“It’s a mess, to be perfectly honest” … “I can’t tell you who is the frontrunner in this race” … “Multi-candidate fields produce really wacky results” … “I’m rather startled on the Republican side of the aisle” … *repeated laughter*
Over the weekend, Michigan Democratic Party members gathered in Detroit to endorse candidates for the 2022 general election. The smooth show of party unity that “allow[ed] attendees and speakers to focus on their Republican opponents” doubly underscored the fact that Michigan Republicans remain locked in bitter infighting with under 4 months to go until the August primary.
Nowhere is Republican disarray more evident than the crowded and messy gubernatorial primary, in which several candidates – including chief “neophyte” James Craig – are still scrambling to secure enough signatures to make the ballot with just days to go before the April 19th deadline.
This past Friday, longtime Michigan pollster Richard Czuba made an appearance on Tim Skubick’s ‘Off the Record’ show on WKAR to discuss this “mess” of an inexperienced field that is bound to “produce really wacky results.”
WATCH and read excerpts below.
TIM SKUBICK: So what do you think is going on in the governor’s race on the Republican side of the aisle?
RICHARD CZUBA: I think it’s a mess, to be perfectly honest. You know, last August, I remember saying if we didn’t go into Mackinac understanding who the Republican frontrunners were with the nomination, the Republicans would be in trouble in that race. And here we are four months, April before the August primary. I can’t tell you who is the frontrunner in this race. […] But you know, we don’t know where this is going to go and we certainly don’t know where it’s going to go in a multi-candidate field. And I think we need to remember, multi-candidate fields produce really wacky results. So I think we need to prepare ourselves for the unexpected in this race.
SKUBICK: So at the end of the day, how many people will we have in the Republican primary? Give me a number.
CZUBA: You tell me, I assume…
SKUBICK: I asked you first, I asked you first.
CZUBA: How many of these people are going to you know, even supply the petition signatures? You know, I was really startled, frankly, when I heard James Craig at that Trump rally talking about how they’re almost to the 15,000. They’re almost there. And I’m like, what?!
CZUBA: This is like rule number one! Go get your petitions!
SKUBICK: What does that say about the candidate if he or she is saying we’re almost to 15,000? Is there a hidden message in that statement?
CZUBA: I think you know, good campaigns know that you get your petitions first. And even if you don’t have them, you say you do for gosh sakes!
CZUBA: I mean, that’s just Politics 101.
SKUBICK: And so the fact that he is may- well, obviously everybody assumes he’ll file the signatures. But does it say something about the organization? Does it say something about the guy at the head? What does it say, if anything?
CZUBA: Campaigns are first and foremost about good organization. And I think we have a whole lot of candidates who’ve never campaigned. Who’ve never run campaigns or managed campaigns. In fact, I’m rather startled on the Republican side of the aisle. […]