36ºF

WDIV/Detroit News poll: Whitmer maintains lead over Schuette in Michigan governor's race

Schuette and Whitmer shake hands at the conclusion of a gubernatorial debate held in Detroit. (WDIV)
Schuette and Whitmer shake hands at the conclusion of a gubernatorial debate held in Detroit. (WDIV)

Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer continues to lead Republican challenger Bill Schuette by double digits heading into the November election, a new poll finds.

The latest WDIV/Detroit news poll shows a wide lead for Whitmer in the race for Michigan governor. Whitmer has led by double digits since at least September.

The latest poll reflects voter opinion following two gubernatorial debates.

Here's what the latest poll found in the Michigan governor's race:

Whitmer leads Schuette by 12.3 percent heading into the November election.

Name recognition and favorability: 

  • Bill Schuette’s name identification continues to be "underwater" as it has been since early September. Schuette's favorable rating is 30.2 percent, compared to 42.5 percent unfavorable.
  • Gretchen Whitmer’s name identification continues to be "above water" as it has been since early September. While Whitmer’s favorable rating remains steady, her unfavorable rating has climbed from 19.1 percent to 30.3 percent. Whitmer's favorability rating is just under 40 percent.

Head-to-head:

  • In a head to head matchup, Whitmer continues to lead Schuette 49.8 percent-37.5 percent -- a lead of 12.3 percent. Third party candidates get 3.7 percent of the vote with 9.0 percent of voters remaining undecided. Whitmer’s lead has remained consistent since Labor Day.   
  • Whitmer continues to lead among Independent voters by a margin of 40.7 percent-29.7 percent -- an 11.0 percent point lead.
  • Whitmer leads among men 47.2 percent-41.3 percent -- a lead of 5.9 percent. But she leads among women 52.2 percent-33.9 percent -- an 18.3 percent lead.

Comparing Metro Detroit to rest of Michigan

  • The race is competitive in out-state portions of Michigan with Schuette at 44.6 percent to Whitmer at 43.5 percent. But Whitmer is pummeling Schuette among Metro Detroit voters leading 55.9 percent-30.8 percent.   
  • When comparing education levels and gender, Schuette’s only lead comes from men with some post high school education at 46.6 percent-42.7 percent. Whitmer leads among college educated men 51.0 percent-37.4 percent (+13.6 percent) and among college educated women she leads 56.6 percent-33.6 percent (+23.0 percent).
  • Among voters that have already cast their absentee ballots, Whitmer leads 56.0 percent-39.6 percent -- a 16.4 percent lead.

Did the debates matter?

Twenty percent of likely voters said they watched at least one of the two televised debates for governor.  Those voters were asked if the debate moved their vote to Gretchen Whitmer, Bill Schuette, or whether the debate had no influence on their vote.

  • 24.6 percent of voters who viewed the debates said it moved their vote to Gretchen Whitmer.
  • 11.5 percent of voters who viewed the debates said it moved their vote to Bill Schuette.
  • 63.9 percent of voters who viewed the debates said had no influence on their vote.

Translated that means five percent of voters moved to Whitmer because of the debates while two percent of voters moved to Schuette because of the debates resulting in a three point pick up for Whitmer.

photo

METHODOLOGY

The Glengariff Group, Inc. conducted a Michigan statewide survey of November 2018 likely general election voters. The 600 sample, live operator telephone survey was conducted on October 25-27, 2018 and has a margin of error of +/-4.0 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence. 65.0 percent of respondents were contacted via landline telephone.  35.0 percent of respondents were contacted via cell phone telephone. This survey was commissioned by WDIV Local 4 and the Detroit News.   


About the Author: