Mike Bouchard continues to trail three other Republicans in the five-way Aug. 3 GOP nominating race for governor but the Oakland County sheriff shows no sign of folding his campaign.
The latest poll by Magellan Strategies released Wednesday gives U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra a six-point lead over Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder in an automated telephone survey of 742 of likely Republican primary voters conducted June 8 and 9.
In the survey, Hoekstra led with 26 percent compared to 20 percent for Snyder, 16 percent for Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox and 11 percent for Bouchard.
Another 3 percent indicated they preferred another candidate besides those in the current field, and 2 percent favored state Sen. Tom George.
But 22 percent remained undecided with the primary just days away, indicating a number of Republicans have yet to make up their minds.
The number of undecided Republicans has remained virtually unchanged since polls were first taken at the end of January.
That 22 percent is a significant number that could affect the outcome of the primary if a significant number break en masse for Bouchard or any of the other candidates.
“The reality is that this is a very close race and we’re going to keep getting the sheriff’s message out there,” Bouchard spokesman Ted Prall said Thursday.
“The race is basically is statistically a dead heat,” he said. “I think it’s a margin of error race at this point.”
Prall was dismissive of the validity of telephone polling. He said other polls indicate Bouchard is ahead among Republican voters in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties.
“We’ve never trusted automated surveys to begin with,” he said. “These polls come and they go. The only poll the sheriff is focused on is the one on Aug. 3. We’re pleased with where we’re at. Our momentum is gaining every day.”
Hoekstra has led in most polls since entering the GOP nominating race. Snyder has picked up in the polls with a bounce from his “One Tough Nerd” advertising unveiled during Super Bowl weekend, but his poll numbers have leveled off. Cox has lost ground and Bouchard’s numbers have remained in a narrow range.
The winner of the Republican primary faces the winner of the Democratic primary in the November election.
Democrats seeking their party’s nomination are Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and Michigan House Speaker Andy Dillon of Redford.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, cannot run again because of term limits.
Contact staff writer Charles Crumm at 248-745-4649, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @crummc.