 48.3%.
In September 2021, 51.2% of Independents disapproved of her performance. They now approve of her performance by a margin 62.3% approve to 27.9% disapprove. Her approval among independent voters

has improved by 45 points. This gives her a huge advantage heading into November’s general election.
James Craig has a 44.6% name identification breaking 17.7% favorable to 9.5% unfavorable. Whitmer holds a 48.6%-39.1% lead over James Craig, with 11.7% of voters remaining undecided.

Michigan Governor Race 2022 Polls: Latest Videos, January 20

Michigan Governor Race 2022 Polls: Latest Tweets, January 20

Originally tweeted by Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) on January 19, 2022.

Happy Museum Selfie Day from the Lake County Historical Museum in Baldwin! 🤳 Museums across Michigan aren’t just great places to snap a photo; they play an important role in preserving our state’s stories for generations to come.


Michigan Governor Race 2022 Polls: Racial Demographics

As per the latest 2020 Census Figures, the demographics of the state are as follows:



White American


Black American


Hispanic American


Asian American


Native American




White votes remain a large majority and it’s the same case in both party’s primaries. Black voters remain a crucial voting bloc for Democrats and they need to ensure Detroit is high, although the city has been hemorrhaging population for decades.

Oakland and Washtenaw County are especially important for Democrats, the latter is home to Ann Arbor and netted the party over 100,000 votes in the 2020 presidential election Meanwhile Grand Rapids and its metro area have been a bright spot for Democrats.

Biden won Grand Rapid’s county of Kent by the largest margin of any Democrat nominee since 1964 when Lyndon B. Johnson won a landslide. Republicans tend to do best in rural areas, white working-class counties in Macomb as well as the “thumb” area in the south-east of the state.

Michigan Governor Race 2022 Polls: Latest News, January 20

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Read: Pennsylvania Governor Race 2022 Polls: Lou Barletta To Be GOP Nominee?