2006 Michigan gubernatorial election

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2006 Michigan gubernatorial election

← 2002 November 7, 2006 2010 →
  Jennifer Granholm 5.jpg Dick-DeVos-Nov-3-2006-Cropped.jpg
Nominee Jennifer Granholm Dick DeVos
Party Democratic Republican
Running mate John Cherry Ruth Johnson
Popular vote 2,142,513 1,608,086
Percentage 56.3% 42.3%

Michigan Governor Election Results by County, 2006.svg
County results
Granholm:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%
DeVos:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%

Governor before election

Jennifer Granholm

Elected Governor

Jennifer Granholm

The 2006 Michigan gubernatorial election was one of the 36 U.S. gubernatorial elections held November 7, 2006. Incumbent Democratic Governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm was re-elected over Republican businessman Dick DeVos and three minor party candidates. Granholm was re-elected with 56% of the vote.[1]

Democratic primary[edit]

Granholm had no opposition in the primary election, which was held August 8. She retained incumbent Lieutenant Governor John D. Cherry as her running mate.

Democratic primary results[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jennifer Granholm (incumbent) 531,322 100.00
Total votes 531,322 100.00

Republican primary[edit]

DeVos was originally facing two other Republicans; state Representative Jack Hoogendyk of Portage and state Senator Nancy Cassis of Novi, both dropped out by summer 2005. A political unknown, Louis Boven, tried to challenge him in the primary, but failed to meet Michigan election requirements to get on the ballot. Boven later ran an unsuccessful write-in campaign.[citation needed]

DeVos selected former State Representative and Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson as his running mate on August 14.[3]

Minor parties[edit]

Gregory Creswell
Douglas Campbell
Bhagwan Dashairya
Third-party candidates for governor in 2006. From left to right: Gregory Creswell, Douglas Campbell, and Bhagwan Dashairya.


Libertarian Party[edit]

The Libertarian Party of Michigan held their convention on May 16 at the Comfort Inn in Chelsea.[4][5] The party nominated Gregory Creswell, with Scotty Boman as his running mate.[6]

Green Party[edit]

The Green Party of Michigan had their convention at the Wolverine Dilworth Inn in Boyne City, Michigan.[7] The Green Party's nominee was Douglas Campbell. His running mate was David Skrbina, a philosophy professor at the University of Michigan–Dearborn. Campbell, a registered professional engineer from Ferndale, joined the Green party upon learning of its existence in 2000,[8] and was the Wayne-Oakland-Macomb county campaign coordinator for Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, 2000.[9]

Constitution Party[edit]

The Constitution Party's candidate was Bhagwan Dashairya, a member of the US Taxpayers' Party. The Michigan US Taxpayers' Party is affiliated with the United States Constitution Party,[10] but Michigan election law does not provide a mechanism for changing the name of a political party.[11][12] Dashairya was the first Asian Indian to run for Governor of Michigan.[citation needed] Dashairya's running mate was Carl Oehling.[13]

General election[edit]

Dick DeVos' wife, Betsy, with a supporter at a campaign event in Houghton County.

After her first election as governor in 2002, Granholm was widely seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party. Her popularity dropped after she took office in 2003, largely due to a weak economy and high unemployment. In August 2006, her approval rating was 47 percent.[14]

DeVos, a multimillionaire, had developed substantial political contacts with the full participation of his wife, former Michigan Republican Party chair Betsy DeVos, despite which, fully 85% of the DeVos campaign's contributions were from DeVos' inheritance.[15] As the 2006 election approached, the DeVos family was listed among the biggest Republican campaign contributors in Michigan.[16] The DeVos campaign spent $42.5 million, at that time the most spent on a gubernatorial campaign in Michigan history. $35.5 million of that total came from DeVos' personal fortune, and was at that time the most spent personally by a Republican candidate running for governor. The Granholm campaign spent $15.7 million. The combined money spent by both campaigns made this election the most expensive gubernatorial election in Michigan history. As DeVos funded his campaign himself, he was not eligible for public funds.[17]

