Poll: Peters leading James as election quickly approaches


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As the November election quickly approaches, incumbent Gary Peters is leading against Republican challenger John James in the U.S. Senate race.

In the EPIC-MRA poll released Thursday morning, 45% of respondents said they would vote for Peters if the election was held immediately and 39% stated they would vote for James. Eleven percent said they were undecided or refused to answer.

While Peters is leading James, 43% had a negative view of Peters’ performance so far as a senator. Thirty-seven percent believe he has done a good job so far.

The poll stated 42% had a favorable opinion of Peters, while 30% had an unfavorable view. Thirty-five percent said they had a favorable view of James and 37% had an unfavorable opinion.

Trump being infected with COVID-19

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19. However, most respondents of the poll didn’t think that diagnosis would change much in the election.

The poll stated 63% believe the diagnosis will not influence the voters one way or another. Nineteen percent believed it will make people more likely to vote for Biden and 9% stated it would sway voters to Trump.

Two-thirds of respondents said Trump’s diagnosis didn’t affect their view of the need to wear masks or social distance.

A sweeping 61% of respondents were not sympathetic to Trump for catching the virus, believing he brought it on himself. About a quarter stated they were sympathetic to the president.

Mask policy

As the pandemic has unfolded, instances of people becoming violent when asked to wear masks have made headlines across the country. But most respondents are supportive of mask-wearing.

In the poll, 63% were in favor of a national policy that would require masks in an enclosed area and when going outdoors in a crowd until COVID-19 has been brought under control. Thirty-seven percent said would oppose this policy, with 31% being strongly opposed. Interestingly, 0% were undecided or refused to answer.

Trump and his taxes

Another situation that’s made headlines this election season is the president and his taxes.

The New York Times published an investigation that showed Trump claimed massive business losses to the IRS to avoid paying taxes, which resulted in him paying no federal income tax in 10 of 15 years and paying only $750 in 2016 and 2017 while being president.

Half of the respondents believed Trump deliberately hid money from the IRS and cheated on his taxes and should be held accountable for his actions.

Forty percent believed he is simply a smart businessman who did nothing wrong under the current tax laws.

The other 10% either answered neither, both or were undecided.

EPIC-MRA surveyed 600 people in Michigan between Oct. 8, 2020 and Oct. 12, 2020. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4%.

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