Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

  • Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer now has the third shortest odds (+600) to become the Democratic nominee for vice president.
  • She trails only Kamala Harris (+210) and Amy Klobuchar (+300).
  • Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden confirmed on Thursday that he was considering Whitmer as one of a handful of possible running mates if he wins the Democratic primary.
  • Governor Whitmer’s surge has been largely powered by her response to the COVID-19 crisis.

LANSING, Mich.Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer now has the third shortest odds to be nominated as the Democratic vice president candidate.

Whitmer’s odds surged on Thursday after Democratic frontrunner and former vice president Joe Biden confirmed that he was considering her as his running mate.

The nominee will almost certainly be a woman, regardless of who wins the Democratic primary. Biden confirmed during the March 15 debate that he would nominate a woman as his running mate, and Ohio Senator Nina Turner has long been the favorite to become Senator Bernie Sanders’s running mate.

The current odds on that vice president nomination are:

  • Kamala Harris +210
  • Amy Klobuchar +300
  • Gretchen Whitmer +600
  • Catherine Cortez Masto +900
  • Stacey Abrams +1000
  • Elizabeth Warren +1400
  • Val Demings +1400

Why Is Governor Whitmer Trending Up?

Whitmer has gained respect from both Democratic and Republican voters for her candid and thorough response to COVID-19. Whitmer’s office worked to allocate nearly $300 million of the state budget toward purchasing essential supplies and Whitmer proposed a 70-day stay-at-home order on Wednesday.

California Senator Kamala Harris and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar have long been considered the frontrunners to be Biden’s running mate after mounting presidential campaigns of their own. Their odds have remained relatively stable over the past few weeks.

The coronavirus outbreak has quickly become the top issue for this election cycle, however, and the White House’s COVID-19 response policy has largely been to allow state governments to dictate their own response to the virus.

Top state-level officials, in other words, are on the frontlines of this fight. Members of Congress are still fighting collectively to pass necessary relief bills, but their individual efforts have a less day-to-day impact on the country right now.

Assuming the upcoming presidential election is still held in November, there are going to be a lot of lingering wounds from the COVID-19 crisis. Voters are rightfully going to expect that their candidates of choice took decisive action against this terrible disease.

Pros And Cons Of A Biden/Whitmer Ticket

As mentioned before, COVID-19 will surely be the dominant issue of this election cycle, so having a running mate who worked tirelessly to protect Michigan from the disease could seriously boost the Democrats’ election odds.

COVID-19 response will likely be a primary issue for most independent voters in 2020. Joe Biden has drawn criticism for his seeming lack of media availability during the crisis, so nominating someone like Whitmer could go a long way toward easing those critics’ concerns.

In terms of sheer popular appeal, however, Whitmer does little to move the needle. A research firm called Morning Consult keeps a record of governor approval ratings throughout America in a list that is updated daily. Whitmer is currently tied for the 43rd highest gubernatorial approval rating.

Whitmer would also do little to expand Democratic appeal into new territory, as Michigan has been a solidly blue state in every election since 1988.

Ultimately though, there is so much uncertainty surrounding the country right now that there is no way to accurately predict the impact of a Whitmer nomination. The world is in so much flux that the political landscape can change dramatically over the course of a week, let alone seven months.

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