Michigan voters less optimistic about direction of country, state

 

LANSING, Mich. – Recent statewide polling shows that voters in Michigan are less optimistic about the direction of both our country and our state, compared to similar polling last year at this time. When asked about the direction of Michigan, 47 percent of voters believe the state to be on the wrong track, with only 36 percent believe the opposite. The gap is larger on a national scale as 56 percent believe the country is generally on the wrong track compared to the 31 percent that believe the country is going in the right direction. A similar poll conducted in 2018 had the state of Michigan nearly divided at a 46 percent wrong track versus 42 percent right direction with the national sentiment at 53 percent wrong track versus 39 percent right direction.

 

“Just being out a recession is no longer good enough for Michigan voters,” said Tom Shields, President of MRG. “They have set the bar higher and want to see the potholes filled, the economy improved, education fixed and taxes kept in line.”

 

The poll also showed that the President’s Job approval rating stands at 41 percent approve (compared to last year’s polling which had him at 44 percent) with his disapprovals going down to 49 percent from 50 percent in 2018 polling. The President received his highest positive job approval ratings from voters in the Upper Peninsula, Macomb County, West Michigan and the Flint – Saginaw – Bay City areas. He received overall negative approval ratings from voters in Wayne County (especially Detroit), Oakland County, Mid-Michigan.

 

Statewide elected sentiment

Four months into a new administration, Michigan voters are the split on the job performance of the newly-elected Governor Whitmer, with 36 percent approving and 25 thinking the opposite; another 28 percent remain undecided. The biggest challenge seen with the newly-elected Secretary of State Benson and Attorney General Nessel is the lack of name ID with 56 percent claiming they have never heard of Secretary Benson and 46 percent saying the same about General Nessel.

 

“Governor Whitmer seems to be still enjoying a honeymoon with the Michigan voters right now and her numbers are overall positive,” said Jenell Leonard, Vice President of MRG. “However, seventy-seven percent of voters haven’t formed a strong opinion on the job she is doing one way or the other. Public opinion is still out on the Governor.”

 

Most important issue

For a second year in a row, the most important issue facing Michigan voters is roads and infrastructure. According to our poll, forty-four percent of voters named roads and infrastructure as the number issue they are concerned about in the state. Roads are followed by the economy and jobs (23 percent) and taxes/gas tax and education tie at 21 percent. The cost of auto insurance came in at 12 percent but the in City of Detroit it is the second leading issue facing City residents. (The responses add up to more than 100% because each respondent was given the opportunity to name two issues).

 

The Questions and Results

The results and the wording of the questions asked by MRG follow.

 

Q. Do you feel things in this country are generally going in the right direction, or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?

 

                        Right direction …………………………………………….. 30.7%

                        Wrong track ………………………………………………… 56.2%

                        Don’t know ………………………………………………………. 12%

                        Refused ………………………………………………………………. 1.2%

 

 

Q. And, thinking about things in Michigan . . . do you feel things in the State of Michigan are generally going in the right direction, or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?

 

                        Right direction …………………………………………….. 36.2%

                        Wrong track ………………………………………………… 46.5%

                        Don’t know …………………………………………………… 16.8%

                        Refused ………………………………………………………………. .05%

 

 

 

 

Q. In general, do you approve or disapprove of the job President Trump is doing as president? [IF APPROVE / DISAPPROVE, ASK:] Would that be strongly (approve / disapprove) or just somewhat (approve / disapprove)?

 

                        Strongly approve ………………………………………. 27.2%

                        Somewhat approve ………………………………….. 14.2%

                        Neither approve / disapprove ………………. 8.7%

                        Somewhat disapprove ………………………………… 8.0%

                        Strongly disapprove ………………………………….. 40.5%           

                        Don’t know ………………………………………………………. .0.7%

                        Refused ………………………………………………………………. 0.8%

 

 

Q. In general, do you approve or disapprove of the job Governor Whitmer is doing as governor? [IF APPROVE / DISAPPROVE, ASK:] Would that be strongly (approve / disapprove) or just somewhat (approve / disapprove)?

 

                        Strongly approve ………………………………………. 10.5%

                        Somewhat approve ………………………………….. 25.5%

                        Neither approve / disapprove ……………. 28.0%

                        Somewhat disapprove ……………………………… 11.3%

                        Strongly disapprove ………………………………… 13.8%

                        Don’t know …………………………………………………….. 10.3%

                        Refused ………………………………………………………………. 0.3%

 

Q. Now, I’m going to read you the names of some people in the news, and I’d like you to rate your feelings toward each one as very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative, or very negative. If you don’t know the name, please just say so. [RANDOMIZE]

 

Very Pos Somewhat Pos Neutral Somewhat Neg Very Neg Never Heard Of Don’t Know Ref
Donald Trump 25.8% 10.7% 12.5% 7.2% 42.3% 0 .07% .08%
Gretchen Whitmer 13.0% 18.7% 28.5% 13.0% 14.2% 5.2% 7.3% .07%
Dana Nessel 3.3% 9.0% 13.2% 4.7% 5.4% 45.7% 17.8% .08%
Jocelyn Benson 2.2% 4.8% 12.2% 1.5% 2.0% 55.5% 21.0% .08%

 

 

 

 

 

Q. What are the most important issues facing the state of Michigan at this time? That is, the one or two you personally are most worried about? (please chose category that is closest to the answer given and record the verbatim response).*

 

Issue 1st Response 2nd Response Total
Roads/infrastructure/pot holes 27.50% 16.70% 44.20%
The economy and jobs 13.20% 10.00% 23.20%
Water quality/Flint 5.50% 4.00% 9.50%
Education 8.30% 12.20% 20.50%
Taxes/Gas Tax 11.30% 9.50% 20.80%
Health Care Issues 5.20% 4.30% 9.50%
Auto Insurance Rates 7.50% 4.80% 12.30%
Environmental Issues 5.30% 4.20% 9.50%
Politicians/Government 3.70% 4.30% 8.00%
Crime/Drugs 3.80% 4.00% 7.80%
Don’t know 3.80% 11.00% 14.80%
Refused/none 1.00% 11.30% 12.30%
Other 3.80% 3.80% 7.60%

*Totals exceed 100% because the respondents were given a chance to name more than one issue

 

MRG Michigan Poll® Spring 2019

The survey of 600 likely Michigan voters was conducted by live interview April 9-13, 2019.

The sample was randomly drawn from a listed sample of all registered voters with a

history of voting and stratified by city and township to reflect voter turnout. 30% of the sample

was conducted with cell phone users. In addition, quotas for gender and cell phone interviews

were met within each geographic area, and extra efforts were made to reach African Americans.

Thirty percent of the interviews were conducted with cell phone only or cell phone dominant

households.

 

A sample of 600 likely voters in Michigan yields a sampling margin of error of ±4 percent with a

95 percent confidence interval. The sampling margin of error for subgroups may be higher

depending on the size of the subgroup.

 

About Marketing Resource Group, Inc.

Lansing, Michigan-based Marketing Resource Group, Inc. (www.mrgmi.com) is an award-winning PR firm representing corporate, association, nonprofit, and private clients with interests in Michigan. MRG offers expertise in public affairs, communications, political campaign management, and public opinion survey research. For more than thirty years, MRG has conducted its bi-annual omnibus Michigan Poll®, tracking the pulse of Michigan voters on key statewide public policy and political issues. MRG is the only Michigan public opinion survey research firm that maintains nearly 30 years of trend analyses of voter attitudes related to state and national leaders, political parties, and the political and economic climate in Michigan.

 

Follow MRG on Twitter @mrgmichigan and on Facebook.

 

 

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