Michigan Democratic attorney general Dana Nessel in June said drag queens should be in "every school." Michigan voters disagree, according to a new poll obtained exclusively by the Washington Free Beacon.
The October poll, which Lansing-based firm Marketing Resource Group conducted for the Michigan Freedom Fund, shows that 63 percent of registered Michigan voters are less likely to back Nessel due to her "drag queen for every school" comment. The overwhelming majority of those voters—55 percent—said they were "much less likely" to support Nessel over the remark, while 8 percent said they were "somewhat less likely." The Democrat's controversial comment, which came during a Michigan Department of Civil Rights education summit, even played poorly in deep-blue Detroit, where 59 percent of voters said it made them less likely to back Nessel. Just 12 percent of voters statewide, meanwhile, said the statement made them more likely to vote for Nessel.
Nessel, whose consumption of two Bloody Marys left her passed out drunk in the stands at the October 2021 Michigan-Michigan State football game, is embroiled in a close reelection bid against Republican challenger Matthew DePerno. With Election Day just one week away, a Detroit News poll found DePerno trailing Nessel by just 1 point. Some Republican groups think Nessel's "extreme" education agenda could turn the tide—a Michigan for Freedom ad, for example, includes Nessel's "drag queen for every school" remark and accuses the Democrat of "pushing politics into schools."
Nessel, whose campaign did not return a request for comment, has since argued that her drag queen comment was a joke. But the Democrat's June speech generally defended the idea of placing drag queens around kids, and Nessel also said a staffer asked her "not to speak about drag queens," suggesting her team understood it would prompt political blowback.
"Let me say this—drag queens, not only are they not hurting our kids, drag queens make everything better. Drag queens are fun. Drag queens are entertainment," Nessel said. "And you know what I'll say, that was totally not poll-tested? I say this: a drag queen for every school! That is what would be fun for the kids and lift them up when they are having emotional issues."
Nessel is no stranger to controversy. Beyond "Tailgate-Gate," which saw the Democrat escorted out of last year's rivalry game in East Lansing in a wheelchair, Nessel in June 2021 attempted to arrest Michigan restaurant owner Marlena Hackney ahead of an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, where Hackney was set to discuss her defiance of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's (D.) stringent lockdown orders. "Do we know her whereabouts? We should just have her picked up before she goes on. This is outrageous," Nessel wrote in an email at the time.