ITHACA, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – If you think that you haven’t seen or heard much about Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon on your TV but you’ve noticed a deluge of ads supporting incumbent Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, you aren’t far off base.

Pro-Whitmer/anti-Dixon ads has been flooding the airwaves and social media for a while now.

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Axios reports that the state of Michigan “has the widest margin between Republican and Democratic ad spending of any state’s gubernatorial race, according to data from the ad-tracking firm AdImpact.” While pro-Whitmer ads aired 4,646 times during the time period of September 5th through the 18th, groups that support Dixon aired only 19 ads.

NBC News has reported that the national groups have “largely left Republican Tudor Dixon out in the cold” with the Republican Governor’s Association’s “Get Michigan Working Again” PAC getting largely outspent by Democratic Governors Association’s “Put Michigan First” PAC.

But it’s really not that difficult to get attention for a political candidate. The Gratiot County Republican Party certainly proved that. They released a video ad supporting Dixon on Monday and it’s been seen by more than one million people in just one day and tweeted to more than five million people.

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon tweeted about it, saying, ““These great folks know exactly what @gretchenwhitmer has done to all of us. Thanks to the Gratiot County GOP for this video!”

For better or worse, the video caught the attention of liberal groups like the Lincoln Project and it’s been shared (and ridiculed) all over Twitter as well as written about by Forbes and Huffington Post.

Yahoo calls it the “worst political ad ever” and says it went went viral for all of the wrong reasons. Michigan News Source reached out to the Gratiot County Republican Party chair, Chuck Murphy, and he said the digital ad only cost $1,400 to produce. The ad shows seven older bikers discussing Whitmer’s lockdowns. They are dressed in hats and bandanas and the ad is being laughed at and compared to an SNL skit on social media.

One of the men in the ad says, “Hey, have you seen the TV ads with the governor talking about the great things she’s done in Michigan?”

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“She’s a liar,” a woman answers back. “Whitmer can say what she wants, but we live here. Just look around, man.”

The one-minute video has orchestral music and the “actors” are volunteers, some who are in the local Republican Party and some who are just grassroots volunteers.

Murphy says that his new secretary is a playwright and retired English Professor from CMU who wanted to “do something after seeing all these lies that Whitmer’s putting on TV here…just distorting Dixon’s record.”

Murphy said that his secretary was at church and talked to the bikers who also wanted to do something and so they came up with this idea. With the help of a part-time videographer, they spent $1,400 and produced the Dixon video.

Although Murphy clearly sees that Dixon is being outspent by the Democrats in advertising, he seems optimistic and said, “[The Republicans] are saving their money for crunch time.”

What does he think of all of the attention the video is getting? He said “as long as they spell our names right…I really haven’t seen it.” He hasn’t had much time to notice between getting up at 5:30 a.m. for his job and heading over to the Republican Party headquarters after work. And he doesn’t know if any more ads from his local party will be forthcoming or not.

In addition to the Gratiot County ad, the Michigan Republican Party finally got into the election game by posting an anti-Whitmer ad on September 27th that explains how Governor Whitmer is soft on crime but it doesn’t mention Dixon’s name at all.

Gustavo Portela, Deputy Chief of Staff & Communications Director for the Michigan GOP told Michigan News Source, “The Michigan Republican Party will continue to do what it has done in previous cycles: continue to turn out Republican votes for our ticket up and down the ballot. While I won’t disclose the exact amount we’re spending — there are millions of dollars being spent on TV, digital, mail, and text messaging to encourage Republican voters to turn out and vote.”

He continued, “We believe there’s too much at stake to sit on the sidelines. Gretchen Whitmer is singlehandedly driving away jobs, investments, and our economy to the ground. Republicans have a solemn duty to vote to stop the madness and we’re confident they will with our paid programs.”

So far, the Dixon campaign doesn’t appear to have put out any TV ads yet. In fact, a recent email sent out by the Dixon campaign is asking her supporters to fund their advertising. It says, “Gretchen Whitmer knows she’s in trouble here in Michigan. That’s why she’s spending roughly $1,000,000 per week on lying attack ads as part of an ads blitz to try and stall our campaign’s surging momentum.”

The email goes on to say, “Her and her liberal allies in the swamp have already reserved more than $35 million in TV airtime before election day. To fight back, we’re launching TV ads of our own – but we’re counting on America First patriots like YOU to help us raise the funds we need to get them up on the airwaves.”

The truth is that the Dixon campaign already has a pretty decent ad that was done back in May of 2021 called “Hope” but it hasn’t been appearing on TV anywhere.

Will money be the deciding factor in the Michigan governor’s race? Or name recognition, abortion, crime, inflation, lockdowns, a combination of things or something else?

Dr. John Lott, President of the Crime Prevention Research Center, spoke on “The Steve Gruber Show” on Tuesday and described how money doesn’t always buy the votes that are needed. He talked about Bloomberg outspending his political opponents 20 to 1 in Maine and 3 to 1 in Nevada concerning red flag gun control laws. However, in Nevada, the Democrats won by less than one percentage point and in Maine, they lost by four percentage points.

Dixon and Whitmer are set to debate next week on Thursday, October 13th in Grand Rapids, hosted by WOOD-TV. The debate will be televised at 7 pm all over the state. Dixon is currently scheduled for many upcoming town halls and rallies across the state this week with Shane Hernandez and special guests.