With Six Weeks to Go, Dixon’s DeVos-Fueled Campaign is Facing Hurdle After Hurdle

Today marks exactly six weeks until the general gubernatorial election with ballots going in the mail later this week. The contrast in the race could not be clearer: while Governor Whitmer has worked with anyone to put Michiganders first, Tudor Dixon is a wrong-for-Michigan candidate whose campaign has been bankrolled by the DeVos family. 

Bogged down by her own dangerous, harmful, and backward vision for Michigan, special interest candidate and DeVos sellout Dixon has faced considerable campaign hurdles, as analyzed by panelists on the most recent episodes of ‘Off the Record’ and MIRS Monday. WATCH the clip and read the transcripts below:

On Off the Record, Panelists Noted Dixon “Can’t Defy That Kind of Gravity” That Comes From Lacking the Resources to Boost a Campaign Message

ZACH GORCHOW (Gongwer): I mean, it’s possible by the time this is all said and done between Governor Whitmer, the Democratic Governors Association, other Democratic groups, more money will have been spent by or on behalf of the Whitmer’s campaign by any other governor candidate ever. And it’s possible less money will be spent by and on behalf of Tudor Dixon than any other major party candidate in modern Michigan politics. You can’t defy that kind of gravity […] It’s pretty clear. Governor Whitmer is in a commanding position right now and someone has to start spending some money on behalf of Tudor Dixon or she has to raise some money today, really a month ago, or it’s going to turn into a total runaway.

RICK PLUTA (Michigan Radio): I mean look, no matter what, the trend is in the wrong direction for Tudor Dixon, which I think is one of the most important takeaways. The gap between Tudor Dixon and Gretchen Whitmer is growing and you know, that’s got to be arrested and reversed if she’s going to have, you know, a remote chance. And remember, you know, the comparison with John Engler? Yeah, he came from behind but he was working you know, he was campaigning, he was you know, holding events that he had some great commercials on. […] And we’re not seeing anything like that from Tudor Dixon. As matter of fact, when she goes after, well, us, you know, on social media saying the journalists aren’t doing their job, you know, I’ve seen the response going, you know, hey, I agree with you on the media, but you need to get out there you need to come to my county. And you know…she’s getting out more than she was, but she’s not getting out a lot. And you know, like you guys said she’s not getting on the air.

Gongwer’s Zach Gorchow Declared Michigan “A TV State” in Which Tudor Dixon Will Struggle to Break Through to Voters Without Significant Financial Strength

TIM SKUBICK (Host, Off the Record): Mr. Mitchell says very clearly, if you don’t have the money, you can’t win. Is it that simple? 

GORCHOW: Yes, it is. Michigan is a TV state. This is not the New Hampshire presidential primary where you can go and meet every voter in person. You have got to be on television, and I mean, it’s 5 million people in the Detroit media market. […] You do need to do the kinds of press conferences and earned media that she finally started doing a couple weeks ago, but that is not going to move the needle in the Detroit media market. You have got to be on television. You know, we’ve seen other candidates for Congress, things like that, who were not able to get on television, might have had some nice things in their profile that could have worked, and they got dusted. You gotta get on TV. 

Dixon’s Fixation on Culture War Lightening Rods Like Sex and Gender at the Expense of the Issues Working Families Want Addressed Continued to Baffle Analysts

PLUTA: [On the topic of how public schools handle gender change] I just don’t know how it fires up a certain element of the base. That are already angry about you know, the social wars, abortion and whatnot. […] And, you know, she then, you know, accused [teachers, librarian, administrators and school support staff] of more or less peddling pornography to kids and said there needs to be an end to that. And you know, she was asked, well, what is your definition of pornography and she played you know, she played right into it. […]

SKUBICK: Mr. Porn makes the point that on the issue last week, which was crime, only 3% of the people in the poll say crime’s important. If we did a poll on the number of people that are concerned, and I’m not underplaying this as an issue, but if you’re looking for that issue that attracts the average person who doesn’t have a kid in school. Maybe you know, it was a good sound bite and it made it made the news, but–

GORCHOW: This appears to be a very animating issue among a segment of the Republican base. […] Tudor Dixon is impassioned about this issue. She tweeted about these kinds of gender and sex and gay and lesbian kinds of things all through the spring. It almost seemed to at one point to be her singular focus, so it’s clearly something she cares deeply about. […] Overall, it has the feel of some desperation that they’re trying to get anything they can. They’re throwing whatever they can against the wall to see what sticks. […]

On MIRS Monday, John Yob Highlighted Dixon’s Uphill Battle As Voters Become Informed of Her Extreme Anti-Abortion Stance as She’s Made “No Effort to Fight Back”

Republican consultant JOHN YOB: […] There’s been a one sided TV campaign, going back for seven weeks or so now that the Tudor Dixon has no exceptions on abortion. And that’s obviously a pretty tough position to take. I think John Sellek, the other day tweeted some numbers showing how the numbers had moved on the abortion issue over the last, say, 10 years or so, with more and more people calling themselves pro choice here in Michigan. […] So I think the battle has been fought on the Democrats’ terms with millions and millions of dollars, and there’s been essentially no effort to fight back. […] On the Republican side, we’ve never faced this before. And, you know, it doesn’t look very good in terms of a way out unless some serious money gets on TV pretty quickly. You know, I’ve seen that I think there’s some small buys coming in 400 grand or so a week on the Republican side right now, that might have been adequate, you know, back in August, but I don’t think that’s going to be adequate today with the absentee ballots hitting.

Yob Acknowledged That Bought-and-Paid-For Dixon “Didn’t Necessarily Earn” Her Primary Win and is Being Hampered Financially by Her Proximity to the DeVoses

YOB: […] In this race, Tudor Dixon won based on a big endorsement and a big checkbook, and from the DeVos family. And so she didn’t necessarily earn it on her own. She didn’t build a campaign structure. She wasn’t raising a bunch of money, she didn’t have a wide donor base, she didn’t have a lot of key supporters outside Western Michigan. And therefore, she doesn’t have that organization to take advantage of. So the downside of a nominee winning based on a Trump endorsement and one particular donor is that you don’t necessarily have a strong general election campaign. […] To some degree, there is a downside as well to having sort of the DeVos checkbook behind you. Because other groups look at that and say, well, they don’t need our money, they can handle it themselves if they want to do this fight. And so I think you have some Southeast Michigan donors for sure and probably some other outside groups that look at this as a fight that can be funded by the independent PAC that has so far been funded by West Michigan donors.

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