With just a month remaining before the primary election to choose the Republican and Democratic candidates in the 82nd Michigan House district, Todd Courser is in a three-way tie to replace himself with himself according to new polling results released this morning by Grassroots Midwest, Inside Michigan Politics, and Target Insyght.
The poll of 300 likely Republican primary voters in Michigan’s 82nd state House district shows that Jan Peabody – who lost to Courser by just 300ish votes in the 2014 Republican primary – is in the lead with 20 percent. In second place is Lapeer County ISD board President Gary Howell with 11 percent with Courser and Ian Kempf tied for third with 9 percent.
Inside Michigan Politics editor and publisher Susan Demas characterized things this way:
The Republican establishment has to be thrilled with these results. Tea Party voters are splitting their support between multiple candidates, leaving Jan Peabody alone in first just 30 days out. She’ll have the resources to increase that lead. Peabody came within 300 votes of Courser in the 2014 primary, and already has the support of the Dick DeVos-backed Great Lakes Education Project. I’d look for more big endorsements soon.
The news release of the poll findings had this interesting observation which I think is more to accurate than the suggestion that Peabody has this all but locked up:
Based on analysis of historical data, Grassroots Midwest believes 13,500 will likely vote in the GOP primary — meaning a candidate could win with as few as 2,000 votes. Between Courser’s loyalists, mischievous Democrats, and the other ten Republican candidates, the risk of Courser sneaking through the November primary seems realistic, if only he could convince more people who like him to actually vote for him. There is a clear risk of a nightmare scenario for the GOP in this race.
It’s just that “nightmare scenario” that I and others have been predicting since Courser resigned last month. I think there’s a real possibility that a lot of these folks stay home and that Courser’s faithful herd along with Democrats who cross over to vote for him could push him over the top.
Meanwhile, Courser has taken to publishing Bible passages on his Facebook page. I suppose, for some people, that’s all it takes…