A jumbled Michigan governor's race

Things are getting very interesting in Michigan, where a crowded GOP primary field looks wide open at this point.

State Attorney General Mike Cox and Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) are now in an effective three-way tie with businessman Rick Snyder, whose personal money and “One Tough Nerd” campaign slogan have boosted him early on.

A new Inside Michigan Politics/Marketing Research Group poll shows the erstwhile frontrunner Cox at 21 percent, with Hoekstra also at 21 and Snyder at 20. Mike Bouchard, who you might recall challenged Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2006, is at 10 percent.

This is Michigan, but it’s also a top takeover hope for the Republican Governors Association. Democrats have struggled with the economy going sour and the auto industry’s troubles.

Lt. Gov. John Cherry (D) found he couldn’t overcome those things and yielded to some lesser known Democratic candidates earlier this year.

The poll shows state House Speaker Andy Dillon leading Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero 21-9 in an undeveloped Democratic primary.