Our exclusive News10 Epic-MRA poll shows Rick Snyder leading by 20 points. Compare that with a 24 point lead in September.
"Mayor Bernero has made a little bit of progress but not nearly enough to close the gap," said Epic-MRA co-founder John Cavanagh.
That's why sunday's debate is critical.
"Mayor Bernero must score a knockout punch in my opinion in order to climb a fairly large hill," Cavanagh said.
Large indeed. Snyder leads all over Michigan except Detroit and Wayne county. However 18 percent of voters are still undecided.
The poll isn't entirely consistent with last month's poll. Take unions, for instance. In september Bernero led that category by 11 points. This time, Snyder has it by 13.
"The points he needs to emphasize are the pieces of information from Snyder's corporate past that would indicate to union members that he really isn't your friend," said Cavanagh.
But Snyder is the friend of pro-life voters.
Pro-choice voters support Bernerno but not to the same extent pro-life voters support Snyder, Cavanagh said.
Cavanagh says that's because voters aren't basing their decision on abortion.
The most important factor for voters is, not surprisingly, the economy.
Cavanagh says Bernero has the leg up in the debate.
"He's better on his feet," he said. "He's better handling questions ad hoc."
But voters are eager to see snyder out of his element, too
One voter told WILX she would base her decision about Snyder on "my perception of him once I see him in more than a commercial."