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WDIV/Detroit News poll: Trump faces uphill re-election battle in Michigan

Poll: Michigan voters oppose wall funding by large margin

DETROIT – President Donald Trump will face an uphill re-election battle in Michigan in 2020, according to a new WDIV/Detroit News poll. 

The poll, released Monday, found that the "blue wave" in 2018 could continue in 2020. 

Here are some of the key findings:

  • Motivation to vote at record high in Michigan.
  • Michigan voters blamed Trump for shutdown.
  • Michigan voters oppose funding the wall by 21-point margin.
  • 10-point drop in Michigan voters who believe country on right track.
  • Trump's job approval remains unchanged in Michigan, although 53 percent would support someone new.

Take a deeper dive into the poll numbers below. (Full poll is available at the bottom)

Historic motivation to vote

The motivation to vote in the 2020 election among Michigan voters is at the highest levels ever measured by the Glengariff Group. On a ten-point scale, Michigan voters say they are motivated to vote at 9.6 – higher than the 9.4 measured in late October 2018.   

Drop in national right track

Voters were asked if the nation was on the right track or the wrong track. Throughout 2018, Michigan voters were consistent in their views. Today, 55.7 percent of Michigan now view the nation on the wrong track – a ten-point drop in the percentage of Michigan voters who believe the nation is on the right track.   

  • 86.1 percent of black voters believe the nation is on the wrong track.   
  • 54.0 percent of Independent voters believe the nation is on the wrong track. 27.1 percent of leaning Republicans and 23.0 percent of strong Republicans believe the nation is on the wrong track.
  • 86 percent of Democratic voters believe the nation is on the wrong track.

Michigan voters optimistic about state, Detroit

Voters were asked if Michigan was on the right track or wrong track. 48.0 percent believe the state is on the right track. Only 29.3 percent believe the state is on the wrong track. For the first time in the past fifteen years, less than 30 percent of voters believe the state is on the wrong track.

  • Democratic, Independent, and leaning Republican voters strongly believe Michigan is on the right track. The only voters that believe Michigan is on the wrong track are strong Republican voters.

By a margin of 44.7 percent-19.3 percent, Michigan voters believe Detroit is on the right track. These numbers are consistent with September 2018 when voters believed Detroit was on the right track by a margin of 49.8 percent-20.1 percent.

Whitmer enters office with favorable impression

By a margin of 40.5 percent-19.7 percent, Michigan voters have a favorable impression of Governor Gretchen Whitmer.  32.2 percent of voters currently have no opinion of her.   

Governor Whitmer has a strong favorable impression among Democratic and Independent voters. Republican voters have a strong unfavorable impression of Governor Whitmer.

Voters were asked if they approve or disapprove of the job Gretchen Whitmer is doing as Governor. By a margin of 38.0 percent-13.0 percent, Michigan voters approve of the job she is doing as Governor. 49.0 percent of voters simply did not have an opinion at this early point in her administration.   

Trump approval in Michigan remains largely unchanged

By a margin of 37.5 percent-53.3 percent, Michigan voters have an unfavorable impression of Donald Trump. These numbers remain largely unchanged from 2018.

  • White voters are split with 44.4 percent viewing him favorably compared to 46.0 percent viewing him unfavorably.
  • Black voters view Trump unfavorably by a margin of 3.8 percent-88.6 percent.
  • Men have an unfavorable view 42.4 percent-47.6 percent.
  • Women view him unfavorably 33.0 percent-58.7 percent.

Voters were asked if they approve or disapprove of the job being done by Donald Trump as President. President Trump’s job approval remains unchanged in January 2019 as compared to 2018.

  • Independents disapprove of the president’s performance by a margin of 43.1 percent-49.6 percent. 17.1 percent of Leaning Republican voters disapprove of the president’s performance.   
  • White voters approve of President Trump’s performance by a margin of 51.4 percent-44.2 percent.  
  • Black voters sharply disapprove of President Trump’s performance by a margin of 2.5 percent - 94.9 percent.
  • Men narrowly approve of Trump’s performance 47.9 percent-46.9 percent.   
  • Women overwhelmingly disapprove 39.4 percent-57.4 percent.

Michigan voters blamed Trump for shutdown, don't support wall funding

Michigan voters were asked who they blame most for the shutdown of the federal government.

  • 45.2 percent blame President Trump.
  • 26.0 percent blame Congressional Democrats.
  • 21.8 percent blame everyone equally.
  • 3.3 percent blame Congressional Republicans.

Michigan voters were asked which of two positions on the government shutdown more closely reflects their position. By a 21- point margin, a large majority of Michigan voters oppose spending $5.7 billion for a border wall.  61.9 percent of women oppose funding for the wall.

  • By a margin of 29.2 percent-62.0 percent, Independent voters OPPOSE funding of the border wall.
  • By a margin of 41.5 percent-43.6 percent, Michigan voters are narrowly split on a deal that would create a path to permanent citizenship for Dreamers in exchange for $5.7 billion to build a wall on the nation’s southern border. 27.3 percent of voters strongly oppose this deal.   

Majority of Michigan voters plan to elect someone new in 2020

Voters were asked if they would vote to re-elect Donald Trump, or would they vote for someone else to be President.  

Donald Trump begins his re-election campaign with only 30.6 percent of Michigan voters saying they would vote to Re-elect Donald Trump. 53.4 percent of Michigan voters said they would vote for someone new to be president

Among Independent voters that have a disproportional share of deciding Michigan winners, President Trump is faced with unprecedented opposition. 24.1 percent of Independent voters would vote to re-elect President Trump. 54.8 percent of Independent voters would vote to elect someone new.   

  • 16.1 percent of Independent voters would definitely vote to re-elect Trump while 45.3 percent of Independent voters would definitely vote for someone new.  

Men would elect someone new by a margin of 35.7 percent-48.0 percent.  But by a better than 2-1 margin only 26.0 percent of women would re-elect Trump while 58.0 percent would elect someone new.

Trump loses four hypothetical 2020 matchups in Michigan

Voters were presented with four hypothetical matchups between President Trump and likely Democratic candidates Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Trump loses all four matchups.

  • Joe Biden leads 53.3 percent - 40.3 percent over Donald Trump, with only 5.3 percent of voters undecided.
  • Kamala Harris leads 46.6 percent-42.4 percent over Donald Trump, with 9.7 percent of voters undecided.
  • Bernie Sanders leads 52.0 percent-41.2 percent over Donald Trump, with only 5.5 percent of voters undecided.
  • Elizabeth Warren leads 45.8 percent-42.5 percent over Donald Trump, with 10.3 percent of voters undecided

Methodology:

The Glengariff Group, Inc. conducted a Michigan statewide survey of November 2020 likely general election voters. The 600 sample, live operator telephone survey was conducted on January 24-26, 2019 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 the Glengariff Group, Inc. as part of our public polling program and provided to WDIV Local 4 and the Detroit News.

View the full poll below:


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