The DeVos and Campbell campaigns each made the state's economy their major issue. DeVos criticized the Single Business Tax, high unemployment, and job outsourcing which occurred during Granholm's first term; Campbell assailed the $12 billion taken from Michigan's taxpayers and appropriated to the military siege of Iraq (which he calls "Duh-bya's Folly") and advocated for a local currency, independent of the U.S. dollar which he and running mate David Skrbina say is in imminent jeopardy of collapse. Granholm countered that her policies saved thousands of jobs. She also attacked DeVos's partisanship, wealth, and tenure at Alticor. One of Granholm's most prominent lines of attack was the accusation that Alticor, under DeVos's tenure, outsourced thousands of jobs to China while cutting 1,400 jobs in Michigan, a charge that the DeVos campaign and numerous media factcheckers denied. DeVos, Campbell and Granholm criticized the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative which was exclusively supported by Creswell.[18][19] and passed by a wide margin.[20]

On August 25, 2006, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pledged to actively campaign for Granholm and utilize the campaign team which got him re-elected as mayor.[21] The Michigan Democratic Party held their state convention in city of Detroit at Cobo Hall while the Michigan Republican Party held their convention in the City of Novi in Oakland County at the new Rock Financial Showplace.

In October 2006, the Creswell campaign spent over $10,000 on radio advertising, which while small, was the most spent on a such advertising by any Michigan gubernatorial campaign outside the Democratic or Republican parties.[22][23] The largest investment was made in advertisements on Detroit AM Radio stations WJR and WXYT.[24] These commercials specifically targeted Devos and Granholm by referring to them as candidates of "The two old parties," and berating them for supporting state-supported preferences based on race and sex: A clear reference to MCRI.[25] Campbell spent less than $1,000,[26] as was the case with the Dashairya campaign.[27]


The DeVos and Granholm campaigns agreed to three televised debates and a single joint appearance. This agreement did not include any provision for participation by third-party candidates.[28] Granholm and DeVos appeared together October 12 at the Detroit Economic Club in which each candidate delivered their job plans.[29]

WKAR-TV debate[edit]

The first debate occurred on October 2 at WKAR-TV in East Lansing.[30] Both candidates spent the hour trading charges and countercharges. Detroit News pollster Ed Sarpolus indicated that there was no clear winner in the debate, but Bill Rustem, senior vice president of the nonpartisan policy firm Public Sector Consultants in Lansing, favored Granholm.[31] The consensus of pundits Bill Ballenger, George Bullard, Kathy Barks Hoffman and Rick Albin and capital correspondent Tim Skubick, speaking on the October 6 WKAR-television program Off the Record,[32] was that both DeVos and Granholm emerged losers, losing 2 and 4 percentage points' support after the event. No major gaffes or zingers came out in the debate. Some of the positions were made clear on embryonic stem cell research [33] and abortion.[34] No major gaffes came out in the debate, but one minor zinger was made by Granholm about DeVos' investment in Alterra, a chain of nursing homes which sexually abused and neglected its patients.[35][36]

WOOD-TV debate[edit]

The second was October 10 at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids. DeVos was more aggressive than before, declaring that Granholm had lied about him having a controlling stake in Alterra Health Care, an elder-care company that suppressed information about the abuse of residents by its employees.[37] According to SEC filings, DeVos and his investment partners jointly owned 40% of Alterra stock totalling $173 million.[38] The chairman of Alterra's board, while a close associate of DeVos, nevertheless maintains that DeVos had no part of running the company himself.[39]

DeVos also asserted that he had convinced President Bush to set a date to meet with the three major Michigan auto companies. Granholm responded that she didn't believe that was true. DeVos admitted after the debate that he misspoke; the President agreed to have a meeting at some point after the election, but did not confirm a date.[40] On October 24, two weeks after this debate was held, a mid-November date was set for the meeting.[41]

WXYZ-TV debate[edit]

The third televised debate was October 16 at WXYZ-TV in Southfield. Unlike the previous debates, this one had an invited studio audience of 30 undecided voters, some of whom asked questions to the participating candidates. Like the two previous debates, only two of the five candidates were admitted.[42][43] Granholm and DeVos sparred on various issues including college tuition, Canadian trash, business taxes, President Bush and negative ads,[44] while Creswell supporters picketed outside.[45][46][47][48]

During the opening statements of the third debate, Gov. Granholm attacked DeVos for using pictures of dead children as a campaign tool against her. However, it was later revealed that DeVos was not the person using the pictures, but supporters of him, who were cheering for him outside of the debate studio.

