Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer faces off against Trump-backed Republican Tudor Dixon in Michigan's governor race

Gretchen Whitmer and Tudor Dixon
Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan is taking on Republican Tudor Dixon.Paul Sancya/AP; Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images
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  • Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is facing off against Republican Tudor Dixon in Michigan's gubernatorial election.

  • Trump backed Dixon before her primary win and she has raised unfounded questions about the 2020 election.

  • Whitmer has sought to highlight that abortion is on the ballot this November.

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is seeking reelection against former media personality and Trump-backed Republican Tudor Dixon.

Michigan's gubernatorial candidates

Republicans began this cycle eager to knock off Democrat Gretchen Whitmer. The former state lawmaker's campaign to "Fix the Damn Roads" led her party to retake the governor's mansion in 2018 for the first time in eight years. Whitmer's star power in the crucial swing state grew so quickly that President Joe Biden considered her to join him on the Democratic presidential ticket in 2020.

Dixon has hammered Whitmer over her management of the COVID-19 pandemic. She's also raised more culture war issues like trans students' sports participation and a call to ban all "pornographic books" from school libraries, Bridge Michigan, a local nonprofit news organization, reported. The Republican has also tried to muddle her history of questioning the 2020 election results. But as recently as this past summer, Dixon raised the unfounded claim that Trump won Michigan in 2020.

Abortion has further upended the contest. Whitmer has highlighted how a 1931 law is now in effect following the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade. She helped lead the push to get a pro-abortion rights initiative on the ballot this November.

In 2020, federal law enforcement arrested 13 men suspected of engineering a terrorist plot to kidnap Whitmer and attempt to overthrow Michigan's government. The subsequent cases against them have resulted in a mixture of convictions, acquittals, and plea deals.

Michigan's voting history 

Democrats once counted the state as a part of their "blue wall." Trump famously shattered it in 2016 before Biden won by just under 3 percentage points. At the gubernatorial level, Republicans held the state for eight years under Gov. Rick Snyder, who won his reelection by a much smaller margin than his 2010 blowout.

Whitmer beat Michigan attorney general Bill Schuette by almost 10 points in 2018. If she wins this November, she'll reach her term limit.

The money race

Whitmer has crushed Dixon in fundraising. This cycle, the incumbent government has raised nearly $32 million, spent almost $16 million, and has $14 million available, as of August 22, her most recent report.

Dixon, her opponent, has raised roughly $2.4 million, spent almost $2 million, and has just over $523,000 available, as of August 22, according to her most recent report.

What experts say

The race between Whitmer and Dixon is rated as "tilt Democratic" by Inside Elections, "likely Democratic" by The Cook Political Report, and "likely Democratic" by Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Read the original article on Business Insider