MIGOP’s Unhappy New Year: As Election Year Kicks Off, “Nobody Has Really Emerged” From Crowded, Extreme Republican Field

“Hard to Pick Them Out of a Lineup” … “The Honeymoon is Over” … “Field of 3,000 Republicans Running for Governor”

The 2022 Republican gubernatorial election is less than eight months away, yet not one of the 12 candidates in the running have managed to emerge from a crowded and messy primary that has grown more extreme and out-of-touch with Michigan since the start of the cycle. 

Panelists on the most recent installment of Tim Skubick’s Off the Record (Zoe Clark, Cheyna Roth, Bill Ballenger, and Jim Kiertzner) were the latest to break this “fascinating” dynamic down.

Read key excerpts below and WATCH the clip here.

First, Zoe Clark Correctly Determined That the Entire Field, Including MIGOP Insider Favorite James Craig, Are Still “Trying to Gain Traction.”

TIM SKUBICK: And then Zoey, we have the Republican field of 3000 Republicans running for governor.

ZOE CLARK (Michigan Radio): 3,001 to be exact!

SKUBICK: But nobody has really emerged from this gaggle have they?

CLARK: No, you and I have talked about this. I mean, this is fascinating. We’re at something like a baker’s dozen right now if we’re being accurate now instead of hyperbolic about the number. We watched the James Craig rollout over the summer. We have Tudor Dixon, Garrett Soldano. I mean, these are names all of whom are trying to gain traction. And what we have to remember is this is going to be decided in a Republican primary. And if you end up having four or five, half a dozen candidates in a primary, do you end up seeing that be split? A la Rick Snyder in 2010 where you had a Mike Cox and a Hoekstra and a Bouchard who really split the conservative wing of the party and Rick Snyder, a moderate, came through. And so watching now over the next eight months, 10 months as this heats up, is going to be fascinating and you bet that Whitmer is absolutely keeping an eye on who these candidates are and, you know, political calculus is in all of this.

Afterwards, Cheyna Roth Made the Point That the 12 Republicans Running Have Been Attacking Governor Whitmer By “Giving Very Similar” Extreme Talking Points. 

SKUBICK: Cheyna, how come nobody’s emerged?

CHEYNA ROTH (Slate): I think there’s just too many of them and they’re all fairly similar. They’re all giving very similar talking points about how they would deal with COVID. They’re all very anti Governor Whitmer, and that’s a huge point and for all of them, most of them are White Men of a Certain Age. You know, you have one woman, you have one man of color, and that’s it. I mean, it’s hard to pick them out of a lineup when you put them all there and say, how are they different, spot the differences? They’re all giving a lot of the very same talking points. […]

Then, Jim Kiertnzer Broke Down How the “Honeymoon is Over” for James Craig.

SKUBICK: James, you’ve had a field day with the chief down there in Detroit.

JIM KIERTZNER (WXYZ): Yeah, and the honeymoon is over. I can tell you this week, the week of December 17th. He actually did a news conference, a news event earlier this week. One television station showed up – ours. It was a no show. He wasn’t used to that. And it was over before it started. Really. It lasted only about 10 minutes. He made a couple of comments and that was it. There were no reporters there from TV asking him any questions. Of course, we’ve had our hands full with the Oxford school shooting. So there are certainly news priorities in play here. He’s going to have to do a lot of work next year if he wants to maintain that so-called status of frontrunner.

Lastly, Conservative Pundit Bill Ballenger Conceded That This Pack of “[Total] Unknown[s] With No Money” Remains “The Best the Republicans Could Come Up With.”

SKUBICK: Allegedly Bill, the [MIGOP] leadership wanted to ordain [James Craig] as the candidate and I’m told that privately he’s still waiting for the ordination.

BILL BALLENGER (The Ballenger Report): Well, you’re absolutely right. […] But if this is the best the Republicans can come up with, these dozen candidates, almost totally unknown with no money. The one X factor is Kevin Rinke. If he turns out to be a Rick Snyder type, not only somebody who maybe will have some positions different from the other candidates, but more importantly, will spend $10 million as Snyder did in 2010. That could be the difference maker.

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