Barack Obama Endorses Gretchen Whitmer In Michigan Governor’s Race

Former President Barack Obama has given his official endorsement to Michigan gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer. Obama announced the decision on Monday, according to reports from M Live.

“I’m proud to endorse Gretchen Whitmer because Michigan’s middle-class families need a governor who knows how to get things done,” said a statement released by the former president, as Obama put his weight and popularity behind the Democratic nominee.

“Gretchen has spent her whole life getting real results for hardworking Michiganders, whether it was raising the minimum wage, or working to expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act to cover more than 680,000 people. As governor, she’ll focus on getting things done that will actually make a difference in people’s lives right now, like fixing Michigan’s roads, speeding up the replacement of lead pipes in communities like Flint, and getting our kids the skills they need to compete for good-paying jobs. That’s exactly the kind of leadership Michigan needs in the governor’s office right now.”

Obama has also gone on to make an official endorsement of Garlin Gilchrist II as Michigan’s Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate. Elsewhere in the state, Obama endorsed both Democrats Haley Stevens and Elissa Slotkin in the 11th and 8th Congressional Districts respectively.

Obama isn’t the only big-name Democrat to lend their support to the Whitmer campaign. Former Vice President Joe Biden has also given his endorsement to the former Michigan state senator.

On the other side of the ticket, Republican candidate Bill Schuette — the current Michigan attorney general — has received endorsements from both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

While Whitmer opened up the race as the heavy favorite, a recent poll from the Detroit Free Press shows that Schuette has been making up some ground with voters. While Whitmer’s lead has been cut to eight points, the reports suggest that the unpopularity of President Trump is a likely factor in the strength of Democratic candidates, not only in the gubernatorial race but also farther down the ticket.

While other polls have Whitmer leading by a double-digit margin, the latest from EPIC-MRA of Lansing has Whitmer with 45 percent of voters while Schuette still lags behind with 37, with 11 percent of those interviewed either undecided or refusing to give an answer. The report suggests that the shift has been a result in the ramping up of attack ads aimed at each candidate, with the likelihood that they will continue to play a role in the numbers as Election Day approaches.

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