Gap narrowing in Michigan democratic primary

Posted at 10:34 AM, Feb 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 10:35:05-05

Two early February polls put Hillary Clinton up about 30 points in the Michigan primary, over Democratic Presidential Candidate rival Bernie Sanders.

But the gap is narrowing.

"You'll see competitive races on both sides, we'll have candidate visits and it will be hotly contested," elections expert Matt Grossmann said.

Public Policy Polling released numbers pulling Clinton in the lead by only 10 points. House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel, who openly supports Clinton, says that doesn't mean she will be changing her Michigan campaign tactics.

"I think all of us who support Hillary Clinton have known that this is going to be a tight, competitive race, so this really isn't surprising," Greimel said.

Grossmann says part of what's narrowing Clinton's lead - people are finally finding out who Sanders is.

"It mirrors the national trend where Bernie Sanders is getting more well-known in the state and nation," Grossman said. "When we started out, only about half of the nation even knew who he was."

Something those who work in Sanders' Lansing office, which opened Wednesday, know all too well.

"A lot of people don't know who he is still, so as soon as we get the word out, tell people who he is, what he stands for, what he's done. He has such a good record that it's not difficult to talk to people about Bernie," volunteer organizer Kelly Collison said.

She says his leap in the polls is because of volunteers getting the word out.

Grossmann says Michigan will be the center of the presidential circuit for the week leading up to its March 8th primary, and we'll likely see many of the candidates come through.