EXCLUSIVE: Presidential Primary survey

Survey commissioned by WDIV, the Detroit News

Published On: Feb 15 2012 01:35:00 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 15 2012 10:56:19 PM EST

Michigan's Presidential Primary is scheduled for Feb. 28. Ahead of election day, The Glengariff Group, Inc. conducted a 500-sample, live operator telephone survey of registered Michigan voters likely to vote in the state's Feb. 28 Republican Presidential Primary Election. The survey was conducted on February 11-13 and has a margin of error of +/-4.38% with a 95% level of confidence.  This survey was commissioned by the WDIV Local 4 and the Detroit News.

View results slideshow here.

Here are the results:

KEY FINDINGS

Name Identification

We asked voters if they had a favorable or an unfavorable impression of the four Republican Presidential candidates.

 

While Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney’s numbers appear to be mirror images of each other, Santorum holds an almost two to one advantage over Romney among voters who view him “very favorably” – a sign of greater intensity toward Santorum:

 

Candidate                                 Very Favorable                        Somewhat Favorable   

Rick Santorum               39.6%                                      28.6%

Mitt Romney                            21.4%                                      46.2%

 

Republican voters have high unfavorable impressions of both Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.  Of Republican women, 46.8 percent have an unfavorable impression of Newt Gingrich.

Presidential Primary Ballot Test:  Santorum holds Four Point Lead

Rick Santorum currently holds a 34.0%-30.4% lead over Mitt Romney in Michigan.  12.4% of voters are undecided.

 

 

We asked voters if they were definitely going to vote for their candidate or probably going to vote for their candidate.  The race continues to be highly fluid with 51%-56% of each candidate’s voters saying they were definitely going to vote for their candidate versus 40%-48% of voters saying they were probably going to vote for their candidate.

 

Candidate                                 Definitely          Probably

Mitt Romney                            56.0%              40.3%

Ron Paul                                  52.4%              42.9%

Rick Santorum               51.6%              45.1%

Newt Gingrich                          51.1%              48.9%

 

  1. 72.2% of respondents said they were definitely going to vote in this election.  Among those voters, Santorum holds a 35.5%-33.2% lead over Romney, within the survey’s margin of error.

  2. The electorate for this primary election appears to be 70% Republican with an influx of 25% Independent Republican voters.  Less than 5% of likely voters call themselves Democratic.  At this point in time, there does not appear to be a sustained Democratic cross-over vote into the Republican primary.

  3. Among only Republican voters, Santorum holds a strong 40.7%-31.0% lead.   Among Independent voters entering the primary, Romney holds a 31.4%-21.0% lead.  Ron Paul holds a 25.0%-16.7% lead over Mitt Romney among the small block of Democratic voters.

  4. Among voters that said they support the Tea Party, Santorum holds a 40.1%-27.1% lead over Romney.

  5. Among conservative voters, Santorum holds a 44.0%-27.4% lead over Romney.  But among moderate voters, Romney holds a 43.8%-34.4% lead over Santorum.

  6. Santorum holds a 32.8%-28.4% lead over Romney among men.  Santorum holds a 35.2%-32.4% lead over Romney among women.

 

Regional Differences: Oakland/ Northern Michigan Keeping Romney in Race

 

Rick Santorum leads Mitt Romney in every region of the state except Northern Michigan and Oakland County. 

Rick Santorum holds a twenty point lead of Mitt Romney in the West Michigan region of Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon counties.

But Mitt Romney holds a 24 point lead of Rick Santorum in Oakland County.  At this point, it appears that Oakland County is keeping Mitt Romney in the statewide race.  

 

Region                                      Santorum                      Romney                        Gingrich                        Paul

UP/North                                 29.7%                          37.8%                         12.2%                          4.1%

West                                        48.6%                         27.2%                          7.1%                            5.7%

Southwest                                35.6%                         27.1%                          14.6%                          14.6%

Mid                                          26.7%                         24.4%                          15.5%                          15.5%

East Central                              29.8%                          32.0%                         14.9%                          4.2%

Oakland                                   24.1%                          48.0%                         13.2%                          3.6%

Macomb                                  37.5%                         17.5%                          15.0%                          10.0%

Wayne                                     38.0%                         22.0%                          14.0%                          14.0%

Rim around Metro                    39.6%                         21.0%                          9.3%                            7.0%

Congressional District Differences:  Santorum Holds a 9-5 District Leader Over Romney

 

Michigan’s Republican delegates will be primarily allocated on a winner take all by congressional district.  At this point, Rick Santorum holds a lead outside of the margin of error over Mitt Romney in nine of Michigan’s fourteen congressional districts.  Mitt Romney holds a lead outside of the margin of error over Rick Santorum in five of Michigan’s fourteen congressional districts. 

