Is Gov. Rick Snyder in trouble for re-election?

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

DETROIT - Some might assume Gov. Rick Snyder will sail into a second term in Michigan, but a new poll says the race is tight between him and Democratic challenger Mark Schauer.

When Snyder swept to victory in 2010, he did it with nearly 60 percent of the vote, crushing Democrat Virg Bernero. He managed the win by appealing to independent voters and moderate Democrats.

This go-round, Snyder's numbers, according to multiple polls, aren't anywhere near what they were in 2010.

Public Policy Polling, a national Democratic poll, has Snyder and Schauer in a dead heat, 40 to 40, with 20 percent undecided.

So do those who crunch the numbers here buy this outcome?

"No, I don't. First of all, PPP has a long history of faulty poll numbers and then when you look at the sampling, it oversamples

Democrats for what this election year will hold," said Dennis Darnoi, a political consultant.

Darnoi said he agrees Snyder's numbers are nowhere near what they were in 2010, but he doesn't think Schauer is really in the hunt.

Now NBC News has put the Michigan governor's race as one of the top 10 that could surprise in November. What's moving some voters away from Snyder? Signing the right-to-work legislation and a constant barrage of Democratic attacks on his record on education.

However, a Local 4 News poll done at the end of May had Snyder beating Schauer 45 to 35 percent, with 18 percent of voters undecided.

Political strategists say the sweet spot for an incumbent is the 50 percent mark. Snyder hasn't hit that at this point, which tells the experts he's vulnerable, which is why this race is all of a sudden getting interest from the major networks and national political publications.

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