CMN-TV (of Troy) debate[edit]

On October 18 CMN-TV in Troy broadcast an additional debate.[citation needed] This debate was not covered by the agreement between the DeVos and Granholm campaigns.[28] It was the only televised debate to which all gubernatorial candidates were invited. It also was only the only televised debate in which the majority of gubernatorial candidates participated. This debate included Libertarian Gregory Creswell, Green Douglas Campbell, and U.S. Taxpayer Candidate Bhagwan Dashairya (Dashairya identified himself as a Constitution Party (listed on ballot as U.S. Taxpayers Party) candidate).[49][50][51] [5]


Source Ranking As of
Sabato's Crystal Ball[52] Lean D November 6, 2006
Rothenberg Political Report[53] Likely D November 2, 2006
Real Clear Politics[54] Lean D November 6, 2006


DeVos, buoyed by the political ads he ran, led in the polls for most of the late spring and early summer. DeVos' lead eroded when Granholm started running ads; meanwhile, Granholm built up a lead as voters found out more about the candidates culminating in the three debates, and as political fortunes soured for Republicans across the country due to a massive backlash against then president George W. Bush and fatigue over the continuing War in Iraq.[55]

Source Date Granholm (D) DeVos (R) Creswell (L) Campbell (G) Dashairya (T)
EPIC-MRA Nov 6, 2006 49% 42%
Strategic Vision Nov 6, 2006 52% 42%
Mason-Dixon Nov 5, 2006 52% 38% 0–2% 0–2% 0–2%
Survey USA Nov 5, 2006 51% 45% 2% 1% 1%
Free Press-Local 4 Michigan Poll Nov 5, 2006 54% 41%
EPIC-MRA Nov 3, 2006 49% 42%
EPIC-MRA Nov 2, 2006 52% 43%
Strategic Vision Nov 2, 2006 50% 42%
EPIC-MRA Oct 31, 2006 52% 42%
Zogby/WSJ Oct 31, 2006 51.6% 42.7% 0–5.7% 0–5.7% 0–5.7%
EPIC-MRA Oct 27, 2006 48% 43% 1% 1%
Research 2000 Oct 25, 2006 50% 40%
Survey USA Oct 25, 2006 52% 45% 1% 1%
Rasmussen Oct 25, 2006 53% 42%
Strategic Vision Oct 24, 2006 47% 43%
Zogby/WSJ Oct 19, 2006 50.6% 44.1%
Free Press-Local 4 Michigan Poll Oct 15, 2006 49% 41%
EPIC-MRA(raw data) Oct 13, 2006 51% 42% 2%
Survey USA Oct 9, 2006 50% 45% 1% 1% 1%
Rasmussen Oct 8, 2006 49% 42%
EPIC-MRA Oct 5, 2006 46% 40% 1% 1%
Zogby/WSJ Sept 28, 2006 49.9% 40.8%
Strategic Vision Sept 20, 2006 47% 46%
Survey USA Sept 18, 2006 47% 47% 1% 2% 1%
EPIC-MRA September 14, 2006 50% 42%
Zogby/WSJ September 11, 2006 49.4% 44.0%
Rasmussen September 7, 2006 46% 48%
Free Press-Local 4 Michigan Poll September 3, 2006 46% 44%
Strategic Vision August 29, 2006 48% 43%
Zogby/WSJ August 28, 2006 50.8% 43.6%
EPIC-MRA August 23, 2006 49% 42% 3%
Survey USA August 22, 2006 47% 47%
Rasmussen August 16, 2006 47% 46%
EPIC-MRA August 16, 2006 50% 47%
Survey USA August 8, 2006 42% 50% 6%
Rasmussen August 1, 2006 42% 48%
Strategic Vision July 27, 2006 44% 48%
EPIC-MRA July 26, 2006 47% 44%
Zogby/WSJ July 24, 2006 50.5% 44.4%
Free Press-Local 4 Michigan Poll July 15, 2006 42% 47%
Zogby/WSJ June 21, 2006 48.1% 46.2%
EPIC-MRA June 21, 2006 44% 46%
Strategic Vision June 21, 2006 41% 48%
Rasmussen June 14, 2006 44% 42%
EPIC-MRA June 12, 2006 40% 48%
Strategic Vision May 24, 2006 42% 45%
EPIC-MRA May 11, 2006 45% 46%
MRG of Lansing May 1–9, 2006 43% 44%
Rasmussen May 5, 2006 44% 43%
Strategic Vision April 21, 2006 43% 42%
EPIC-MRA April 11, 2006 43% 43%
Rasmussen March 27, 2006 44% 44%
MRG of Lansing March 22, 2006 43% 41%
Strategic Vision March 15, 2006 50% 33%
EPIC-MRA March 9, 2006 51% 41%
Rasmussen Feb 14, 2006 44% 43%
EPIC-MRA Feb 12, 2006 53% 36%
Strategic Vision Feb 3, 2006 48% 34%
Rasmussen Jan 20, 2006 49% 38%
Strategic Vision Dec 22, 2005 46% 35%
Rasmussen Dec 2, 2005 48% 36%
EPIC-MRA Nov 29, 2005 58% 35%
Strategic Vision Nov 21, 2005 44% 33%
EPIC-MRA Oct 25, 2005 53% 30%
Strategic Vision Oct 25, 2005 46% 35%
Strategic Vision Sept 29, 2005 47% 33%


