Poll: Michigan races tighter ahead of November election

Elections

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The November election may be tight race between Republicans and Democrats, if a new poll released by EPIC-MRA holds true. 

And Michigan voters care: 71 percent of those surveyed said they were extremely interested in the election and extremely motivated to vote.

THE CANDIDATES

Between the president and candidates for governor, secretary of state, U.S. Senate, and Michigan attorney general, only two people were viewed more unfavorably than favorably: President Donald Trump (53 percent viewed unfavorably) and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette (43 percent viewed unfavorably). 

Yet the poll commissioned by WOOD TV8 shows Schuette gaining more support from undecided voters, closing the gap between him and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer.

Of the 600 people surveyed between Oct. 18 and Oct. 23, 46 percent said they would vote for Whitmer and 41 percent backed Schuette. That means within a month, Schuette tacked on 4 percent more support to Whitmer’s 1 percent gain. 

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Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Bill Gelineau’s support also grew, from 2 percent to 3 percent of those surveyed. Only 7 percent said they were undecided or refused to answer, down from 11 percent in September.

In the U.S. Senate race, Republican John James also cut Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s lead. Of those surveyed, 42 percent said they would vote for John James — 9 percent more than last month. While still in the lead, Stabenow lost 7 percent of her support, dropping from 56 percent to 49 percent in October. 

While more than 70 percent of voters said they didn’t recognize the candidates for attorney general or secretary of state, most had already decided who they would vote for.

The Michigan attorney general race that Democrat Dana Nessel once led is now tied up, with Republican Tom Leonard and Nessel each taking 39 percent of the vote. Thirteen percent of voters refused to share who they supported or were undecided.

In the Secretary of State race, 40 percent said they would vote now for Democrat Jocelyn Benson, and 36 percent said Republican Mary Treder Lang had their vote. Libertarian candidate Greg Scott Stemple had 3 percent of the vote, and 17 percent of those surveyed said they were undecided or they refused to answer.

All of the races are so narrow, the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent could flip the results. Time will only tell if Wednesday night’s debate between Whitmer and Schuette will change any minds.

THE ISSUES

The majority of Michigan voters think the country is on the wrong track, according to the poll.
In October, 51 percent said they country is generally heading in the wrong direction, up one percent from the previous month. 

However, President Donald Trump’s job rating was less dismal, with 56 percent of those polled giving him a negative rating, as opposed to 59 percent the month prior.

When it came to the state of Michigan, voters had a more positive view. A total of 47 percent said our state is heading in the right direction (41 percent said it was on the wrong track,) and 60 percent gave the state economy a positive rating.

When asked what issued mattered the most, a quarter of those surveyed said their top concern was fixing the state’s infrastructure, including crumbling, roads, bridges, dams and water systems, followed by improving education, providing quality affordable health care and improving the state economy.

EPIC-MRA says 30 percent of voters were surveyed via cellphone. A total of 45 percent identified as Democrat, 41 percent identified as Republican, and 2 percent said they were undecided. The majority of those surveyed — 53 percent — were women, and 47 percent were men. 
 

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