Over the last half-century, whenever an incumbent Michigan governor has run for re-election, the opposing party has almost always chosen an opponent in a difficult and expensive primary.
Those battles have used up most of their cash, and given the opposition plenty of ammunition. Partly as a result, every incumbent governor running for a second term has been reelected.
New Democratic state chair Lon Johnson says it is time to learn from this. He's helped persuade his party to come together around statewide candidates more than a year before the election. Things can always change, but as of now Democrats have settled on former Battle Creek congressman Mark Schauer for governor. It would be difficult to exaggerate how much Democrats would like to beat Rick Snyder. They intensely dislike most of what he has done or tried to do, from taxing pensions to attacking unions.