GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With the primary election less than two weeks away, one big question looms in Michigan’s GOP gubernatorial race: Will former President Donald Trump endorse a candidate?

In this primary election cycle, a Trump endorsement has generally helped candidates win their races. It hasn’t happened every time, but a notable example is the Ohio Senate race, where JD Vance was behind in the polls until Trump endorsed him just weeks before the race.

Vance ended up winning by nearly 10%.

John Clark, the political science chair at Western Michigan University, said a Trump endorsement could swing the race for a candidate in Michigan.

“A Trump endorsement might have a pretty significant impact on what otherwise looks to be a fairly close race,” Clark said. “In a tight race with candidates who are in many ways very similar on the issues, having a high-profile endorsement may be enough to put a candidate over the hump.”

Each of the Republican candidates, Tudor Dixon, Ryan Kelley, Ralph Rebandt, Kevin Rinke and Garrett Soldano, have made it clear they’re pro-Trump. But not everyone wants him to weigh in on the race.

“I really feel the people just need to choose,” Soldano told News 8 after Wednesday night’s debate in Rochester. “We don’t need outside influence. If we get that, then of course if he wants to come in, or anyone wants to come in and endorse, then that’s fine, but let the people choose.”

Kelley said it’s “too far” into the race for the former president to make an endorsement.

“People are already casting their votes … they have not had any of that caliber of influence in the race to decide which candidate they want to get behind,” Kelley said. “We’ve already had so many votes cast and we have a very short period of time now. Let’s let the voters decide here who they think is the most America first.”

Clark said no matter how late it is in the race, a Trump endorsement will make a difference.

“There’s certainly some people who’ve already voted,” Clark said. “We’re talking about a relatively small portion of the primary electorate that’s already cast their ballot. My guess is most folks who ultimately will vote in the Republican primary have yet to cast the ballot.”

“If I were one of the five candidates running for the Republican nomination for governor in Michigan, I would want Donald Trump to endorse me even if it were on election eve,” Clark added. “I’d still want that endorsement.”

Clark speculates there may be a different reason why some candidates don’t want Trump to weigh in.

“For those candidates that think they’re less likely to get the endorsement, it makes sense to try and keep President Trump out of the mix,” Clark said.

Kelley and Soldano both said they would accept Trump’s endorsement if the former president does weigh in. But unlike Kelley and Soldano, Dixon said after Wednesday’s debate she welcomes the former president’s endorsement at this point in the race.

“I would love to see President Trump come in for me,” she said.

Dixon said she’s talked to Trump recently and that “he’s very interested in Michigan.”

No matter who wins the Republican nomination for governor, Clark said they will need to expand beyond the Trump base in order to beat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November.

“They can’t simply have the Trumpian faction of the Michigan Republican party in their camp,” Clark said. “That’s not going to win the general election. They’re going to have to find votes from other places. It’ll be an interesting pivot I think for any of the five of them.”

The primary election is August 2. Polls have shown the race to be a toss-up.