We’re not sure what he would do to give our universities the money they need to adequately educate the workforce Michigan needs. Actually, we’re not too sure how he stands on a broad range of issues, from privatization of the state’s workforce to the proposed internationally owned bridge across the Detroit River.
Nor is the state’s press corps working especially hard to find out. There are also many questions about Virg Bernero, his opponent, and what sort of policies he would adopt.
But we do know that Snyder is ahead by twenty percent in the polls. In fact, there is a new poll every few days that says much the same thing. This seems to be necessary so that Lansing pundits can pontificate on things like whether the Democrats should now put their money behind Secretary of State candidate Jocelyn Benson.
But is this what political reporting should be all about? True, reporting poll results is easier than trying to dig around to find out what the candidate would really do in office.
Or what his policies would really mean for our state. Since we’ve been telling voters over and over that this race is over, is there any wonder that people are apathetic about it?
More and more, I think the way we cover elections in this country is a disgrace. The only poll that counts occurs in voting booths on November. We’ve got an immense crisis in this state, and there are precisely two men who conceivably could be elected and face the task of trying to lead us out of this mess.
So, it would seem to me that we should concentrate more on who they are, what they would do, and what they are all about.
There are some people who do rise above this. I talked to one the other day. Jennifer is a 59-year-old woman who grew up in Ann Arbor, but never had the chance to go to college, because she had to help raise her siblings after her daddy died.
She’s highly intelligent, politically independent, and works several jobs, including that of a textbook buyer. Been married for more than thirty years; raised three sons; lives in the house her parents built. Her big political moment came a long time ago, when she was a Catholic schoolgirl, and the nuns lined up her class to shake hands with a candidate named John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
She and some friends watched the debate between the candidates for governor, and decided they’d vote for Virg Bernero. “I don’t know -- he just seemed more sincere. More like he had an idea what he wanted to do. The other one was sort of a corporate talker.“
Perhaps she is a complete anomaly. But I thought it was interesting that she felt that way. Besides knowing what the candidates stand for, it would be nice to hear more in this campaign about some real people, and what they think about it.
Even if that means we skip an opinion poll now and again.