Marlinga hold big lead for primary and narrow margin over John James – Macomb Daily

Carl Marlinga has maintained a commanding lead in the Democratic primary in the 10th District congressional race, according to recent polling results obtained by The Macomb Daily.

Marlinga, a former Macomb County judge and prosecutor, was the choice of 40% of primary voters, more than twice the closest to the other four candidates, in the poll conducted late last month by Target Insight.

Marlinga slightly increased its 38% lead in the March poll by Target Insight despite three of the other four candidates significantly increasing their shares. The percentage of undecided voters dropped significantly from 38% to 15%, according to the poll.

The survey, conducted May 24-27, also gave Marlinga a narrow lead over Republican John James again in the general election by a 44%-40% margin. He led James, the presumptive GOP nominee, by a 48% to 45% margin in the March poll. The percentage of undecided votes more than doubled, from 7% to 16%.

However, James’ spokesman Jerrod Dobkin said James was in the lead and questioned the objectivity of the Target Insyght poll, commissioned by Marlinga. He said a poll conducted by The Tarrance Group from April 24-26 showed James with a 47%-41% lead. Additionally, Dobkin noted that Democratic U.S. Representatives Andy Levin and Haley Stevens decided to face off in the 11th congressional district rather than having to face James in the 10th, pointing out that a poll shows James beating them. both. Additionally, two political reports indicate that a Republican is favored to win that seat, he noted.


The potential Marlinga-James race remains a toss-up, with a 5% margin of error and the significant number of undecided voters, based on the Target Insight poll.

Target Insyght pollster Ed Sarpolus said he wasn’t surprised by the primary results because those voters tend to be older and Marlinga enjoys high profile throughout the county. Meanwhile, the popularity of other candidates is limited to individual communities or segments.

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“Carl Marlinga is the only candidate everyone knows about,” he said. “He’s the established candidate.”

Marlinga, 75, of Sterling Heights, served as a county attorney from 1985 to 2004 and served as a probate and circuit court judge for nearly nine years before retiring in March to seek the seat.

Marlinga campaign manager Stephen Steinhardt said despite positive results, “we can’t take anything for granted”.

“Carl Marlinga is running to win and will spare no effort to win voter support in both the primaries and the general election,” he said. “Democrats know that a woman’s right to choose, strong protections for Lake St. Clair and our environment, not to mention creating jobs for the middle class, are all at stake.”

Marlinga maintained her main lead by garnering 58% of the male vote and 25% of the female vote despite the three female candidates all increasing their share; the only other male candidate lost support.

Regarding the general election race, James’ spokesman Dobkin called James “the strongest candidate in this race because he brings the real-world experience to the table that voters are looking for, both from his career as a supply chain expert and his service as a Captain in the United States Army.”

James, 40, is a businessman and military veteran who ran for the US Senate twice against Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters.

Angela Rogensues
Angela Rogensues

Warren City Councilwoman Angela Rogensues finished second, increasing her share of all candidates to 16% from 2% in March. Rogensues recently gained approval from LiUNA Michigan, a 13,000-member union and enjoys a high profile in Warren, Macomb County’s largest city.

Rogensues campaign spokesman Austin Lyle said the best was yet to come from his candidate.

“We are campaigning vigorously and look forward to bringing Angela’s story to more voters in the coming weeks. Angela’s unwavering commitment to defending abortion access resonates with people from all over the district, and the more people get to know Angela, the more excited to support her,” he said.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the performance of Rhonda Powell of Mount Clemens, the former director of health and community services for Macomb County, whose share rose from 1% in March to 13% in the poll.

Sarpolus said Powell, who is black, has gained strong support in the black community with the help of the Democratic Black Caucus. She is also president of the Black Business Association of Macomb.

“She does a lot of things in the community,” he says.

Sarpolus said black people could make up 10% or more of the primary vote.

Rhonda Powell
Rhonda Powell

He noted that Powell was also siphoning off some votes from Rogensues because Warren has a relatively high black population. Rogensues also has support from the black community.

Civil rights lawyer and human rights activist Huwaida Arraf of Macomb Township, whose share rose from 3% to 8%, finished in fourth place in the poll.

Arraf spokeswoman LaShaya Darisaw said, “We’re not focused on the polls at this point. Huwaida is just focused on the work that needs to be done for the people of Michigan’s 10th District. That’s whatever interests him at the moment.”

Sterling Heights Councilman Henry Yanez, a former state representative, saw his support drop from 18% in March to 7% in May.

The primary will take place on August 2.

The 10th District includes all of Macomb County from Eight Mile Roads through Hall, Shelby Township, Utica, Rochester, Rochester Hills, and a portion of southwestern Macomb Township.

For the general election, Sarpolus says in his commentary accompanying the poll that Marlinga’s continued lead over James “should be of concern to Republicans for a Republican-leaning district.”

“Despite intense campaigning by Donald Trump and the Republican Party in Macomb County, Carl Marlinga maintained a lead,” he wrote. “Increased campaign and financial spending by (the) John James campaign has yet to make significant progress in improving James’ standing in the general election.”

As in elementary school, Marlinga has strong roots and name identification while James, who has children at the school where he resides in Farmington Hills and reportedly said he would only move to Macomb County if he won the general election, “stands for a seat where he does not reside”, says Sarpolus.

He adds that the high number of undecided voters provides “opportunities for both candidates to make gains”.

Sarpolus said in an interview that independents, who make up 18% to 26% of voters in Macomb County, will decide the race.

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