Skubick: Phase 1 of efforts to unseat Gov. Snyder is completed - FOX 35 News Orlando

Skubick: Phase 1 of efforts to unseat Gov. Snyder is completed

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(WJBK) - That huge sigh of relief you will hear later today is from Lon Johnson, the new state Democratic Party chair.

Phase one of the Democratic effort to swipe the governor's seat right out from under the guy who sits in it now, has been completed.

Mr. Johnson wanted to avoid a costly and potentially ugly primary in the race for governor by making sure no one else was on the ballot today except Mark Schauer. Mission accomplished.

Recall four years ago, it got ugly and costly as Democrat Virg Bernero had to spend a bundle to deny Democrat and former House Speaker Andy Dillion the party nod. The Angriest Mayor in America was actually smiling but his victory was short-lived as a political unknown Rick Snyder knocked out the "Virg" in November.

This time around, it was not easy eliminating all the competition for Mr. Schauer.  Who can forget former UAW President Bob "I-Wanna-Be-King-Maker" King who approached Senator Gretchen Whitmer about running? This came at the very moment  Mr. Johnson had set the Schauer juggernaut in-motion as the odds-on favorite to be the party nominee.  It made the party look clumsy and inept.

Eventually that story subsided only to be replaced by something more sinister: Off-the-radar whispers that "Schauer can't win."  For months that was the popular wisdom in this town until…well until the polls began to reveal the race was TCTC…Too Close To Call.

All of a sudden it looked doable as one Democrat wonders why the smarty pants over in the Snyder campaign did not move earlier to define Mr. Schauer before he had a chance to define himself.

This source, who has run a statewide campaign, says look at what President Barak Obama did to Mitt Romney during the summer months prior to the fall  presidential campaign.  It was unorthodox but it worked. They defined the GOP candidate as "not one of us" and "out of touch" and the Democratic  image of Mr. Romney was firmly engrained in the psyche of the electorate long before Mr. Romney started to make his own noise.

"Snyder could have done that to Schauer," this D observes but he didn't.

And so as we move into Phase 2 the push to November.  Instead of a comfy lead, the incumbent finds himself in a dead heat with someone whom 40% of the citizenry still does not know.  Unfortunately for the Snyder team that says more about their guy than it does the challenger the critics contend.
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