The approval ratings for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder are trending upward, but that positive political sign hasn't stopped the Republican's opponents from ramping up their most recent effort to get him recalled.
Michigan Rising, the super PAC organizing the Recall Snyder campaign, said Tuesday members have distributed more than 50,000 petitions in 57 of Michigan's 83 counties. The group has also set up eight permanent signing locations around the state in Traverse City, Frankfort, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Mt. Pleasant, Allegan County, Ypsilanti, St. Clair and Macomb County.
Michigan Rising hopes to get a boost from the upcoming recall vote against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, also a Republican.
"A lot is riding on the recall elections in Wisconsin on June 5," Michigan Rising Communications Director Bruce Fealk said in a release. "If Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch are successfully recalled, it will give the Michigan effort a [shot] in the arm."
Snyder's opponents cite his education, tax and local government policies as reasons to remove him from office. The recall petition also criticizes the emergency manager law and the governor's push to cut the state's business tax.
A similar recall effort against Snyder in 2011 by the Committee To Recall Rick Snyder failed to gather the roughly 800,000 signatures needed to oust him -- collecting only about 500,000. Michigan Rising hopes the new petition's language will prove more successful.
Although Snyder has struggled with low approval ratings since taking office in 2011, his popularity across the state now seems to be on the rise. But it remains far from universal.
A recent Epic-MRA poll found that 41 percent of Michigan voters approved and 53 disapproved of the governor's performance. The 600 person statewide poll was conducted from March 31 to April 3 of this year and had a margin of error of 4 percent. The findings are up from Snyder's 37 percent positive and 59 percent negative ratings last November.
If the recall petition is successful, voters will face the question on the November ballot. If they decided to remove Snyder, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley would take over until a successor could be chosen following a special election that would be held in February of 2013.
CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this story identified the sponsors of the 2011 recall effort as Michigan Citizens United. Although the group was known by that name, it is more commonly identified as the Committee To Recall Rick Snyder, and the article has been changed to reflect that distinction.