July 19, 2010 at 1:00 am

Support split for GOP AG hopefuls

Backing scattered in 5-candidate field for secretary of state

Bishop, left, and Schuette )

Lansing -- If Republican attorney general hopefuls Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop and former Court of Appeals Judge Bill Schuette were running in a primary, they'd be locked in a dead heat, a Detroit News/Local 4 WDIV poll shows.

Bishop, a veteran lawmaker from Rochester, is backed by 19.4 percent of likely Republican primary voters, while Schuette, former congressman and state senator from Midland, has 18.8 percent support.

Primary voters, however, won't get a chance to cast ballots in the race. The nominee will be selected at the GOP state convention in late August. The winner will be the candidate who lines up the most convention delegates.

In the race for secretary of state, also to be decided at the convention, state Sen. Michelle McManus of Lake Leelanau leads a five-candidate field with 9.4 percent of the vote. Sen. Cameron Brown of Sturgis is second at 7.6 percent, followed by state Rep. Paul Scott of Grand Blanc at 5.2 percent, Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson at 4.4 percent and Calhoun County Clerk Anne Norlander at 2.2 percent.

The poll of 500 likely GOP primary voters was conducted July 12-13 by Glengariff Group Inc. of Chicago. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.