The latest NBC/Marist poll shows a tight gubernatorial race between Republican incumbent Rick Snyder and the Democratic nominee Mark Schauer. According to the poll, Snyder has 46 points to Schauer's 44. Only a two point lead, while within the margin of error. Schauer's campaign is pleased with the numbers.
Cathy Bacile Cunningham, press secretary for Mark Schauer's campaign, says, "We've seen Governor Snyder hasn't been out of the mid-40s in any poll for the past year. And, so, you know, we know that we're gaining momentum and that voters are energized. The more they learn about Mark, the more they support him."
Bill Ballenger, founder of Inside Michigan Politics, agrees that it's going to come down to a battle of the images. "We don't know what the reaction is going to be, and that's what a lot of the TV advertising is gonna be about in the next four months. Each candidate is going to try to define himself, so he will look very good to the voters and either he, or people speaking on his behalf will try and make his opponent look bad."
Despite the small lead, Governor Snyder's campaign isn't worried.
"With 250,000 new private sector jobs created, the lowest unemployment rate in six years, an increased investment in education and the creation of a bipartisan coalition for Detroit's Grand Bargin, Michiganders can see the clear results of Governor Snyder's leadership versus Governor Snyder's Mark Schauer's rhetoric."
The NBC/Marist poll also shows a small lead for Democratic Congressman Gary Peters in the Senate race - 43 points to 37 points against former Michigan Secretary of State, Terri Lynn Land.
But, Ballenger says he's not sure what to expect. "He's got his name ID up, but Terry Land has been elected twice statewide and she'll have a lot of money to put up on TV. She already has advertised, and so I think this is going to be competitive all the way to November."
A poll from Lansing-based Vanguard Public Affairs gave Governor Snyder a wider lead over Schauer - 43% to 35%. Vanguard's Senatorial poll is similar to NBC/Marist's with Gary Peters slightly ahead of Land, 40% to 37%. Both races are within margin of error.