I wouldn't have wanted to defend the Granholm administration's record either.
Polls also showed Cherry attracting well under 50 percent of the Democratic vote. Speculation that his campaign was in trouble heightened last month when his campaign manager resigned and Cherry replaced his chief of staff. An EPIC-MRA of Lansing poll in mid-December showed 39 percent of voters did not recognize Cherry.
Political observers have said the lieutenant governor was damaged by his connection to Gov. Jennifer Granholm, whose popularity has plummeted along with Michigan's economy.
"He would have to run on Jennifer Granholm's record. And that's an indefensible record," said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who considered and then decided against a 2010 gubernatorial bid.