News Briefs 10/24


GVL Briefs

Josh Alburtus, News Editor

New polling shows Whitmer lead over Dixon narrowing

The most recent poll tracking Michigan’s gubernatorial race continues a trend in recent weeks finding incumbent Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s lead over Republican challenger Tudor Dixon tightening ahead of Election Day.

The new polling released by national polling company Cygnal found Whitmer leading Dixon by six points among respondents, 50% to Dixon’s 44%.

Previous Cygnal polling from a week prior had the race in a statistical dead heat, with Whitmer leading Dixon 48% to 44% – close enough to be within the poll’s margin of error.

Polling from various trackers has shown Whitmer’s once-wide lead over Dixon narrowing significantly in the final weeks before Election Day. Aggregate data from various pollsters collected by ABC News’ FiveThirtyEight still places Whitmer with an 88-in-100 chance of prevailing over Dixon. However, such has declined rapidly from its peak on Oct. 8 when Whitmer held a 97-in-100 chance of winning.

Ottawa County early voting numbers on track with statewide trends

The Michigan Department of State (DoS) released its latest early voting numbers on Oct. 18 that showed nearly one-in-five Michigan residents having already requested to vote absentee in the Nov. midterm elections.

According to a press release from the DoS, 1.7 million Michigan residents out of just over 10 million living in the state had requested to vote absentee.

The number accounts for about 21% of all registered voters in the state, totaling 8.2 million Department records.

WZZM reporting found that Grand Valley State University’s Ottawa County had already sent out 53,000 absentee ballots as of Oct. 20, totaling 23% of the county’s 227,165 registered voters according to the DoS.

GV area gas prices remain high but see slight decrease in recent weeks

Gas prices in areas surrounding Grand Valley State University remain high after rebounding from a steady decline in previous months.

According to GasBuddy records, prices within eight miles of the GVSU campus ranged from $3.72 to $4.33 as of Oct. 23.

Although plateauing at higher-than-average levels, the prices are less than what was recorded in early Oct. following multiple disruptions to regional and global oil supplies.

According to the American Automobile Association, the statewide average in Michigan for a gallon of gas stood at $4.05 as of Oct. 23, down from an average of $4.34 on Oct. 6.

The slight decline came following President Joe Biden’s announcement that the U.S. would release 15 million barrels of oil from the nation’s strategic reserve to help curb rising prices.