July 15, 2014
7/15: Michigan Election 2014 Statewide Contests Competitive
Democrat Congressman Gary Peters is ahead of former Secretary of State and Republican Terri Lynn Land by six points in the race to win the U.S. Senate seat vacated by retiring six-term incumbent, Democrat Carl Levin. However, both candidates are not well known to voters, and nearly one in five voters are undecided. This remains a competitive race. Incumbent Governor Rick Snyder is neck and neck with his Democratic challenger and former Congressman Mark Schauer. Snyder has a positive job performance rating as governor statewide but his favorability rating is less strong. He is bolstered in his re-election effort by an advantage among independent voters and the electorate’s lack of familiarity with Schauer. Despite having carried Michigan twice, President Obama’s job rating is upside down.
“Peters has an early edge in this contest to hold Senator Levin’s seat for the Democrats,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “But Democrats can’t count on putting Michigan in their win column.”
- 43% of registered voters statewide, including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, support Democrat Gary Peters for U.S. Senate compared with 37% for Republican Terri Lynn Land. 19% of voters are still undecided.
- There is a significant partisan divide with Peters carrying 82% of Democrats and Land supported by 79% of Republicans. Independents divide evenly, 36% to 36%.
- The candidates for U.S. Senate run evenly among men, but Peters leads among women by 13 points.
- Neither Peters nor Land is very well known statewide. 49% of Michigan residents do not have an opinion of Peters, and 40% are not familiar with Land.
- Incumbent Governor Snyder has 46% to 44% for his Democratic challenger Schauer. Both Snyder and Schauer have strong support with voters in their respective parties. Snyder has a 14 point lead among independent voters.
- 48% of statewide residents approve of the job Snyder is doing as governor including 53% of independents. However, when asked about their overall impression of Snyder, residents divide 41% favorable and 38% unfavorable. 55% of adults do not offer an opinion of Schauer.
President Obama and Congressional Republicans Not Well Received
- Only 40% of Michigan residents approve of the job President Obama is doing. 46% disapprove.
- Congressional Republicans are even less popular than the president. Just 19% of residents statewide approve of the job they are doing, and 62% disapprove. Even Republican voters divide. 43% approve and 42% disapprove of how the GOP is doing in Congress.
- 62% of Michigan adults describe the nation as headed in the wrong direction. 29% believe the nation is on the right path. A majority of Democrats, 57%, think the nation is on course. But, 83% of Republicans and 70% of independents do not share this view.
President’s Agenda Divides State
- Half of Michigan residents think the Affordable Care Act is a bad idea including 43% who strongly feel that way. Overall, 32% view the health care plan as a good idea with just 22% saying they strongly hold this view.
- Adults statewide divide on the issue of whether companies should be required to reduce greenhouse gases that cause global warming if utility costs are passed on to consumers. 46% disapprove of a proposal to require companies to take this step, and 45% approve. People under 30 years of age are more supportive of the proposal than those who are older.
- Michigan residents evenly divide, 47% favor to 47% oppose, on the issue of creating a pathway to citizenship for foreigners who have jobs but are staying illegally in the United States.