Voters in the state do not approve of wolf hunting and they really do not approve allowing the Natural Resources Commission to be the arbiter of game species in the state.
And we know this because voters defeated Proposal 14-1 to allow wolf hunting, 45 percent supporting a hunting season for the animal and 55 percent against, and Proposal 14-2 to give the NRC authority over naming game species 36 percent in favor and 64 percent against, right?
Well, no, actually we know this because Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, the group that put the two laws on the ballot and successfully pushed for their defeat, polled voters the weekend after the election.
The poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners November 8-11, found 85 percent of voters agree (71 percent strongly) that “Michigan voters should keep their right to vote on wildlife issues and should not hand over that power to an unelected, politically appointed commission.”
Wolf hunting itself saw a bit more support, with 65 percent agreeing, “The Legislature and the Natural Resources Commission should listen to the will of the voters, and should not authorize a wolf hunting season.”
“It’s rare to get such overwhelming agreement on any issue, but Michigan Republicans, Democrats, and independents are united in their view that the people have spoken on wolf hunting and the decision makers must respect the will of the voters,” Jill Fritz, director of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, said in a statement announcing the poll results. “Voters want to be able to have their voices heard on wildlife protection issues, and reject the idea of politicians or bureaucrats at the NRC deciding for them.”
What the release does not explain is the need for the poll, given the overwhelming opposition to both proposals at the ballot box just days before.
When the votes were all counted U.S. Sen.-elect Gary Peters won election to the U.S. Senate over Republican Terri Land in about as close to a walk as any candidate enjoyed in Michigan on November 4.
But what if all the Republicans, or those who lean Republican, who voted had voted for Ms. Land? Would she have won? Ah, probably. At least, that is the speculation based on one analysis.
Ed Sarpolus with the polling firm Target Insyght put out an email on Wednesday saying that based on his estimate 225,556 Republicans split their ticket to vote for the Democratic Mr. Peters.
Results are not yet final, but unofficially, Mr. Peters netted 1,702,460 votes and Ms. Land received 1,288,126 votes.
According to Mr. Sarpolus, Ms. Land received 1,277,116 votes from straight-ticket Republican voters and 11,016 from Republican-leaning independents.
Mr. Peters received 1,366,930 straight-ticket Democratic votes, another 98,964 from Democratic-leaning independents, then 11,010 votes from Independents.
And, according to Mr. Sarpolus, Mr. Peters got 225,556 votes from Republican-leading independents.
Well, what if all those votes, presuming they are from Republican-leaning voters, had gone to Ms. Land? Then a very different situation would have occurred.
Presuming there were no other changes in total votes cast, if 225,556 voters had voted for Ms. Land instead of Mr. Peters, then she would have netted 1,502,677 votes to Mr. Peters’ 1,476,904 votes. In other words, in a tight race Ms. Land would have won election.
Just one more thing for state Republicans to ponder as they try to decide how that race got away from them.