Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Tweaks Campaign and Voice

The Michigan gubernatorial campaign is so tight that Gov. Rick Snyder (R-Mich.) is no longer telling voters their state is the “comeback state,” and his campaign may have even electronically changed his voice in their TV and radio commercials to make the message more pleasing to voters’ ears.

A Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released Sept. 9 showed 51 percent of voters disapprove of Snyder — no matter the timbre of his voice — compared to the 43 percent who are happy with his record in office.

PPP does have Snyder in the lead against his Democratic Party challenger Mark Schauer overall, 43-42 percent. The one-point spread is within the poll’s margin of error.

A Detroit News-WDIV poll has Snyder in first place by less than two points, 43.6 percent to 41.8 percent for Schauer.

It could be those numbers have impacted the way Snyder sounds in his latest ad, titled “Numbers.”

Snyder’s voice in the “Numbers” ad does sound deeper than his voice did when he delivered his State of the State address Jan. 7, 2014.

The Schauer campaign was quick to jump on the issues that have soured many Michigan voters on Snyder.

Schauer brought a room full of cheering, applauding, foot-stomping United Auto Workers union members and Democrats to their feet when he promised to repeal Michigan’s right-to-work law if elected as the state’s next governor.

“Like some of my brothers and sisters in this room I was there on that cold December day in 2012 when those cowards in the (Michigan) State Capitol building locked you out and locked things down,” Schauer said. “I was there to protest and I got pepper sprayed to prove it.”

The reaction among the party faithful and union members was not surprising. They were blindsided by Republican Party and Michigan Chamber of Commerce officials who rammed right-to-work legislation through the Michigan Legislature and onto Snyder’s desk in December 2012.

Snyder had said only a few months before that right-to-work legislation was not on his agenda. But before Democrats could blink, the GOP had it on his desk and Snyder was signing the package into law.

Those in the Grand Rapids, Mich., union hall aren’t the only Michigan residents supporting Schauer’s call for an end to right-to-work.

The Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling survey released Sept. 9 shows 48 percent of registered voters in Michigan want right-to-work legislation to be abolished and would vote to repeal the law if it appears on a ballot. Thirty-six percent of those who responded said they supported right-to-work.

The PPP survey showed Michigan voters also oppose another of the signature achievements of the Snyder administration. They oppose the so-called “pension tax,” which Democrats say allowed for drastic cuts in business taxes, by 74-17 percent.

Snyder stood by the decision to, for the first time, subject pensions to the Michigan state income tax during a speech to senior citizens earlier this year.

The PPP survey also showed Michigan voters support raising the state’s minimum wage to $10 an hour.

Snyder and the Republican-controlled state legislature blocked a November ballot proposition in May that would have raised the minimum wage to $10.10.

The legislature scrapped the state’s old minimum wage law and then approved a new law.

The petitions calling for a November vote on the $10.10 proposal were based on amending the old law. Since that law didn’t exist after the legislature’s May vote, the petitions were useless.

The new Michigan minimum wage law raises the baseline to $9.25 by 2018.