Michigan GOP candidate arrested by FBI sees massive jump to the top of latest poll

It’s an upside-down world when an arrest by the FBI sends a candidate for Governor to the top of the latest popularity poll, but that’s exactly what has happened to Michigan gubernatorial GOP candidate Ryan Kelley, who was hooked up on misdemeanor charges by the Feds on June 9 for his alleged participation in the Jan. 6 events at the Capitol.

Hours before the Democratic-led House Committee on Jan. 6 made its prime-time debut, Kelley’s house was raided by FBI agents.

The real estate agent was charged with “entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without the lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct, knowingly engaging in an act of physical violence against a person or property, and willfully injuring property,” the Detroit Free Press reported at the time.

Now, a new Free Press poll reveals, Kelley is leading the pack in a bid to oust Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

In a June 10-13 poll conducted by the Detroit Free Press and EPIC-MRA, 17% of Michigan voters chose Kelley as their preferred candidate to face off against Whitmer in November.

Additionally, Kelley took the top spot for “total favorability and name recognition” among GOP gubernatorial candidates, with 39% of voters saying they view the Jan. 6 participant “favorably.”

EPIC-MRA pollster Bernie Porn points to Kelley’s arrest as the reason for his surge in the recent poll — the first such poll released since he was charged.

“I can’t see how it didn’t have an impact,” Porn said. “At 23% non-recognition, he is in much better [name] recognition shape than anybody else. His favorability numbers are much, much higher at 39 [percent].”

And it isn’t just the Free Press poll that has Kelley ahead of his competitors.

A straw poll reportedly conducted Friday at the Detroit Michigan Coalition for Freedom forum showed Kelley as the “clear winner” of the gubernatorial race with 55.2% of the votes.


Kelley is “humbled” by the poll  results.

“I know that our supporters are becoming activated all around the state,” he told the Free Press on Wednesday. “We’ve seen [a] tremendous amount of support from people in regard to reaching out and sharing their thoughts and their prayers.”

“It’s been very humbling to see the amount of people that have really been even more engaged than before,” he said, adding that the August 2 primary “is the only poll that really matters.”

If the arrest of Kelley by the FBI was meant to tarnish his name and knock him out of contention in the race to the governor’s mansion, it backfired — bigly.

For Lenawee County voter Jim Flarity, who says his Facebook profile was nuked by the Feds  over Jan. 6 posts, the FBI arrest only cemented his support for Kelley.

“The number one reason is he was arrested by the FBI,” Flarity said. “I had my own issues with the FBI about the Jan. 6 incident, even though I wasn’t there.”

Buried in the Free Press article is a statistic that must be triggering the House Committee, which has pulled out all the stops in order to destroy the reputations of anyone who so much as looked at the Capitol building on January 6.

Despite their commandeering of prime-time slots on the nation’s networks, and regardless of their insistence that January 6 was the worst thing to happen to American democracy since the Civil War, “sixty-one percent of respondents polled said President Joe Biden stole the election from Trump, compared with 22% responding that Biden won the election fair and square, with the rest being undecided,” the Free Press reported.



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Melissa Fine


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