Why Republican gubernatorial candidates are ‘floundering’ in 3 midwestern states: report

A year ago, many Democratic strategists feared that the 2022 midterms would bring a major red wave like the ones in 1994 and 2010. But that was before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wadeangering millions of Americans and giving Democrats a major issue to use against Republican candidates.

One of the Democrats who has been hammering her Republican opponent relentlessly over abortion is Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, whose far-right MAGA challenger, Tudor Dixon, opposes abortion even for rape or incest victims. That race is one of the three gubernatorial battles that the Daily Beast’s Sam Brodey discusses in an article published on September 23; the other two are in Wisconsin and Minnesota. And Brodey stresses that the GOP candidates in those three races are all “floundering.”

“In Michigan, former actress and MAGA media personality Tudor Dixon began the general election with just two full-time campaign staffers, according to MLive.com, and had roughly 28 times less cash on hand than Gov. Gretchen Whitmer,” Brodey explains. “Next door in Wisconsin, businessman Tim Michels emerged victorious from a primary in which he spent $12 million of his own money — only to run an apparently shoestring campaign against Gov. Tony Evers with a handful of full-time staffers and plenty of bad blood left over from that primary. And in Minnesota, the COVID-skeptic doctor Scott Jensen is trailing Gov. Tim Walz badly in fundraising and polling while his lightning-rod lieutenant governor nominee — the former pro football player Matt Birk — traveled out of state to give a paid speech to an insurance conference.”

READ MORE: ‘A common middle ground’: These Michigan Republicans are campaigning for Gretchen Whitmer — here’s why

Brodey continues, “In a midterm year favoring the party out of power, these Great Lakes states were supposed to be especially fertile terrain for Republicans to recapture control. Michigan and Wisconsin are two of the most perennially hard-fought states in the country; Minnesota leans more Democratic, but it has been targeted more energetically by the GOP in recent years.”

Whitmer, Evers and Walz, according to Brodey, “are sitting in far better shape than anyone anticipated — in large part because of the weakness of the candidates Republicans nominated.”

“The lives of millions of people stand to be affected by the outcomes of these races,” Brodey notes. “In Wisconsin and Michigan, the GOP controls majorities in the state legislatures, leaving Democratic governors as the backstop to opposing the implementation of their agendas. If Evers and Whitmer survive their challenges, they can continue to fight, for example, implementation of the abortion bans their states passed before the Roe v. Wade decision came down in 1973.”

READ MORE: Two men found guilty in plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

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