Ronna Romney McDaniel, Scott Walker and Bill Schuette are
the big winners of an email survey of delegates attending this weekend’s
Republican State Convention in Lansing.

The big losers: the Proposal 1 road tax plan and
Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema.

GOP activist Dennis Lennox, who routinely conducts
pre-convention polls, found that Romney McDaniel, niece of Mitt Romney, is
favored by three-fourths of the delegates to win the party chairmanship on

Attorney General Schuette, meanwhile, emerged as a surprisingly
resounding favorite for governor in 2018 when Gov. Snyder will be term-limited.
Lennox reports that the high-profile AG held a commanding majority, with more
than two-thirds of those polled picking him as Snyder’s successor in a
hypothetical run four years from now.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley garnered just 25 percent and Republican
donor Paul Mitchell, a leader in the anti-road tax campaign who has hinted he
may take a shot in ‘18, registered 8 percent.

Based on this small sample of the party faithful, nearly 50 percent said
they expect Wisconsin’s Gov. Walker to win the state’s GOP primary in 2016.

 In a field of 15
possible candidates, including Snyder, former Florida governor Jeb Bush was
the pick for 18 percent of the delegates while the remainder were in single
digits (in order): Dr. Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul of
Kentucky, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Gov. Bobby Jindal of
Louisiana, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former
Texas governor Rick Perry, and former senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

Those who were a non-factor, at less than 2 percent
(those at the bottom of the list were at zero), were Snyder, New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Indiana Gov.
Mike Pence, former New York governor George Pataki and businesswoman Carly
Fiorina of California.

When a follow-up question narrowed the field to
seven likely candidates, Walker’s majority grew from 48 percent to 57 percent
and Bush nudged up to the 21 percent mark. Those down in the also-ran category –
7 percent down to 1 percent – were (again, in order): Cruz, Paul, Huckabee,
Christie and Rubio.
It’s important to note that polls often show that the question, “Who do you
think will win?” is a reliable, uninhibited way of getting respondents to say
who they hope will win.

In this case, most convention delegates said they think
Walker will win the primary but nearly 70 percent said they have yet to decide
on a candidate.

Commenting on his email survey, which was supplemented by self-identity
questions to provide a broader picture, Lennox said: “Walker is doing very well
because he isn’t associated with any one GOP tribe. His support spans the
party’s entire spectrum. Even still, the
large number of undecided Republican foot soldiers makes it possible
for someone else to emerge, especially as the field of candidates

A similar email survey conducted by the MIRS news
service, except that it included alternate delegates who typically do not vote
on the convention floor, produced similar results.


Though Lennox’s online poll received responses from just
13 percent of the delegates with working email addresses, it’s still fun to
look at some of the results beyond the biggest races:

* Proposal 1, the May 5 statewide ballot question to
the sales tax and free up $1.2 billion annually for roads, is opposed by 83
percent of the delegates participating in the survey.

* Agema,
the RNC member facing calls for his resignation due to racist, homophobic and
Islamaphobic postings online, has a job approval rating of 37 percent, and a
disapproval rating of 63 percent. Some 18 percent approve of Agema “a great
deal” and 29 percent disapprove “a great deal.”

* A new rule prohibiting convicted felons from holding
a position within the Michigan Republican Party would receive the backing of 58
percent. Some 13 percent would oppose the rule and a surprising 29 percent are

* It’s important to remember that this is a survey of
hardcore Republicans, not the mainstream electorate. Snyder and the Republican
majority in the Legislature enjoy very high approval ratings from this group of
respondents. Asked to identify their political leanings, 38 percent said they
are conservative, 36 percent said they simply consider themselves Republican, 12
percent are self-proclaimed tea party people, 5 percent identify as
libertarian, 5 percent are moderates, and 4 percent are “something else.”

I have to ask: What in the world would that
something else be?