Debate preview: Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidates face off in Detroit

Whitmer, El-Sayed and Thanedar vie for Democratic nomination in Aug. 7 primary


DETROIT – The Democratic primary candidates for Michigan governor will face off in a debate tonight at WDIV-Local 4 studios in Detroit. “Decision 2018: Democratic Gubernatorial Debate” will air live at 8 p.m. on WDIV-Local 4, and you can livestream the debate at ClickOnDetroit.com.

Former Democratic Minority Leader in the Michigan Senate Gretchen Whitmer, former executive director of the Detroit Health Department Dr. Abdul El-Sayed and entrepreneurial businessman Shri Thanedar will share the stage.

Learn more about each candidate’s platform by clicking their names above. And check out our debate strategy explainer as well as 5 things to watch for in tonight’s debate.

The most recently available polling data from late May, published by Michigan Information & Research Service, found Whitmer in the lead with 40% of the likely Democratic electorate. Thanedar and El-Sayed trailed with 19% and 17%, respectively.

Those polling results were less than surprising, given that Whitmer is the Democratic establishment favorite to win the nomination. But many weeks have passed since then, and a lot can change between now and Aug. 7, the date of the primary vote.

Tonight’s debate will be the second for these candidates. WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids and the Michigan Democratic Party hosted the first event on June 20. You can watch that full debate here.

“Decision 2018: Democratic Gubernatorial Debate” is hosted by WDIV-Local 4 and the Michigan Democratic Party and will be moderated by Local 4 news anchors Devin Scillian and Kimberly Gill.