Incumbent: Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) is term-limited
Democrat: Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero
Republican: Venture capitalist Rick Snyder
2008 Presidential Result: Obama 57%; McCain 41%
55+ Population (2009 estimate): 25.6%
Overview: Rick Snyder is trading on his business background to try to make headway in this race that is shaping up as an "insider vs. outsider" race. Taxes are also key, with Virg Bernero not willing to rule out a progressive income tax, though he says he would never raise taxes on small business. Snyder is opposed to the income tax. Bernero is trying to tag Snyder with what he calls "extreme" Republican candidates, such as Nevada Senate nominee Sharron Angle, who has the backing of the Tea Party supporters.
50+ Facts: Check the latest economic statistics and details on the state budget deficit.
Fun Fact: Snyder has hired consultants from Michigan, nine other states and the District of Columbia.
'Wild Card' Issue: abortion. Snyder is opposed to abortion except in cases of rape, incest or when the woman's life is in danger. Bernero is trying to use the issue to paint Snyder as "extreme," to shore up support among Democrats.
Introduction: Governors' Races Hold High Stakes for the Future