A Tuesday poll revealed that former Detroit Police Chief and Michigan gubernatorial candidate James Craig holds a six point lead over Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for the upcoming 2022 election.
The Trafalgar Group’s poll showed that Craig holds 50.2% of favorability among potential Michigan general election voters, while Whitmer stands at 44.4%. A smaller percentage of voters, 5.2%, were undecided.
Over half of the voters surveyed, 53.45%, were affiliated with the Democratic Party, 35% with the Republican Party and the other 11% as Independent, according to the poll. An overwhelming majority, 81.6%, were white and over one-third fell between the ages of 45-64.
Approximately a quarter of participants were 65 years or older, 14.2% 25-32 years, 13.8% ranging from 35-44 years and only 7.6% ranging from 18-24 years of age. The poll surveyed 1,097 respondents between Sept. 13-15 with a 2.96% margin of error and 1.46% response rate.
The Trafalgar Group surveyed the participants through live calls, integrated voice responses, text messages, emails and two other public digital methods not shared publicly, according to their site.
#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
Craig, a Republican, announced his gubernatorial run on a July 21 segment of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” vowing to oppose the lockdown policies Whitmer imposed on the state and that he would defend “small businesses who are suffering through the pandemic.” The former police chief added that he “protected and served” the city of Detroit for 44 years.
Craig launched his campaign during a Sept. 14 speech on Belle Isle, before being immediately disrupted by protesters with chants that the former police chief is “full of hate,” The Detroit News reported. Craig called the demonstrators “paid protesters” and said Michigan State Police and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) should have prevented the demonstrators from interrupting the rally.
Later that evening, Craig told Daily Caller co-founder and Fox News host Tucker Carlson that Whitmer needs to be held accountable for the incident, Fox News reported. (RELATED: ‘Detroit Never Burned’: Former Police Chief Touts Record In 2020 Riots As He Explores Running For Michigan Governor)
“I know them very well, Tucker. I know them very well. Summer of Love 2020 they made it home in Detroit. They were disruptive, no surprises there. But I’ve got to tell you, they want to silence me. They wanted me to leave Detroit last year. I said ‘most of you need to leave.’ These folks are from outside the city. And they come here, and they’re not speaking for anybody in the city.”
“She oversees the Michigan State Police and the Department of [Natural] Resources that covers the island. This is not accidental,” Craig said.
Whitmer spokesman Bobby Leddy called Craig’s statement a “baseless attack,” claiming that the DNR reached out to his campaign to ensure that they had a proper permit and immediately dispatched law enforcement during the incident, according to Detroit News.
Several months after implementing one of the strictest coronavirus restrictions in the country, Whitmer defended her state’s strict stay-at-home orders that she issued in March 202o, arguing that the state lockdowns saved lives.
“I’m never going to apologize for the fact that because there was a vacuum of leadership at the federal level, we had to take action to save people here in Michigan,” the governor said in May of 2020. “It has not come without cost. I recognize that. I know a lot of people are stressed about the job they lost or the business that might not open. But there’s also over 5,000 families that are mourning the loss of a loved one.”
Craig has previously vowed to tackle crime in Michigan cities and ripped the “defund the police” movement. He sued Black Lives Matter with claims that the organization “endangered the lives” of law enforcement and the public. Whitmer had previously said in June of 2020, that she supports the “spirit” of defunding the police but does not want to get rid of them.