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Decision 2018: Can grassroots efforts pull an upset?

Voting booths photo

The mid-term election primary is Tuesday, and in addition to a wide range of local county races and proposals, Michigan voters will consider candidates running for governor, United States Congress and the state legislature. With so many seats including governor up for grabs due to term-limits, the Kent County Clerk’s office is hoping many who don’t normally vote in a primary will turn out and take part in the democratic process.

“We encourage everybody to exercise their right to vote," Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumous Lyons said. "We are seeing some higher than average absentee voting activity, and so we just hope that translates into more participation at the polls tomorrow.”

Primary turnout is historically low, especially in a mid-term election year. According to the Michigan Secretary of State’s Turnout Statistics, out of the seven and a half million registered voters in 2014, only 17% of those voters or 1.3 million actually voted.

While Epic-MRA polls show Democrat Gretchen Whitmer and Republican Bill Schutte to be the front runners for Governor, Democrat Abdul El-Sayed and Republican Patrick Colbeck are hoping grassroots efforts can capitalize on low primary turnouts and pull an upset in the election tomorrow.

Epic-MRA’s President Bernie Porn Says, however, that’s a long shot.  

“With El-Sayed’s numbers, Bernie Sanders' endorsement could well propel him into a second place finish, (but) I don’t see him making up the ground to the 49 percent Gretchen Whitmer has,” Porn Said. 

And Patrick Colbeck?

We have 11 percent supporting him, and I know he has more yard signs, but yard signs don’t vote," Porn said. "He has zero money for television. He hasn’t been on television at all.”

The polls open tomorrow at 7am and close at 8pm.

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