James Craig Unlikely to Get Strong Support from Detroiters Because of Job as Chief, Poll Shows

July 26, 2021, 6:23 AM

James Craig in Jackson this month. (Photo: Nancy Derringer)

In an overwhelmingly Democratic city, Republican James Craig's job as police chief isn't likely to translate into strong support from Detroiters in his bid for governor, according to a poll published Sunday.

Residents gave Craig passing, but not stellar, grades as police chief during his eight-year tenure that ended June 1. The survey is by USA Today, Suffolk University and the Detroit Free Press

Only 28 percent of Detroiters said his record as chief would make them more likely to support him as governor.

Paul Egan, a co-writer of the Freep article, tweets a "caveat about this poll." He notes that "it surveys voting-age residents in Detroit, not registered or likely voters, as political polls generally do. Not clear how that influences the numbers."

Egan adds: "'More or less likely to' is not a standard political polling question, so it is a little difficult to assess."

The survey of 500 Detroiters has an error margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

It also shows some residents dislike his embrace of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Trump received just over 5 percent of the vote in Detroit in 2020. 

"He maintain(ed) the peace — I respect his leadership in that area,"James Gibbs, 77, a retired city worker who lives in north Detroit and participated in the poll, tells the Freep. 

"But as far as him coming out and saying he’s going to run under the Republican Party, that rubbed me the wrong way." Gibbs said Donald Trump has uprooted U.S. election norms and it is "ludicrous" for Craig to align himself with the former president's party. "I don’t understand that."

Still, the poll of 500 Detroit residents shows the former police chief has the potential to over-perform as a Republican in Detroit, with even 25 percent of Democrats saying his record as chief makes it more likely they would support him for governor, the Freep reports.

If he stays in the race, he'll square off against Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, seeking a second term. 

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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