Gretchen Whitmer's Approval Rating Rises During Pandemic

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By WWJ Newsradio 950

(WWJ) A day after former Vice President Joe Biden praised Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer's performance during the coronavirus, her latest poll numbers were revealed.

And they're up amid all the dark and dismal news of the pandemic.

WWJ's Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reported that Whitmer has a 61% approval rating and a 38% disapproval rating. The Detroit News/WDIV poll found the first-term Democratic governor's approval rating has risen more than 15 points since January. In January, only 43% approved of Whitmer's job while 36% disapproved.

Her approval numbers are important as Biden seeks swing votes in Michigan and allys himself with Whitmer while both criticize President Donald Trump.

There's also a disconnect clearly displayed in the numbers, Skubick reported, because Republican leaders and others in the GOP ranks have heavily criticized her for overreaching during the coronavirus pandemic with orders to shut down the state and keep businesses and public spaces closed longer than they were in many other states. Just yesterday, the GOP was in court for a hearing on a case claiming the governor should be stripped of her emergency powers because she's overusing them.

The GOP has also stoked the fires of recall and impeachment, pushing residents to oust the governor from office. 

"61% of the people in Michigan apparently disagree and believe she's just doing the right thing at the right time, making the right moves," Skubick said. 

Whitmer is giving another speech at 10 a.m. today, where she's expected to address the latest coronavirus numbers. Gyms reopened Tuesday and college campuses have become hotspots for new cases.

Movie theaters and bowling alleys remain closed.

The governor spoke yesterday to the Chamber of Commerce and said the state is prepared for a second wave of COVID-19 cases this fall, though how well the state fares will depend on how residents continue to mask up and maintain social distancing.  

"We're a lot stronger going into a second wave," the governor said. "We've learned a lot about this virus, we've built up our PPE (personal protection equipment) stores, we've build up relationships with partnerships like with Ford and FEMA over the donation of masks. Dow Chemical creating hand sanitizer. Our hospitals are in a much better position going into it."