So who’s really ahead in the five-way Republican nominating race for governor?
It depends which poll you believe.
The most recent poll conducted by a Chicago-based company for WDIV Local 4 shows Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, and Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder in a three-way race with Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard and state Sen. Tom George trailing.
Bouchard and Snyder say their internal polls are reliable and show very different numbers than the poll conducted by Glengariff Group Inc. of Chicago.
The Glengariff poll shows Cox ahead among likely Republican voters at 26.4 percent followed by Hoekstra at 25.6, Snyder, 20.2, Bouchard 11.6 and George 1.8 with 14.4 undecided.
Bouchard’s campaign says its internal polls by McLaughlin & Associates shows Bouchard tied with Hoekstra, although their internal poll was taken before the final Republican debate at Oakland University last week.
McLaughlin is the same internal pollster former Gov. John Engler used in a narrow upset over Democrat Gov. Jim Blanchard some 20 years ago, says Bouchard spokeswoman Katie Martin.
“If he’s good enough for Engler, he’s good enough for us,” Martin said Monday.
Bouchard’s internal polls show him tied with Hoekstra at 19 percent followed by Cox at 16 percent, Snyder at 12 percent, George at 3 percent and 32 percent undecided.
Snyder also says internal polling show different numbers. Snyder, in a campaign memo Monday, said their numbers taken over the weekend of 2,000 likely voters indicate Hoekstra ahead at 25 percent followed by Snyder at 24 percent, Cox at 16 percent, Bouchard at 14 percent, George at 2 percent and 19 percent undecided.
“Public polls are all over the map, some with credible results and others not,” Snyder said in his memo. “Some media outlets even use pollsters with direct and public ties to our opponents.”
Cox, meanwhile, called the poll that puts him in the lead “exciting,” but also noted the fluid nature of political polling.
“Polls will continue to go up and down, but this is exciting news coming into the final stretch,” Cox said in an e-mail to his supporters.
George, meanwhile, announced over the weekend he was taking to the airwaves with television advertising in the final two weeks of the campaign.
The winner of the Republican primary and the winner of the Democratic primary move on to the November election. Democrats seeking their party’s nomination are Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and Michigan House Speaker Andy Dillon.
As candidates have noted throughout the campaign, the only poll that counts is the one taken of voters on Aug. 3.
ContactCharles Crumm at 248-745-4649, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @crummc. More election information is available at 2010electioninoaklandcounty.blogspot.com.