(CBS DETROIT) — It’s primary day in Michigan and all eyes are on the race for Governor.
Incumbent Gretchen Whitmer is running unopposed. Meanwhile, 5 GOP candidates are hoping to get the chance to face off against her.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Pistons’ Rob Murphy on Helping His Hometown
As we await the official results from Tuesday’s primary, we spoke to political experts about the influence former President Donald Trump has on the race.
“The primary race is a microcosm of what’s happening nationally within the Republican Party,” said Ken Kollman, the director of the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan
The legacy of former president Donald Trump versus the establishment in the Republican party.
Trump’s influence continues to play a role in this year’s elections. A strategy four of the five GOP candidates for Governor used to drum up support for their campaigns.
Tudor Dixon, Ryan Kelley, Garrett Soldano and Ralph Rebandt–all of them are closely aligned with Trump—and question the results of the 2020 election.
But, only one of them scored his endorsement: Tudor Dixon.
Kevin Rinke is the lone GOP candidate to acknowledge Joe Biden as president.READ MORE: Ribs RnB Music Festival Kicks Off This Weekend In Downtown Detroit
But for the other candidates, this year’s primary is a test to see how far supporting Trump can carry them in the polls
“Trump’s influence on the party is still very strong,” Kollman said.
The former president’s support can be what tip the scales for Dixon, said Kollman.
He added, “his endorsement of Dixon was able to make her stand out.”
But will an association to Trump be enough to defeat incumbent governor Gretchen Whitmer in the general election come November?
Corwin Smidt is the chair of the Political Science Department at Michigan State University.
It’s something only voters can answer, but Smidt said the GOP nominee should broaden their message in an attempt to appeal to all voters.
“There seems to be a lot of rehash of 2020 instead of a focus on what’s in the future. And that sort of it’s puzzling in some ways because there’s a lot of stuff to focus on in the future,” Smidt said.MORE NEWS: Judge Says Michigan Gov. Whitmer Won't Have To Testify In Abortion Lawsuit
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