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Opinion It’s Whitmer vs. Dixon for Michigan governor, with wild cards galore

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) will face Republican Tudor Dixon in the three-month sprint to the November election. Having never held or run for office, Dixon has a thin record to attack. Dixon needs to move quickly to the next challenge: getting her general-election campaign ramped up and taken seriously by large and small donors. A Michigan governor hasn’t lost a reelection bid since 1990, but victory is not assured in a purple state where elections can take unexpected turns. A petition campaign in Michigan has turned in roughly 750,000 signatures seeking to amend the state’s constitution with a ballot question to protect abortion rights. A dormant 1931 state law would threaten abortion providers with felony charges, including in cases of rape or incest.

The abortion issue is likely to remain front and center up to Election Day. Whitmer is a fervent supporter of abortion rights and has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to fast-track the case. Dixon supports the law with no rape or incest exceptions.