Full WDIV/Detroit News poll: 4 biggest takeaways from Michigan voters heading into elections

Michigan’s 2022 primary election is Aug. 2

LANSING, MI - MARCH 17: The Michigan State Capital building is seen March 17, 2008 in Lansing, Michigan. Negotiations for a re-vote Michigan primary are continuing between the Democratic National Committee, the Michigan legislature, and the two democratic presidential candidates. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images) (Bill Pugliano, 2008 Getty Images)

Results from a new poll shows where Michigan voters stand on important issues and races heading into the August and November election cycle.

The new WDIV/Detroit News poll, taken in July 2022, asked voters about the governor’s race, the Supreme Court, inflation, term limits and more. You can find the full poll at the bottom of this article.

Here are four big takeaways from the WDIV/Detroit News poll.

Whitmer numbers strong, but Biden’s are sinking

Voters were asked about President Joe Biden’s job approval. 38.5% said they approved of the job he was doing. 56.7% disapproved.

  • 32.5% of Independent Michigan voters had a favorable opinion of the president, down from 41% in our January poll.

Biden’s job approval was at 44.7% in Jan. 2020, and 43.1% in Jan. 2022.

By comparison, Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, up for re-election this year, has much stronger support in the state. 48.9% of voters had a favorable view of Whitmer, including 49.1% of Independent voters.

  • 55.3% of voters approved of Whitmer’s job performance, a number that remained essentially unchanged from our January survey.

Whitmer favorability has jumped from 81.7% to 90.3% among “Strong Democratic” voters.

Voters not happy with Supreme Court

Only 34.2% of Michigan voters support the Supreme Court overturning of Roe v Wade, while 57.7% oppose it being overturned. 52.1% strongly oppose the court’s decision. 67.5% of Independent voters oppose the court’s decision.

  • 62.5% of women oppose the court’s decision and 52.6% of men oppose the decision.

When asked how important a candidate’s position on overturning Roe v Wade would be to how they decide to vote, 86.2% said it would be important while only 12.6% said it would not be important. 57.2% of voters said a candidate’s position on Roe would be VERY IMPORTANT.

  • 52.8% of Michigan voters disapprove of the job being done by the Supreme Court, while 35.9% approve.

67% of Michigan voters said they would support placing term or age limits on Supreme Court justices, including 54.2% who strongly support the idea.

89.9% of Michigan voters said the U.S. Supreme Court should allow the Griswold decision that legalized contraceptive access to married couples to remain in place.

When asked if the Supreme Court makes decisions based on sound legal reasoning or do they make decisions based on politics, 59.7% of voters said the Supreme Court makes political decisions compared to 26.4% that make decisions based on sound legal reasoning.

Dems leading in key Michigan races

When going head-to-head against the five GOP candidates running for Michigan governor, incumbent Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has a lead on each of them, and crosses the threshold of 50% of the votes in most scenarios, the poll finds.

The survey also found that the five GOP candidates appear to struggle with name recognition among Michigan voters, as none of them reached 50% name identification among survey respondents. Candidate Ryan Kelley did come close to that number, though, achieving 49.8% name recognition during the survey.

Current Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, appears to hold a 6.7% lead against Republican challenger Matt DePerno, according to the survey.

Current Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, appears to hold a 7.7% lead against Republican challenger Kristina Karamo, the survey found.

Voters following Jan. 6 hearings, split on Trump charges

55.2% of voters in the WDIV/Detroit News survey said they were paying attention to the Jan. 6 hearings. 25% said they were following very closely, while 30% said somewhat closely.

  • The survey found that Republicans are the least interested in the hearings, with 61% of voters who identified as “strong Republicans” saying they aren’t following the hearings closely. 77.3% of “strong Democrats” said they are following closely.

38.1% of voters said the hearings have been fair and impartial. 29.4% of voters said they have not been fair and impartial. 32.5% of voters just do not know.

When asked if Donald Trump should be charged with a crime associated with January 6, 45.8% said he should be charged, while 39.5% said he should not be charged. 51% of Michigan voters said that Jan. 6 was a coup attempt on the American government. 45.8% of Independent voters agreed. 61% of voters above the age of 65 agreed.


The Glengariff Group, Inc. conducted a Michigan statewide survey of November 2022 likely general election voters. The 600 sample, live operator telephone survey was conducted on July 5-8, 2022 and has a margin of error of +/-4.0% with a 95% level of confidence. 26.0% of respondents were contacted via landline telephone. 74.0% of respondents were contacted via cell phone telephone. This survey was commissioned by WDIV Local 4 News and the Detroit News.

You can read the full survey below:

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.