Dana Nessel Leads in Michigan Race for Attorney General, Foreshadowing Blue Wave

August 24, 2018

Washington, D.C.— Ahead of the party conventions, the Democratic Attorneys General Association (@DemocraticAGs) released a recent tracking poll of Michigan voters, which shows first-time candidate Dana Nessel showing a consistent lead over likely-Republican Attorney General candidate and state representative Tom Leonard. The results prove that Michigan voters are more than primed to swing the Michigan Attorney General seat back into the Democratic fold and that the nationwide “blue wave” is real.

Results indicated:

  • First-time candidate Dana Nessel sees a consistent 1-point lead over state-representative Tom Leonard.
  • Nessel see better favorability than Leonard.
  • More than half of voters (53 percent) want to see an Attorney General independent from the Trump administration, a key theme in the Nessel campaign.

“This polling is another in a series of indicators that there really is a blue wave heading to Michigan and states across the country,” said Sean Rankin, Executive Director of the Democratic Attorneys General Association. “When a first-time candidate like Dana Nessel outperforms a Republican political leader like Tom Leonard on a straight ballot test with no messaging or additional candidate information, Democrats’ hopes and Republicans’ worst fears are realized—a wave is coming.”

Last Tuesday’s primary results exemplified this energy at the ballot box as more than half of the 2.1 million votes cast were from Democrats. According to the Detroit Free Press, in the 2010 primary, the most recent comparable election, fewer than 1.7million people voted and only 529,000 votes were cast for Democratic candidates. Tuesday’s record-breaking primary shows Democratic turn-out more than doubling from 2010.

“The truth is that this election is about values and name recognition, and we know that Dana Nessel is running a values-based, people-powered campaign,” continued Rankin.  “When we begin to introduce Dana Nessel and remind voters of what this election is really about, we see voters moving to her and this ticket winning in November.”

In August, DAGA commissioned a poll on the Michigan general election from Clarity Campaign Labs. The sample includes 832 likely general election voters that were surveyed on a mixture of landline and cell phones. This polling is consistent with DAGA’s research in other states, which shows a favorable environment for Democratic Attorney General candidates, particularly female candidates.

As part of DAGA’s effort to support key Attorney General races, the organization will add Michigan to the lists of states engaged in DAGA’s first-of-its-kind volunteer-to-voter education texting program. The texting program works to educate voters about the attorney general races in key states as well give voters an opportunity to share concerns they want Attorney General candidates to address.  The Democratic Attorneys General Association is the only committee texting specifically about Attorney General races, and so far this cycle, the committee has already interacted with more than 1 million voters.


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