Inside and outside of Oakland

Some Democrats want Schauer against Snyder in Michigan in 2014

  Bolstered by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's poll numbers, driven into the negative after right-to-work legislation was passed in December, Democrats are lining up behind a possible opponent to run against the governor in 2014.
  John Austin, president of the Michigan State Board of Education, announced his support Wednesday for former U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer in 2014.

  "We need to start early, rally around the strongest candidate, and Mark is positioned to run strong, unify Democrats, and win over independents who elected Gov. Snyder in 2010," Austin said via email to media.
  The 51-year-old Schauer, a Battle Creek Democrat, hasn't formally announced he's a candidate. But recent polls indicate he'd fare well in a match against Snyder if the election were held today.
  A poll of 600 people taken by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA April 13-16 indicated that 75 percent of those polled didn't recognize Schauer but that Schauer would edge out Snyder 39 percent to 38 percent.
  In another hypothetical match between Snyder and former U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, a Menominee Democrat, 39 percent would vote for Snyder and 38 percent for Stupak, even though 56 percent of those polled didn't know who Stupak was.
  Snyder's job approval in the poll was 38 percent positive to 58 percent negative. The governor's job approval was above 50 percent prior to the right-to-work debate in December.
Schauer was elected to Congress in 2008 but a lost a rematch in 2010 to Republican Tim Walberg.
  Stupak, now a lobbyist, was elected to Congress in 1992 and served continuously until he decided not to seek re-election in 2010.
  A story Tuesday by the website Politico says Schauer is being urged to run against Snyder by the Democratic Governors Association and referenced a poll taken by Geoff Garin, and his memo to the association, that indicated voters would back Schauer 48-42 percent.
  In a related video, Snyder said his focus remains "jobs and kids," and said he'd likely make a formal announcement sometime later in the year.
  "There's a lot to do because it's a work in progress, but I haven't made a formal announcement," Snyder said.
  After winning the governor's office in 2010 by a 58-40 percent margin over Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, Snyder's approval ratings tanked in his early months in office after proposing changes to Michigan tax code Democrats criticized as favorable to corporate and business interests at the expense of the poor, elderly and middle class.
  But they gradually recovered until the right-to-work law was passed in the lame duck session of the legislature in December.
  This year, Snyder has found himself at odds with the Republican majority that control the House and Senate on a number of issues.
  Snyder favors accepting federal money that will allow an expansion of Medicaid coverage in Michigan, but Republicans have blocked that. The governor also has proposed higher gas taxes and registration fees to deal with the state's crumbling roads, which Republicans have also balked at.
  And, most recently, Snyder has encountered Republican opposition to a proposal to reform Michigan no-fault auto insurance by capping medical expenses for catastrophic injuries at $1 million, most notably from outspoken Republican Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who last week compared the Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, comments that elicited something of a firestorm and something of an apology.
  Yet the 54-year-old governor, holding his first-ever elective office, says he remains excited about the progress in "fundamentally reinventing" Michigan, and noted that he isn't "a career politician."
  "I was hired to do a job, I said what I was going to do and I followed up on that, and I believe Michigan voters appreciate that," Snyder said in the video. "We're the comeback state in the United States. Our brightest days are ahead of us and we're going to stay focused."

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