2006 Michigan gubernatorial election[56]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jennifer Granholm (incumbent) 2,142,513 56.36% +4.95%
Republican Dick DeVos 1,608,086 42.30% −5.09%
Libertarian Greg Creswell 23,524 0.62%
Green Douglas Campbell 20,009 0.53% −0.27%
Constitution Bhagwan Dashairya 7,087 0.19% −0.20%
Write-in 37 0.00% 0.00%
Majority 534,427 14.06% +10.04%
Turnout 3,801,256
Democratic hold Swing

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Land, Terri (Secretary of State). "Election Results GENERAL ELECTION November 07, 2006 (Governor 4 Year Term (1) Position)" Archived January 11, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. mi.gov (website).
  2. ^ "Indiana Primary Election, May 8, 2012-United States Senator". Secretary of State of Indiana. June 5, 2012. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  3. ^ WOOD-TV,"DeVos chooses Ruth Johnson as running mate". "woodtv.com" (website)
  4. ^ Schwartz, Leonard (May 9, 2006). ""Upcoming Events" & "Candidates Bring Your Voter Registration Card"". LPM Online.
  5. ^ Boman, Scotty (May 23, 2006). ""Upcoming Events" & "Over 70 Libertarians to Run in 2006 Michigan Election"". LPM Online.
  6. ^ Land, Terri (Secretary of State)."2006 Official Michigan General Candidate Listing". http://mi.gov/sos (website).
  7. ^ Green Party of Michigan "Green Party of Michigan State Membership Meeting May 20th & 21st 2006, in Boyne City" Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine. "migreens.org" (website)
  8. ^ Greens, US. "Green Party Speakers Bureau". gp.org (website).
  9. ^ "Bio: Douglas Campbell". 2006-10-09. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-11-25.
  10. ^ The Constitution Party was founded as the U.S. Taxpayers' Party in 1992. The national party's name was changed to the Constitution Party in 1999.
  11. ^ U.S. Taxpayers and Constitution Party of Michigan. "Gubernatorial Debate – Part II Bhagwan (Bob) Dashairya Enters Michigan Governor's Race " Archived 2007-02-17 at the Wayback Machine. ustaxpayersandconstitutionpartymi.com (website).
  12. ^ SOS – Elections in Michigan
  13. ^ Editor (June 2006). "State Party Newsletter". Constitution Party of Michigan. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  14. ^ "Strategic Vision Political". August 27, 2006. Archived from the original on September 2, 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-09.
  15. ^ Land, Terri Lynn (Michigan Secretary of State). " Campaign Finance Disclosure" Archived 2008-11-08 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Christoff, Chris (June 18, 2006). "DeVoses pour millions into GOP causes". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on June 27, 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-09.
  17. ^ "2006 Citizen's Guide to Michigan Campaign Finance" (PDF). Michigan Campaign Finance Network. 18 July 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  18. ^ Creswell, Gregory "Equal Means Equal" Archived 2006-12-06 at the Wayback Machine. lpwm.org (website).
  19. ^ Creswell, Gregory "campaign site" Archived 2006-12-13 at the Wayback Machine. "gregcreswell.org" (website).
  20. ^ Land, Terri (Secretary of State)."State Proposal – 06-2: Constitutional Amendment: Ban Affirmative Action Programs" Archived 2009-04-10 at the Wayback Machine. mi.gov (website).
  21. ^ Detnews.com | This article is no longer available online
  22. ^ [1][dead link]
  23. ^ Land, Terri (Secretary of State)."Gubernatorial Committee Search". "mi.gov" (website)
  24. ^ [2][dead link]
  25. ^ Creswell, Gregory "Radio Commercial In Use" Archived 2006-12-07 at the Wayback Machine. "gregcreswell.lpwm.org" (website)
