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3 Up North House Races, 3 Very Different Results

October 11, 2016

The theme-less nature of this year’s state House races carried into the polling results Target Insyght reported in three up north contests for MIRS and Governmental Consultant Services, Inc. (GCSI).

In short — One Republican is up significantly. One Democrat is up significantly. And the third race is a dead-even jump ball.

Starting in the Upper Peninsula with the 108th District being vacated by term-limited Rep. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan), Beau LaFave, the aggressive Republican nominee who emerged out of a three-candidate Republican field in August, is up on Dickinson County Sheriff Scott Celello 49 to 44 percent with seven percent undecided.

The 300-voter sample taken Sept. 18-24 indicates a tighter race than the 15-point edge the House Republican Campaign Committee’s (HRCC) polling showed earlier this month.

Interestingly, LaFave has a 50 percent favorable number (20 percent unfavorable) while 37 percent of those polled claimed to have no opinion or have never heard of Celello. Celello’s favorable number was 34 percent (28 percent unfavorable).

It shows Republican Donald Trump up 50 to 37 percent over Hillary Clinton (Libertarian Gary Johnson at 10 percent) and GOP congressional candidate Jack Bergman up 45 to 44 percent over Democratic congressional hopeful Lon Johnson.

Among those polled, 43 percent were self-identified Republican, 41 percent were self-identified Democratic and 16 percent labeled themselves Independent.

Across the Mackinac Bridge in the 106th, Democrat Robert Kennedy is up 47 to 37 percent over Republican Sue Allor with Libertarian Dana Carver at nine percent.

The results are a significant departure from the presidential race, in which Trump is leading Clinton 49 to 40 percent in the 106th, which stretches along the Lake Huron coast from Cheboygan to Iosco County.

Meanwhile, the congressional race in the 106th mirrors the same type of jump ball race that was seen in the 108th with Bergman only up 44 to 43 percent on Johnson and Libertarian Diane Bostow at nine percent.

Kennedy is up 47 to 26 percent in his favorable/unfavorable number. Only 27 percent claimed to have not heard of him or had no opinion of him. Of those asked, 44 percent said they had never heard or have no opinion of Allor. Her favorable/unfavorable numbers were 36/20 percent.

Among those polled, 43 percent were self-described Republicans, 41 percent labeled themselves Democrats and 16 percent were self-described Independents.

The 106th District was previously represented by the late Rep. Peter Pettalia (R-Presque Isle), who was not eligible to run for another term in 2016 due to term limits.

Finally, in the 99th House District, Republican Roger Hauck and Democrat Bryan Mielke are deadlocked at 46 percent a piece. Another eight percent are undecided.

Mielke has higher favorable numbers 40 to 27 percent compared to Hauck’s 31 to 23 percent. Nearly half of the 99th District (46 percent) claim to have no opinion or have never heard of Hauck, who is looking to succeed term-limited House Speaker Kevin Cotter (R-Mt. Pleasant).

Trump is leading Clinton 43 to 41 percent in the 99th. Johnson is at eight percent and U.S. Taxpayer Party candidate Darrell Castle is at four percent. U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar is up 48 to 39 percent over Democratic nominee Debra Freidell Wirth. Two third-party candidates combined for eight percent.

Of those polled, 40 percent were self-described Republicans, 40 percent were self-described Democrats and 20 percent were independents.

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