DETROIT – Michigan residents are highly motivated to vote in the state’s November gubernatorial election, and high-profile Democratic incumbents appear to be favored to win in three major races, according to a new WDIV/Detroit News poll.
A July 2022 survey found a rise in voter motivation among Michigan voters regardless of party affiliation. Still, it appears that, as of now, Democrats are favored to win in the elections for Michigan governor, Michigan secretary of state and Michigan attorney general.
Here are some of the key findings from this portion of the survey:
Michiganders motivated to vote in November
- On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most motivated to vote, the survey found that Michigan voters received a score of 9.2 -- which is up from 9.0 in January.
- Voters who identify as “strong Democratic” received a score of 9.6. Voters who lean Democratic received a score of 9.1.
- Independent voters received a score of 9.
- Voters who identify as “strong Republican” received a score of 9.3. Voters who lean Republican received a score of 8.8.
- The largest jumps in voter motivation from January to July were seen among Independent voters, “strong Democratic” voters and voters between the ages of 18-29 years old, the survey found.
Gov. Whitmer leads against GOP candidates
- 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.
- When pitted against GOP candidate Ryan Kelley, Gov. Whitmer took 49.6% of the vote, while Kelley took 41.3%.
- When pitted against GOP candidate Tudor Dixon, Gov. Whitmer took 50.7% of the vote, while Dixon took 40.3%.
- When pitted against GOP candidate Kevin Rinke, Gov. Whitmer took 51.8% of the vote, while Rinke took 40%.
- When pitted against GOP candidate Garrett Soldano, Gov. Whitmer took 52% of the vote, while Soldano took 38.2%.
- When pitted against GOP candidate Ralph Rebandt, Gov. Whitmer took 52.3% of the vote, while Rebandt took 37.3%.
- 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.
Gov. Whitmer has strong job approval
- The survey found that 55.3% of Michigan voters approve of Gretchen Whitmer’s performance as governor, compared to 40.1% who disapprove.
- Voters who identify as “strong Democratic” had a 90.3% approval rating for Gov. Whitmer, while those who lean Democratic had an 86.2% approval rating.
- Independent voters had a 49.1% approval rating for Whitmer.
- Voters who identify as “strong Republican” had a 7.7% approval rating for Whitmer, while those leaning Republican had a 10.8% approval rating.
AG Nessel has slight lead
- Current Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, appears to hold a lead against Republican challenger Matt DePerno, according to the survey.
- When pitted against candidate DePerno, AG Nessel held 44.4% of the vote, while DePerno received 37.7% -- a 6.7% lead.
- 16.9% of voters were undecided in this race.
SOS Benson has slight lead
- Current Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, appears to hold a lead against Republican challenger Kristina Karamo, the survey found.
- When pitted against candidate Karamo, SOS Benson held 46.3% of the vote, while Karamo received 38.6% of the vote -- a 7.7% lead.
- 14.4% of voters were undecided in this race.
Related poll: Where Michigan voters stand on Jan. 6 hearings, Trump charges, state of democracy
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.