DETROIT (AP) - Democratic Attorney General Jennifer Granholm was poised to become Michigan's first woman governor Tuesday.
With 24 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press called the race for Granholm. She had 57 percent of the vote; Dick Posthumus had 42 percent.
Exit polls showed Granholm with leads of between 5 and 9 percentage points.
Granholm had 52 percent and Posthumus had 47 percent in a joint poll for WKBD, WNEM, WLNS, WILX and WOOD television stations. The poll, by EPIC/MRA of Lansing, questioned 600 people and had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
Granholm had 53 percent and Posthumus had 45 percent in a joint poll for The Detroit News and WDIV and WZZM television stations. The poll, by Mitchell Research and Communications Inc. of East Lansing, questioned 800 voters and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
Granholm had 54 percent and Posthumus had 45 percent in a joint poll for the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ-TV. That poll, by Tim Kiska, had a margin of error of three percentage points.
The two candidates were vying to replace 12-year incumbent Gov. John Engler.
Andrew Kaufman, 39, of Clawson, said he voted for Granholm because he liked the way she cracked down on gas stations that raised prices after Sept. 11.
"She led the cause. She didn't just wait for somebody to jump on the bandwagon," he said.
Kaufman added that the state "needs a woman's touch."
Lisa Coscarelli, 23, an East Lansing waitress, said she voted for Posthumus because of her family's Republican leanings.
"I just feel safe with him," she said.
Posthumus spent much of the general election campaign promising to maintain the Engler legacy of lower taxes, more jobs and better schools. Granholm has criticized the Engler-Posthumus administration, charging it with squandering a budget surplus and leaving the state in the red.
Granholm faced a barrage of criticism from Posthumus, who said she had flip-flopped on the issues from slave reparations to property taxes.