Gretchen Whitmer projected winner of Michigan governor race

Michigan 2022 midterm election

(NewsNation) — The much-anticipated Michigan governor’s race has been called by NewsNation/ Decision Desk HQ in favor of incumbent Democrat Gretchen Whitmer with 53% of the vote. 

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer faced off against former President Donald Trump’s endorsed candidate, Republican challenger Tudor Dixon, in her bid for reelection for a second term in office. Whitmer, who has also previously served in the state house and Senate, held a multimillion-dollar fundraising advantage over her opponent during her 2022 campaign. 

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Dixon — a former businesswoman and conservative commentator who has not previously held public office — has echoed Trump’s false claims that election fraud was rampant during the 2020 election, despite no evidence to support these claims. Another central theme of her campaign has surrounded social issues like gender identity and how it’s taught in schools. Repeating a GOP rhetoric being used by Republican leaders in red states, Dixon said children in her state were being taught “sex and gender theory, and not… to read, write and do math.” 

Whitmer and other Democrats made Dixon’s opposition to abortion access a focal point of their campaign against her, with Whitmer saying during a debate that “our fundamental rights are very much at risk right now.” When asked during a debate about her position on abortion, Dixon said she was “pro-life with exceptions for the life of the mother,” but didn’t clarify if she would allow prosecutions in cases of rape or incest. 

Meanwhile, Dixon has built her campaign around spiking fentanyl overdoses and drug-related gun violence in the state, painting Whitmer and Democrats as “soft on crime.” She told Fox News in an interview that Michiganders were “feeling it in areas they’ve never felt crime before.” In the same interview, she accused Whitmer of “taking money away from the police and away from secondary road patrols.” 

During a debate between Whitmer and Dixon, the candidates threw barbs at each other, each accusing the other of lying and attempting to paint their opponent as untrustworthy on issues ranging from abortion to education. 

Though Whitmer held a multi-point lead over Dixon for months ahead of the election, In the weeks leading up to  Nov. 8, Dixon started closing the gap in some polls. 

Michigan is one of 36 states electing their top executive officials during the 2022 midterm elections. Before the election, there were 28 Republican governors and 22 Democratic governors. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

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