2014 Poll: Michigan voters want a strong Detroit, oppose DIA art sale

Failed leadership, crime are cited as city's biggest problems

DETROIT - It's been said more times than one cares to count this week at the Mackinac Policy Conference: You can't have a strong Michigan without a strong Detroit.

An overwhelming number of Michigan voters appear to share that sentiment.

According to an exclusive Local 4/Detroit News poll, 91.7% of Michigan voters say they want the state's largest city to prosper while 7.3% say they don't care. Less than one percent say they'd like to see Detroit fail.

View/download: Michigan May 2014 Media Survey Report

But how do ordinary Michigan voters feel about the bankruptcy process restructuring Detroit governance?

Starting at the top, 37.2% of voters say Gov. Rick Snyder has been good for Detroit, 18.3% says Snyder has been bad for the city, and 28% say he's had no effect. However, just 20.6% of Detroit voters believe the governor has been good for their hometown and 52.9% say he's been bad for Detroit.

A majority of Michigan voters (55.1%) are confident that Detroit's leaders will succeed revitalizing the city after bankruptcy. However, 72.3% believe the state should continue some level of financial oversight over Detroit following bankruptcy.

Out-state and Detroit voters split on the biggest problem facing the Motor City.

Statewide, failed leadership was cited as Detroit's biggest problem by a plurality of voters (28%) while in the city crime was cited as the most pressing issue, with a plurality of 26.5% calling crime the top problem.

However, Detroiters are more likely to believe the city is becoming safe as 44.1% of Detroiters believe the crime problem is getting better, 23.5% say it's getting worse, and 37.8% say it's staying about the same.

Statewide attitudes are more pessimistic, with just 20% saying Detroit's crime problem is improving, 24.2% say it's getting worse, and 37.8% say crime is about the same in the city.

Statewide and city voters are generally in agreement that failed city leadership is a major reason why Detroit is bankrupt. Statewide, 54.5% of voters blamed city leadership and 50% of Detroiters agreed.

As for the controversy surrounding the potential liquidation of the Detroit Institute of Art through bankruptcy, 54.5% of statewide voters oppose any sale of DIA artwork, 24.7% said they'd support a partial sale of DIA art, and just 16% favor selling off the entire DIA collection.

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