PPP's first poll of the Michigan Gubernatorial race since Mark Schauer's official entry finds the Democrat leading incumbent Rick Snyder 42/38. PPP's polling of this match up over the last six months has been very consistent- in March Schauer also led Snyder by 4 points and in December he had a 5 point advantage.
Schauer's initial lead has a lot more to do with Snyder than it does with himself. Even after his official candidacy announcement, he has just 38% statewide name recognition. But Snyder continues to be one of the most unpopular Governors in the country with only 40% of voters approving of him to 52% who disapprove. He's at 40/51 with independents and Democrats (78% disapproval) dislike him a good deal more than Republicans (68% approval) like him.
Schauer's low name recognition at this point means that things could actually get worse for Snyder. The undecideds for Governor voted for Barack Obama by a 16 point margin, and only 22% approve of Snyder to 64% who disapprove. Those are folks likely to move into the Schauer camp once he becomes better known.
Snyder's role in the passage of right to work legislation continues to be a big problem for him. Just 40% of voters support that law to 50% who oppose it, numbers that have not seen any improvement since the initial furor after it passed in December. Snyder continues to have issues with his brand, as only 34% of voters now consider him to be 'one tough nerd' to 45% who don't.