 

We have included percentages for Gingrich and Paul in districts where they are competitive for delegates. 

District             Santorum          Romney            Gingrich            Paul

1                      30.2%              35.8%

2                      40.0%             26.6% 

3                      46.5%             23.3%                                      17.1%

4                      30.6%              38.9%

5                      40.4%             34.7%

6                      37.1%             22.9%

7                      40.0%              28.6%

8                      20.8%              35.4%             18.6%

9                      35.7%             26.2%              14.3%

10                    35.1%             21.6%                                      21.6%

11                    31.4%              37.3%

12                    35.7%             17.9%             

13                    45.5%             27.3%                                      18.2%

14                    15.4%              61.6%

 

 

Key Selection Factors

 

We offered voters five different factors in selecting the Republican nominee.  For each factor, we asked voters which candidate best reflected that factor.

By better than a two to one margin, voters believe Mitt Romney is a stronger leader than Rick Santorum and can beat Barack Obama. 

But Santorum holds an 18 point advantage over Romney in strong moral character, and a 13 point advantage for "sharing my positions."

Factor                                                  Gingrich            Paul                  Santorum          Romney

Strong Moral Character                        4.4%                11.0%              47.0%             28.8%

Clear Vision for America                      16.8%              14.8%              22.8%              27.4%

Strong Leader                                      21.4%              5.6%                15.8%              38.0%

Can Beat Barack Obama                      11.0%              3.4%                18.4%              42.2%

Share My Positions                               12.6%              10.6%              36.8%             23.2%

Can beat Barack Obama

Strong moral character

Strong leader

  

When we asked voters which of those characteristics was MOST important to them in selecting a nominee:

 

We looked at which factor was most important in selecting a nominee for respondents, and then checked to see how people selecting that factor planned to vote. 

Among the 25.4% of voters that said beating Barack Obama was the most important factor, Rick Santorum holds a 44.1%-31.5% lead over Mitt Romney.  And Santorum holds a 42.0%-27.1% lead over Romney among people who think a strong moral character is the most important factor.

But Romney holds a commanding 46.3%-21.4% lead among people who think a strong leader is the most important factor.

 

Factor                                               Santorum                      Romney

Strong Moral Character                         42.0%                         27.1%

Clear Vision for America                      30.1%                         26.2%

Strong Leader                                      21.4%                        46.3%

Can Beat Barack Obama                       44.1%                        31.5%

Share My Positions                               29.8%                         27.6%

 

Factor                                        Most Important to Voter

Strong Moral Character                        16.2%

Clear Vision for America                      20.6%

Strong Leader                                      16.4%

Can Beat Barack Obama                      25.4%

Share My Positions                               17.4%

 

We looked at which factor was most important in selecting a nominee for respondents, and then checked to see how people selecting that factor planned to vote. 

 

Among the 25.4% of voters that said beating Barack Obama was the most important factor, Rick Santorum holds a 44.1%-31.5% lead over Mitt Romney.  And Santorum holds a 42.0%-27.1% lead over Romney among people who think a strong moral character is the most important factor.

But Romney holds a commanding 46.3%-21.4% lead among people who think a strong leader is the most important factor.

 

Factor                                                  Santorum                      Romney

Strong Moral Character                         42.0%                         27.1%

Clear Vision for America                      30.1%                         26.2%

Strong Leader                                      21.4%                           46.3%

Can Beat Barack Obama                       44.1%                         31.5%

Share My Positions                               29.8%                         27.6%

 

Culture Voters

 

Among the important block of Pro-Life voters, Rick Santorum holds a 40.0%-30.1% lead over Mitt Romney.

 

And among voters who go to church weekly, Rick Santorum holds a 39.8%-29.8% lead over Mitt Romney.

 

We asked voters if Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith would make them more likely, less likely or make no difference to them in how they voted.   4.2% said it would make them more likely to vote for Mitt Romney while 10.8% of voters said it would make them less likely to vote for Mitt Romney.  84.2% said it would make no difference. 

 

But one in ten Republican primary voters are less likely to vote for Mitt Romney because of his Mormon faith.  Three regions of the state were particularly strong in being less likely to vote for Romney because of his Mormon faith:

 

Macomb County                      17.5% Less likely

West Michigan             17.2% Less likely

East Central                             14.9% Less likely

 

One out of six voters in Macomb County and West Michigan are less likely to vote for Mitt Romney because of his faith.