  26. ^ [3][dead link]
  27. ^ [4][dead link]
  28. ^ a b "Agreement Governing Debates and Joint Appearances in Michigan's 2006 Gubernatorial Campaign" (PDF). WOOD-TV. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  29. ^ "Granholm, DeVos find common ground on 1 topic". Toledo Blade. October 13, 2006. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  30. ^ "A Special Broadcast from WKAR". WKAR-TV. Archived from the original on October 6, 2006.
  31. ^ http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061003/POLITICS01/610030400
  32. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-06. Retrieved 2007-09-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  33. ^ http://www.lsj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061003/NEWS01/610030335/1312 Archived 2006-10-04 at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-21. Retrieved 2006-10-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  35. ^ http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061004/POLITICS01/610040369
  36. ^ http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ssf?/base/news-32/1160206504163180.xml&coll=6 Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ssf?/base/news-32/116057011613340.xml&coll=6&thispage=2[permanent dead link]
  38. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2006-10-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  39. ^ http://www.mlive.com/news/muchronicle/index.ssf?/base/news-5/1160059527159120.xml&coll=8&thispage=1 Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  40. ^ http://www.ludingtondailynews.com/news.php?story_id=33320
  41. ^ http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061025/AUTO01/610250385
  42. ^ Ellis, Mike (October 16, 2006). "Tonight's debate will lack three candidates: Campbell, Dashairya, Creswell also weren't invited to first two". Central Michigan University. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
  43. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-23. Retrieved 2006-10-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  44. ^ http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061016/NEWS99/61016049 Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine
  45. ^ Boman, Scotty (October 3, 2006). "Mobalize On October 16th. Make WXYZ take notice". Libertarian Party of Michigan. Archived from the original on September 18, 2008.
  46. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-07-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  47. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-07-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  48. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-07-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  49. ^ US Taxpayers & Constitution Party of Michigan Constitution / US Taxpayers Party Website Archived 2007-02-17 at the Wayback Machine. "ustaxpayersandconstitutionpartymi.com" (website)
  50. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-08-07. Retrieved 2007-07-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  51. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-07-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  52. ^ "Election Eve 2006: THE FINAL PREDICTIONS". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  53. ^ "2006 Gubernatorial Ratings". Senate Ratings. The Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  54. ^ "Election 2006". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  55. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/02/us/politics/02poll.html?ex=
  56. ^ http://miboecfr.nictusa.com/election/results/06GEN/

External links[edit]