Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder leads Democrat Virg Bernero by 22 percentage points in a new poll released Thursday.
Snyder, a wealthy Ann Arbor businessman, spent more than $2.3 million on TV ads before the Aug. 3 primary and now is better known and more favorably regarded by voters than the Lansing mayor, according to the survey by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA.
Fifty-one percent of 600 likely voters polled said they'd back Snyder, while 29 percent supported Bernero and 20 percent were undecided. But with 10 weeks to go until the Nov. 2 election, only half said they were very certain to vote for their candidate, indicating many have not completely made up their minds.
The poll was conducted Saturday to Monday for the Detroit Free Press and TV stations WXYZ, WJRT, WOOD and WILX. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
More than a fifth of voters -- 22 percent -- said they still didn't recognize Bernero's name, even though he won the Democratic primary. Only 12 percent didn't recognize Snyder's name, in part because of a relentless barrage of campaign ads he starred in starting in early February.
Bernero never raised enough money to run his own television ads during the primary campaign, but was helped by $1.8 million in ads run by the Genesee County Democratic Party that said favorable things about him. He's expected to raise enough money through contributions and public financing to run his own ads in the general election.
Nearly half of voters said they had a favorable opinion of Snyder, the former president of computer maker Gateway Inc. Twelve percent had an unfavorable opinion and 27 percent were undecided.
For Bernero, 22 percent had a favorable opinion, 27 percent had an unfavorable opinion and 29 percent were undecided.
The poll was conducted before Snyder announced Wednesday that he had chosen state Rep. Brian Calley of Portland to be his running mate. Bernero is expected to announce his choice in the next couple of days.