Poll: Michigan voters continue to back Gov. Whitmer’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic

Whitmer’s job approval remains strong

FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2020, file photo, provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich. On Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, the Justice Department sent letters to the governors of Michigan and three other Democratic-led states, seeking data on whether they violated federal law by ordering public nursing homes to accept recovering COVID-19 patients from hospitals, actions that have been criticized for potentially fueling the spread of the virus (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, File) (Uncredited)

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continues to have strong support from Michigan voters amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a new WDIV/Detroit News poll shows.

About 59 percent of Michigan voters approve of the job Gov. Whitmer is doing; 40.7 percent strongly approve, while 30.5 percent strongly disapprove. Whitmer’s job approval was at 43.3 percent in January 2020.

  • 62 percent of Independent voters approve of her performance.
  • 52 percent approve of men approve of her performance.
  • 65 percent of women approve of her performance.
  • 96 percent of Black voters approve of her performance; 52 percent of white voters approve.
  • 60 percent of voters over the age of 65 approve of her performance.

Michigan voters view Gov. Whitmer favorably by a margin of 51.7% favorable to 40.8% unfavorable. In January 2020, only 33 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of her. 47 percent of Independent voters have a favorable opinion of her.

Exclusive poll: 61% approve of Gov. Whitmer's Handling of COVID-19 pandemic

Voters back Whitmer’s pandemic response

61 percent of Michigan voters support Gov. Whitmer’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, including 45 percent who strongly approve.

36 percent disapprove of her handling of the pandemic, including 29.8 percent who strongly disapprove.

By comparison, 53.7 percent disapprove of President Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 42.2 percent approve.

Emergency powers

Michigan voters were asked if they support the 1945 law that gives every Michigan governor the power to declare a public health emergency for as long as needed. Republicans have launched a ballot drive to repeal the law, and would instead use a 1976 law that would require legislative approval for emergency declarations of more than 28 days.

The poll found 51.8 percent of voters support the 1945 law, while 41.8 percent say the 1945 law should be repealed.


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 September 1-3, 2020 and has a margin of error of +/-4.0% with a 95% level of confidence. 50.0% of respondents were contacted via landline telephone. 50.0% of respondents were contacted via cell phone telephone. This survey was commissioned by WDIV Local 4 News and the Detroit News.

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.