Joe Biden's biggest threat: Meet the female Democrat who is causing a stir in America

Gretchen Whitmer

Whitmer has been Governor since 2018

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 17/10/2023

- 18:55

Gretchen Whitmer, the Governor for Michigan, is more popular than Biden in the state

Gretchen Whitmer could give Joe Biden a run for his money, as recent data has revealed she boasts a high approval rating in her own party and across America.

The Democrat Governor for Michigan has a strong approval rating in her state, with data showing 48 per cent of residents approve of her job.

In comparison, 38 per cent of residents in Michigan are in favour of Biden, data from Emerson College Polling survey has revealed.

She also boasts a favourable consensus within the Democratic party.

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Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling, said: “Governor Whitmer holds a high approval within her own party, at 82 per cent, but also holds a plurality approval among independents, at 48 per cent. Biden’s approval among Democrats is 14 points lower at 68 per cent, and 10 points lower among independents at 38 per cent.”

In August, a congressman called for her to challenge Biden in a primary election.

Dean Phillips’ D-Minn said that he would like to see a “moderate governor, hopefully from the heartland,” challenge Biden, including Whitmer in his list of potential alternatives.

However, Whitmer, 52, who is serving as a co-chair of the Biden 2024 campaign, stressed her loyalty to Biden.

She told MSNBC: “I’m supporting the president because he’s got a record. He’s gotten things done, and he cares about the average person.”

Whitmer became Governor of Michigan in 2018, regaining dominance over the Republicans, who won the state in 2016.


She said that Michiganders at that point did not care enough about Trump to vote against him

“2016 was just a low voter turnout,” she told the New Yorker.

“People were just, like, ‘Government doesn’t work.’ They were cynical and mad and wanting to tune out.”

However when asked during her 2018 campaign for Governor why she wanted to run, she said: “Because I’m the only one who can do it.”

Since becoming Governor, Whitmer’s Democratic majority has allocated more than a billion dollars to support the auto-industry’s green transition, increased a tax credit for struggling families and enacted new protections for LGBT people.

She also quickly brought into new gun-control measures following a shooting spree at Michigan State University, which killed three students.


Whitmer won re-election last November


Her popularity prevailed when she won re-election last November by ten points.

Her policy guaranteeing the right to abortion swept across the state so compellingly that Democrats gained control of both houses of the Michigan legislature for the first time in forty years.

Whitmer’s rule hasn’t always been smooth sailing, as she has endured an armed mob at the state capitol and was also victim to a failed kidnapping plot.

The 52-year-old recently commented that the United States “is long overdue for a strong female chief executive”.

Her comments beg the question of whether America will elect a woman for President, whilst asserting that a woman would do the job better than a man.

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